A Wiener! Also The Story of The End: or Why I Hung You Off A Cliff

Hello folks!

Obviously everyone and their mother has been in touch about the ending of book five, so I thought I’d share with you the story of how that ending evolved.

The interesting thing is that Tempest’s Fury wasn’t supposed to end that way.

Instead, I’d had a neat, pat ending that would have resolved everything. In the original version, book five ended with everyone alive and well and the person who became the White was the person everyone expected.

And that was how the outline read until the very second I sat down to write it. I read over my outline and started writing along with it, just like I always do.

But then my brain said, “Nope, that’s not how this book ends.”

I said, “Yes it is. It’s right there! In your outline!”

Fortunately, the brain wasn’t having it. “That ending sucks. Can’t you see that?”

“It does not suck! It’s awesome! And it wraps everything up!”

And that was the problem, as my brain proceeded to reveal to me. That ending did wrap everything up. It was entirely expected, and exactly what “should” happen. There were, however, two problems with ending a book with what “should” happen:

1) It was boring.

2) It left me up shit creek for book six.

Basically my plan for book six went something like this:

  • Figure some shit out.
  • Battle some shit.
  • Jane wins.

And that’s all I had. When I would actually devote some brain power to figuring out what the shit was they’d figure out and/or battle, I really couldn’t come up with much. I’d tell myself I wasn’t writing the book yet, that such details would come when I started focusing.

But sitting there, about to write an ending that was all neat and clean, I realized that the problem I’d set up with that “neat” ending was one of stakes. There were none.

Indeed, the reason I couldn’t figure out what would go down is because I hadn’t set myself up for anything to go down. At least not anything that really mattered. It’d be another book in which Jane figured stuff out with the help of her friends.

Book six, however, couldn’t be just another book, because it was the last book. Since the beginning, when I wrote six columns to plan a six book arc for this series, I knew Jane had to start the series one way, and end it another way. She had to be a true hero by book six.

All of which made it obvious what had to happen. Jane had to face book six alone, without the people who had become her crutches. Only then could Jane become whom she is, my very Nietzschean desire for our little halfling.

After I realized this, I denied it. I said to myself, “That’s ridiculous. You can’t do that to everyone. It’s too intense. People hate cliffhangers. They like nice, easy books that don’t hurt.” So I went back to my original outline and I started writing.

Again, the writing sucked. But I persevered, and wrote another few hundred words before I finally gave up. Keep in mind that all of this was happening while I was in London, staying in my little flat in Bloomsbury that I love so much. I can’t remember exactly, but I think my friend had gone back to York a few days before to tend to his cat, although he definitely returned that day. But I know I was alone when I realized all of this. So, naturally, I thought I had lost my fucking mind. I kept getting up and cleaning things, as I do when I’m distressed, saying to myself, “This would change everything! It’s huge! You’d give everyone a heart attack and you’d totally destroy book six!”

Then, somewhere between scrubbing the toilet and snaking the drain, I realized that the ending I was envisioning didn’t ruin book six, it gave me book six. Suddenly, I had stakes. Suddenly, I had a way for Jane to demonstrate how much she’s grown and just what she’s capable of. Knocking away her crutches was going to hurt, but it was necessary.

Not that I didn’t still think I was crazy. So I called my agent, spending massive amounts of money to be told I was not, indeed, insane. And as I told her my new idea, it all made perfect sense. I suddenly had the ending–the ending that had to be, the ending that gave me a springboard from which to write an amazing book six.

And book six, if I say so myself, is amazing. We see Jane become herself, using her own, special strengths in ways that defy all the powers that be and that make her a true champion.

Coming into her own could not have happened if I hadn’t ended book five the way I did. My friend returned that afternoon to find me a babbling mess as I told him I was changing everything. He nodded sagely, then nipped out to the comic shops because I may have been gibbering and he was giving me time to write. Then he returned early, and kept trying to talk to me as I finished that ending. I threatened to eviscerate him, and he shut up. Then I wrote and wrote and maybe cried and then I knew I had an amazing book.

A book that might not be easy, and might not be wrapped up in a neat little package. But I can show just what Jane is made of in book six, Tempest Reborn.

I think you’re going to like our evolved, independent Jane. I know I do.

*************************

And now, our wiener! First of all, I can’t even begin to count how many times I cried reading all your GORGEOUS comments about Jane and the series. I am a weeper, to begin with, but you guys are seriously THE most amazing fans a girl could have. Jane feels loved, I feel loved, and she and I love you guys right back. I wish I could give ALL of you a present, but authors don’t make that much money anymore. ;) So without further ado, the completely randomly chosen wiener is:

TENAYA!

Yey Tenaya! Email me at iheartselkies@gmail.com with your choice of five massmarket paperbacks and your address and I’ll have them Amazoned to you!

 

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35 Responses to “A Wiener! Also The Story of The End: or Why I Hung You Off A Cliff”


  • reading this, the ending does make more sense.. lol.. cannot wait until book 6.. when?? and i hope she gets her man back!!

    ohh and congrats to the winner!

  • Shira Windschitl

    Yes, I understand and nod like a bobble head doll. But DUDE! That was the most unexpected thing EVER. And truly upsetting… but that is a good thing. Books that make you made and want to cry are always the best.

  • Stephanie Miller

    After reading this post I now understand why you ripped my heart out at the end of book 5. You just saved yourself from being hounded at AADNOLA. My friends and I still plan on stalking you, but it will be a much more pleasant chat! And by stalking i mean showing you our fangirl love!

  • Thanks! And it was unexpected for me, too, believe me! I honestly came up with that ending, and then totally dismissed it like ten times. Then scrubbed the flat. Then freaked out. Then called my agent. LOL But in the end it just made sense.

    I think that a lot of people assume authors write cliffhangers to sell more books, but I had honestly planned a nice, neat ending. But with really character driven series like mine, how DO you wrap things up in a book when you need to have something to sink your teeth in for the next one? Especially when it's the penultimate book? That needs a big ole suntin' suntin' for teeth sinkin.' ;)

  • Yup I figured as much, although it was heart-breaking… Not so much the Anyan part, as much as the Blondie part, but I do believe it was brilliant. I also believe that during the series you are entitled to do whatever you want with your endings… But when you reach the final book that is going to end the series for real, you then need to have as you described "neat" ending for the sake of your readers, otherwise, go crazy lol! It's your book and as long as the story is tight, I don't mind a cliff hanger, cause there's a next book to help me recover. No one will write your books better than you and as a reader I have utter trust in your line of thought. Thank you, it's been a while since I last read a book that had it all… Reading Tempest's Fury was a wonderful experience. I thank you again for the explanation. You rock XOXO

  • I have to admit, at first I hated you just a little bit for the ending. Then I got over it when I thought about how amazingly awesome 6 will be, even though I have wait. Thanks for the amazing reads!!

  • ****Spoiler Kind of*******
    OK I actually expected that ending. The whole time, I kept thinking isn't he the baddest "Mother Hush your mouth" around. BUT I was still not prepared for the heart break. Literally sobbed for Jane. Such good writing fun, silly, and still rang of honesty. Way not to take the easy path. I have no ideas of how this will end well for out little True boo.

  • holy shit! i won:) yay me! i cannot wait for Tempest Reborn…i know you will make me wait decades, okay not decades but it will feel like it. i do know that it will be well worth the wait. Jane FuhEva!

  • I just finished reading. Ordinarily I'd be a pit peevish about the cliffhanger, but this was actually a really good one and it raises the stakes SOOOOOOOOOO much for the last book. You know, I'd have been invested in the story anyway, because I've been there all along, but I care so much about the outcome because you made me care about the characters. I'm devastated for Jane, but so interested in her character's arc. Fantastic!!

  • OMG!!!!

    I totally bawled like a baby and had to take a double dose of my blood pressure medicine!

    But I no your such an awesome writer, so I have faith all is not lost between Anyan and Jane!!!!

    What I really want to no is that if book 6 is the last…… WTF am I Gunna read now????? LOL Please tell me you have something just as totall awesome in store for us!!!!!!!

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks for having faith, I think you'll find it's well rewarded in book six. ;) But don't let my books kill you! LOL And I am working on a few things, but can't say much about them yet. Thanks for asking, though!

  • I have to say, I did a big "NOT FAIR NICOLE!" when I read the ending. To take away Anyan AND Blondie,so unfair….but you're right, she doesn't need her crutches anymore. It was apparent that Jane is growing into her own the last 2 books. I hope you have a nice twist to give her back Anyan because I keep thinking to myself what kind of inner monologue will Jane have about chopping Anyan up into kibble…and if she does, which parts will she keep for herself *wink* So many questions and too long to have to wait for answers! Why do publishers make us wait a year?? Damn them….

    • LOL I know, it is a long time. But books also do take a long time, as I've learned. There are lots of rounds of edits and copyedits and page proofs and blah blah blah that goes on. So they're not JUST torturing you. ;) Although they might be torturing you a little. ;)

  • To be honest, I just came here because I've been somewhat catatonic for the past two days. I was so heartbroken because the ending, gut wrenching as it is, doesn't feel gratuitous in any way (and this implacability makes it all the more heartbreaking) and given Jane's journey until now, the most awesome ending I could wish to see is set up for book six.

    I'm also sad that I haven't been able to read this book more slowly, God, I've been waiting for it all year, I was rolling around in my bed in pure ecstasy even before I got to the frisky parts. Thank you again for writing such a brilliant series!

  • all i have to saay is that was oe of the best cliff hangers since km moning in the fever series. i am in such shock i don't know what to read next

  • My sister always asks me why people have to die in books and my reply is always that it makes you appreciate those who live. Shit happens in real life and if you don't feel some kind of pain you can't appreciate the better parts. I think it's the same in books. Especially in book 5. Lucky for me, GR forewarned me about the cliffie so I knew one was coming and I survived (plus, thank you for the sexy chapter of epic). I'm excited to see Jane grow and face this new broken world that she will have to confront. You rock, Nicole! I wish I could be in NOLA to fangirl you, but my friends have promised to do so for me. :) Happy writing!

    • Exactly, Jen! Art needs to have the same stakes that life does, otherwise it's booooring. And I LOVE that "sexy chapter of epic." I think everyone's been so bowled over by the ending, no one has talked about that chapter! It's like it never happened! LOL So it's nice to hear at least SOMEONE read that part. ;) And very cool about your friends, feel free to send them something for me to sign if you'd like.

      • I think that we all were just too in shock from the ending that we forgot that "sexy chapter of epic". lol. I do love how you can take a romantic piece in the book that is supposed to be sexual and turn it into comedy. I nearly died laughing from "I'll show you doggie style". hahahahahaha. Died I tell you.

  • I literally JUST finished Tempest Fury. And I think I'm still in a state of shock. I reread the entire series while on vacation and I'm just glad that I didn't reach the end of book 5 until I was safely home. I think I would have ruined the family vacation with my state of depression. With that said…that was one hell of an awesome book. I completely understand the ending, even if I did cry over it. Anyan and Blondie…that was hard to take. Jane has to stand on her own to become who she really is destined to be. Tempest Reborn cannot be published quick enough. I may actually barricade myself in a closet so no one interrupts me. I'm really looking forward to finding out how things wrap up and hoping like crazy that Jane gets happiness in the end…and that Anyan is part of it.

  • It's 1:52Am and I stayed up because I just had to know how Tempest Fury ended. Now that I know, how can i possibly go to sleep. I read the last words and said oh no she didn't, then immediately came to your site to find a release date for book 6. the waiting is going to be hard.

  • I loved the ending for Tempest's Fury.
    It stunned me, but had that inevitable feeling, which makes for the perfect ending.
    When it rings true, the cliffhanger ending can be an amazing thing.

  • I am a serial re-reader of books, especially when I'm waiting for the next installment of a series. But I just can't make myself go beyond book four! I bought book five on Kindle pretty much as soon as it was released and devoured it the same night, but I don't think I'll be able to revisit it until six comes out. And even then, maybe not until I know if everything will be ok!

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