Thursday, March 29, 2007

First Spark

I'd been set against writing a blog. Everyone seemed to be doing one. And the most interesting things I'll ever have to say are, I hope, to be found in my books. I'm sure you don't want to know what I'm thinking of having for dinner or exactly why I've got myself in knots over a particular character in chapter 8. Or how many words I did (or didn't) write today.

Even the name put me off. Blog. It just doesn't sound like the kind of place you'd want to spend time in. I'd thought about a Spark Gap, the title of my first book. Then I read about Anna Wintour (editor-diva of Vogue and the inspiration for ice-crone Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada) instructing her minions (in Miranda-like tones) to find another name, NOW please, because she just cannot bear that horrible, graceless word 'blog'. It's probably the one and only time in my life I'll ever share a thought with Anna Wintour.

A Spark Gap sounded good: a space in the ether where odd sparks of news and thoughts could fly back and forth. And since I've been getting so many emails full of questions about the books, I realised it was just contrary not to create one. So I changed my mind.

I might be the most infrequent and unreliable poster - or should that be sparker? Life is very busy. But I'll do my best.

I've had so many fantastic emails with lots of questions since Zenith was published last month, so for anyone else who is wondering, the answer is YES. There is another book after Zenith and I'm working hard on it now. There shouldn't really have been a third - I was determined not to write a trilogy. Everyone seems to be doing one. But the story was too fascinating to let me stop. It was haunting my imagination, waking me up at night. There is a very good reason (to do with 'story arcs' and how stories work) why an epic tale like mine probably works best in three parts. So I changed my mind - not least because if I'd published it all as one book you'd need a wheelbarrow to cart it around in, which, as Anna or Miranda would tell you, is not a great look.

So the story will continue in....


Unless I change my mind.


PS - one or two of you seem to think that Mara has a nice, tidy, happy-ever-after ending in Zenith? Like the pic at the top of this post? Are you absolutely sure about that?


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear another book will follow Zenith. I hope the main characters, especially Fox and Mara, get back together. When will this third installment get to Canada?

Julie Bertagna said...

Hi, I'm still writing the third book - working very hard on it. I'll keep people posted on publication dates as soon as I can. As far as I know, the books are published simultaneously in UK, Canada and Commonwealth countries and will soon be published in the US - more on that later.

I've been inundated with pleas and questions about Mara and Fox for the last five years but I couldn't possibly do a spoiler on that! Not even a hint....

Kristen said...

I waited a long time for the sequel to Exodus, my favourite book, and was absolutely overjoyed when I found it at Chapters (their website said it was to be released later on in Canada). So I read it, and I've got to tell you that no piece of literature, movie, newspaper story... nothing... has moved me the way Zenith did. I tend to dwell on things, and I was beyond crying for a while.
Now I'm really happy to know that there's another book coming, because I thought with the way you'd set up the ending of Zenith, that story was over. :D:D:D
Anyways, thank you so much for producing novels like Exodus and Zenith. They really change the way you look at the world. I've got my friends reading the three available copies of Exodus we have right now, and we're eagerly awaiting the next one, no matter how long it takes.

Anonymous said...

Wow when i first read Exodus i was like, God this is good and it lead me to think could this happen to us one day? It is by far one of the best books i have ever read.
And when i read Zenith i so wanted Mara and Fox to get back together, but after reading the end of Zenith, it looks like the third is going to be a very diferent story. But i cant wait for the thrid to come out. Good Luck =]

Anonymous said...

I really loved Zenith and I have heaps of questions.
What will happen to the Pirates, will they take over the place where they battled the evil slavers of Ilira.Will there be justice for what happened.
Are they collecting people for another Sky City?
How has all this stuff survived for 80 years floating, guns and gunpowder working etc?
Where are the other ships and who is sailing them.I hope they make it.
I hope they can salvage the Arkiel.
Fox,Rowan and Mara.. what will they all do..

Anonymous said...

I'm really happy to hear that there's a third book coming out,because after reading Zenith,my mind was filled with so many questions about the characters.So hopefully they'll be answered in the upcoming book!It's amazing how these books have opened my eyes to what the world might become if we don't stop the effects of climate change.I live on the very urbanised island of Singapore,and,well,it's just got me thinking-what if my home was drowned like the island of Wing one day?

Julie Bertagna said...

Hi there. Thanks for the great comments and questions here - thanks also to all the people who have emailed me. I'm delighted that so many people are looking forward to the third book, which will be called AURORA (unless I change my mind....)

So many of you are asking very important questions; not just about the characters and what is going to happen to them (it's difficult for me to answer most of your questions without spoiling the next book, so I will just have to risk infuriating you and let you wonder). But you also ask the biggest question of all:

'What about the real world? What is going to happen to our future? Could this happen to me?'

It's the most important question of our time. I can't answer it. I wish I could. But as more and more people, especially young people, confront these questions and change the way they look at the world - well, that is the best hope of all for the future, because you are the people who are going to have to deal with the mess that my generation, and those before me, may have left you in.

You may well be the most important generation ever.

That's not meant to give you nightmares! Remember the strong thread of hope that runs through Exodus and Zenith because, as well as being the most destructive species on Earth, humankind is also the most stunningly creative and ingenious of all....

More on this very soon (I promise).

As to the question about how 'stuff' survives in a drowned world - you will have seen in this summer's horrendous floods in England, and in the vast monsoon floods across Asia which continue to kill thousands, that people grab what they can, whatever is useful and precious, whatever they can reach. Possessions are flung in boats, in dinghies, are stashed somewhere out of reach of the floods, to be recovered later, hopefully, by someone....

All kinds of 'stuff' (and people) survive.