I loved writing this.
The Treeman will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first novel. Even if it now feels a little naive round the edges (note to self - find time to go back and edit), it's a bit of a thrill to say 'I have a book in my head' and then actually complete and publish the rascal.
With The River Girl though, something clicked into place and I felt at home. Knowing the characters so well, it was a joy to develop them, test them and throw in some new personalities to keep them all vying for attention. And there was a major difference between the two books.
With the Treeman, there was a distinct plot that happened in real time, but much of the background emerged through revelation, memory and characters discovering each other's history. The River Girl saw the balance go the opposite way - there was still a sense of unpicking the mysteries of the past, but the focus was on the immediate story and it flew along at a pace. It felt fresh and spontaneous, driven by instinct - and that makes for great opportunities. Twists, turns and characters bouncing off each other - in some cases almost literally, with the sensory gifts of treeman Jay and river girl Nixie causing them extraordinary discomfort in close proximity. That was fun to explore.
These are not intended to be deep, profound novels. Each one at its heart is a romp - a romantic tale, resting on a good dollop of intrigue and tension. I'm a storyteller rather than literary, but if you feel impatience as a writer to turn the page and get the words down, you're probably creating something that will make the reader want to turn the page too. At least that's what you hope.
With The River Girl, Nixie's journey as a disruptive force was an intoxicating ride and I'm glad the arc isn't yet complete. The Earth Clan awaits and I'm getting itchy to visit Hanningdon again. Much of the final installment is mapped out, but there's always something hidden in the village that sneaks up on you. It really is a magical place.