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Order of the Books

One of the advance readers of The General's Mistress asked if I deliberately referenced things in Hand of Isis in the new book -- that for example Elza's dress at the party where she first meets Michel is exactly like the one Charmian is wearing in Hand of Isis for the disastrous proposal dinner with Agrippa. Did I do it on purpose, she asks?

Well, yes and no! It's absolutely intentional that both gowns are the same. That's the kind of thing that most readers won't notice consciously, but it reminds you of the other scene. It sticks in the back of your mind. And no, most people won't actually remember that, any more than most people deliberately notice the cinematography in a scene in their favorite tv show is set up exactly like a shot two seasons ago when the character first grappled with this, but it's there in the backs of their minds.

However, the order is backwards! I started The General's Mistress before I wrote Black Ships and completed it before I wrote Hand of Isis. So the scene goes the other way -- the one in Hand of Isis was written to match the one in The General's Mistress, not the other way around! I wrote Agrippa knowing that he would be Michel.

The actual order of writing them is as follows:

Black Ships
The General's Mistress
Hand of Isis
The Emperor's Companion
Stealing Fire
The Marshal's Lover
the next Elza book that doesn't have a firm title yet, possibly The Courtesan's War

Again, the scene with Lydias and Hephaistion in Stealing Fire was written after The Emperor's Companion, as was Lydias' oathtaking scene in Babylon. So it's a lot more complex than it appears!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 19th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
So, do you have a system for keeping track of all these details, or is your memory just that insanely good? Some days I have trouble remembering what I wrote three chapters ago, never mind three books ago....
Sep. 19th, 2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Er, no system. I just remember it. *hangs head*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )