Thanks, Jen, for having me visit! Today sees the release of the standalone version of The Snows of Windroven, which previously appeared in the anthology, Amid the Winter Snow. (The anthology is disappearing today. It might be gone now, but if you hurry, you might be able to grab it still.)
Many of you have already read this novella in the anthology—and a whole bunch of you have preordered the standalone! It’s for the cover, right?
Yeah, I thought so.
The cover was fun to put together because it’s my first with the hero taking front and center. And the story is much the same way: this is the first time one of the heroes of the Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books has had the exclusive first-person point of view (POV). I’ve done some bits and pieces. In Negotiation we get a young Uorsin’s POV in third person. And Heart’s Blood has both Nix and Cavan’s POVs in alternating third person. Otherwise, it’s all about what the heroines see, think and do—and we learn about the heroes through them.
So, why for this novella did I decide to continue Ash and Ami’s story from The Tears of the Rose (the second novel in the overall arc) and why in Ash’s POV?
1) Ami’s story was the most difficult, not only because she is not at all admirable or likable to begin with. Her arc goes from having the fairy tale happy-ever-after (HEA) to deep grief to finding love again, which is not at all the usual storyline.
2) Ash is possibly the most enigmatic of all my heroes. He retreats into brooding silence, even without his monk’s vow to enforce it, and he has a dark and tortured past that he doesn’t like to talk about.
3) Though Ash and Ami are mirrors of each other under the skin, they’re very unlike on the surface. They have the most uneven rank and station in life. Their HEA ends up being the most uncertain, mostly because they have so many unresolved issues.
4) Because of the overall arc, I couldn’t pursue Ash and Ami’s relationship past their reunion at the end of The Tears of the Rose. The story had to be handed off to the eldest sister, Ursula, who couldn’t see what happened with Ash and Ami. I’ve often thought of writing the novella of what happened with Ash and Ami during that time. I still might.
5) The timing was perfect! I knew that Ash and Ami had taken the twins to celebrate the midwinter festival, the Feast of Moranu, at Castle Windroven. The anthology, which was Thea Harrison’s brainchild, called for a midwinter holiday story. It seemed the perfect opportunity to at last force Ash and Ami to resolve their relationship.
6) It had to be Ash’s POV because the heavy-lifting belonged to him. Ami already made her major character changes. By the end of The Tears of the Rose, she’s grown considerably. Ash, however, has yet to face the demons that drive him.
7) Because Ash is a great character and I wanted to spend some time with him.
What do you all think? From what I saw you were all really happy to get this “finish” on Ami and Ash’s tale. Who else needs more of their story told?
*previously published on That's What I'm Talking About in 2018*
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