I started plotting out the book in November of 2017, at the same time as my editor was working on “The Fire Sword”. I wrote the last scene in the book around January of 2018, while I was still working on a contract case at the law firm. The idea came to me as I was driving along a freeway in Oakland, California. At the time it struck me a deeply moving scene and I had to stop and write a brief outline as soon as I arrived at the parking garage. I thought “I’ve got at least one great scene in the book, there is hope!”
I began the actual writing in March of 2018 and I nearly finished the battle in Flame Iris Temple by July when I ran into a problem. This delayed me for more than a month as I tried to work out the implications with “the problem”. Finally I resolved to kill one of my favorite characters and continued going.
In February of 2019 I finished a rough draft and printed two copies. One went to my youngest son. Family matters occupied my attention for three months and finally my son read it and suggested some changes. The changes were significant and I ended up removing an entire plot line and about 70,000 words while I expanded the role of a different (Miri Kirdar).
I went on a “writing cruise”, and I moved, while the re-write proceeded. The second revised draft was done by November of 2019. Further editing, revisions, and here we are, the end of March of 2020 – it is done!
Some additional thoughts: there is more that could be said both with this story and these characters. I feel a sense of accomplishment now that the third book is done, but also a sense that the story is not complete. I spent four years working on this series and so I am going to work on something new for a while.