At long last, the Freelancer series is complete. FAI, Kari's finale, is launching this weekend, just shy of a year since Freelancer was first published. It's crazy to think that this will be the third book I have published when a year and a half ago, I wasn't certain if I'd ever publish a novel.
The last year has been filled with many learning experiences, from editing and honing my skill as an author, to learning about the business side of publishing. There are too many lessons to share in a single blog post, but I think I'll write more on those lessons in the future. For now, the most important thing I've learned is patience with the process. Publishing books is hard and slow. Writing the first draft of the novel isn't very difficult, spend a few months writing a couple of thousand words a day and in no time you'll have a story.
After that it's the endless editing, handling feedback, paying for covers and professional editing, and eventually struggling to find people who want to read your hard work, that actually take the most patience.
That being said writing is an amazing experience that I recommend to everyone. As long as you are ready to be patient and don't want to make tons of cash. =) Freelancer has sold about 2,000 copies at this point and has yet to turn a profit. The Unseen has sold even less, but I still consider the books a great success. The reviews are strong and people out there love the story and characters which makes it all worth it.
Anyways, back to the big news at hand. FAI is launching this week! Every book in the series is unique and was an accomplishment in its own right. I set out to write a story about a different kind of Young Adult protagonist, one with strong technical skills, and I think I accomplished that. I was also committed to having each book the series be self-contained without any cliff hangers, and I also hit that goal.
A good format to talk about the book is a QA, so here are some self-interview thoughts about the final novel in the Freelancer series.
Q. The Unseen picked up a few months after Freelancer, what's the time gap between books this time and what has Kari been up to?
A. It's been a while since The Unseen. Well over a year and Kari has been busy. At the end of the last book Kari wanted to take some of the concepts of Valhalla that she admired and turn those into a place of good instead. This gave her the idea to start a school with Motorcad that would rectify the problems of her own education, as well as solve the false promises of Valhalla.
And we know that Kari is very good at achieving her goals, so that's what she's been up to. Trying to stay hidden from the government while setting up a school is tricky though.
Q. As you look over the series, and FAI in particular, what are you most proud of?
A. I really wanted to write something that was different than the blockbuster YA novels and I think I accomplished that. I also wanted to show people that creation and coding can be fulfilling, fun, and ultra-cool. Hopefully, I succeeded in inspiring people to think about the possibilities of tech/code in the future.
As far as FAI is concerned I'm quite pleased with how the novel turned out overall. More than the previous novels, this book needed to be tightened and refined. There were so many things I wanted to pour into this novel that it took a lot of discipline to keep it focused and on track. Don't think that means this book is lacking in content, in fact, it's the longest of the series by word count, it just really moves.
Q. You say this is the end of the series . . . are you sure?
A. I think so. I've told the story that I set out to tell at the start of the series and I'm very happy with how everything landed at the end. Some people might not agree with me, but I think Kari deserves a rest after all she's been through.
I'd actually love to write more in the Freelancer universe, so maybe someday the right story will come to mind and we'll see Kari again. But for now, I just hope everyone loves the final book in the series as much as I do!