Good news! After a year and a half of frenzied planning, writing, editing, and proofing, I’ve finally finished Ivory Terrors, the third and final instalment of the Cavaliers Series.
It’s 135 000 words long – nearly twice the length of Oxford Blood. And at it’s longest, it was closer to 160 000. I’ve had to do some really quite brutal cutting to make it readable.
Never again will I attack my favourite authors for what I’ve always regarded as cardinal sins – taking ages to produce a sequel or writing a self-indulgently long volume. Because my goodness, it’s tempting. Knowing I will never write another full Cavaliers book (although one thing I’m considering as a future project is a book of historical short stories about different members in different time periods), I wanted to get in all the backstories, all the revelations, and wrap everything up nicely. And I hope that when you read it, you’ll agree that I’ve succeeded.
I was always absolutely clear that the Cavaliers Series was meant to be a trilogy, and one thing I hate above all others is when authors drag series out beyond their intended duration. There may have been some twists along the route, but nearly everything that happens at the end of Ivory Terrors was meant to happen from the start of Oxford Blood – the reviews that wondered why Stephanie couldn’t be mesmerised in the prologue might finally get their answer.
In particular, I’ve really gone to town on Augustine. It started out as a prologue about his turning, and ended up at something like 20 000 words giving most of his life story, across a variety of centuries. As a history graduate, I’ve always tried to infuse the series with a historical flavour, but this is the first time I’ve gone full historical, and I hugely enjoyed it. It was also fun to take a character who has always been a bit of a cipher – almighty leader of the vampires – and imbue him with a personality and a past.
Anyway, I’m now planning to publish the book on May 1st – as readers might remember, May Day is hugely important in Oxford, so it seemed fitting. I’m in the process of setting up a blog tour and some advance reviews – if you have a blog, have read the earlier book, and would like to get involved, please drop me a line.
Finally, thanks to the surprisingly large number of people who’ve emailed me over the last few months to ask when Ivory Terrors would be ready. You’ve simultaneously made me feel horribly guilty that it’s going to be about five months later than originally promised, and yet so utterly happy that there are people who want to read my books that you’ve really inspired me to get it finished.
Now I’ve finally finished, I’m hoping to be able to dedicate more time to my sadly neglected blog. So keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for soundtracks, a mini-series on the inspiration for my characters, and some Ivory Terrors extracts. And now, despite the fact that its Tuesday and I have work in the morning, I’m off for a Harriet-style glass of midweek champagne.
Blurb below. Put May 1st in your literary diary, and treat yourself to a copy of the most ambitious thing I’ve ever written.
A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal…
No one ever claimed that third year at Oxford University is easy, but Harriet French has more to worry about than just her final exams.
Richard, an ancient vampire with no love for Cavaliers or Roundheads, has dragged Harriet to his French fortress as part of his quest for revenge and power. Can Harriet support Richard’s plot to kill Augustine? He may have the country in his thrall, but he’s still family. She has no such qualms about killing the Roundhead leader Fea and her twin henchmen, but is she willing to sacrifice herself to do it?
And then there’s George, once the archetypal Cavalier, who now seems to have betrayed both Harriet and the society. It’s hard to be sure about anyone’s true loyalties and harder still to know the right thing to do.
Ivory Terrors concludes the story told in Oxford Blood and Screaming Spires of Harriet French’s time at Oxford and her involvement with an elite vampire society.