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I’m not gonna lie, this series put me through the wringer. It meant a lot to me. Emer’s healing journey was something very important to me to explore, but it was unexpectedly hard. It took me five years to write. Book 1 was easy to write. Book 2 took a while. Book 3 nearly broke me. I’ve never spent so long staring at a screen, begging to know what happened next. This was a much more serious book than any I’ve written before, dealing with some very serious subject matter, but at the same time, it felt like it was the truest thing I’ve ever written.
It was as much a surprise to me as it was to anyone else. I didn’t see that ending coming. I had a completely different ending planned, but as each scene unfolded, painstakingly slow, it felt right. The ending feels so incredibly life-affirming to me. It reminds me that there is always hope. That bad things happen, but that good things happen, too. It reminds me that we are all worthy of love and happiness. It reminds me to set big goals and dream big dreams, because we are always capable of doing great things, even when it’s hard. When it’s hard is when everything becomes a great thing. Three years of disability has taught me that.
The series wasn’t even intended to be a romance. I wrote the whole of Book 1 and wrote a 50,000 word draft of Book 2 before Caradoc came swinging in through the window. Then I went back and wrote a completely different Book 1 and a completely different Book 2, because Caradoc’s appearances was one of those moments that comes like a spark from heaven.
Emer’s relationship with her sister always carried an undercurrent of tension. Emer refuses to see anything but perfection in Elisabeth. Elisabeth knows that she isn’t worthy of Emer’s adulation, and acts out to cover her shame by putting Emer down. Emer’s love for her sister puts her into such a vulnerable position that she internalises the words Elisabeth uses against her until they become the truth that guides her world. How many of us have let the words that others use against us be our guide?
The triumph of the series wasn’t Emer’s victory over Maldwyn, or her victory over her enemies. Her triumph was when she saw herself for who she truly is, all her power, all her faults, all her good points, and set herself free from the prison of other people’s words.
I hope you enjoyed The Umbra Chronicles and I look forward to sharing more stories with you!
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