Writing the second book in this series has some positives and negatives. There are things that I want to do with the book, but I have to balance keeping the fans and readers interested along the way. So many readers fell in love with Alex along the way with Kathryn, and they eagerly anticipate their reunion in book 2. But I will hint to a spoiler that there is some unexpected good news that will bring them back together, it can't be accomplished so easily or else we'd all get bored with the story.
So when I wrote The Swallow, it was a stand-alone novel in the first draft and Kathryn and Alex did end up together. But I got bored with the progression of the story, and it seemed to be so tidy. I wanted more suspense and to draw out the relationship. But by drawing it out, I had to create separation and distance between the romantic couple. So I know the end goal for this novel, and I believe most of my readers will be very happy, but we have to go on the rollercoaster of thrills to get to the satisfying end. I struggle with the boundaries that my readers will accept without getting too pissed off with Kathryn or for that matter Alex. I don't know about you, but books that I love are books that are filled with characters the frustrate me, make me laugh and bring me emotionally along with them on their journey with the other characters. I do not usually love everything about my characters, it wouldn't be an accurate picture of a complex person, for the characters to have no flaws. But some flaws are fatal for readers. Some readers must not have screwed up as badly as I have because I can't write off characters for being selfish, spoiled, bitchy, adulterous, deceptive, and a whole host of other bad acts. Because I'm not perfect, my characters aren't either.
I heard and excellent verse in church today from Proverbs about friendship:
Proverbs 27:6 "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." NIV
Relationships are messy, and we hurt each other, but that usually means we are invested, and care, easy and pampering only comes from those that don't care about you as a person. So my characters are sincere friends, and they hurt each other. They are real, they screw up, they are conflicted, they are selfish, and many times well-intentioned but act wrong.
Another spoiler is that I plan on including Alex's Point of View. I am still working out how it will occur if it will be in a few chapters or if I will include a separate book with just his perspective. But for those of you who LOVE Alex and want to know what he's thinking about when he looks at Kathryn when he leans down to kiss her when he wants to reach out and hold her, you'll get it. Just not sure how much you will get.