Behind the Stories 9: Heart

List of Ursa-eligible stories:

I ended up with a deadline to write this bonus story for “Isolation Play.” I have a standing deal with my readers that when one of my books sells a thousand copies in its first year of release, I will write a bonus story and post it free online. Sofawolf notified me in late summer that IP was poised to hit that threshold, so with the e-book release slated for December, I thought I would try to include the bonus story in that.

There was never any doubt in my mind that the story would be the Hellentown game led up to in the closing chapters of “Isolation Play.” The question was more how the story could be told. I had been thinking about doing one quarter from Lee’s point of view, one from Dev’s, back and forth. And then I looked ahead to OOP3, which I was plotting (and am now writing), and I realized that there was another main-ish character whose viewpoint I could use, since this was technically going to be an outside-the-series story.

So I thought about it from Hal’s point of view, and the more I did that, the more I liked it. I started writing and just didn’t stop. And writing from Hal’s point of view let me do a little more foreshadowing for OOP3 than I would’ve been able to with just Dev and Lee, and it also made for a neat exercise in seeing them from an outsider’s perspective. That was as valuable as it was interesting, because I basically live in their heads when I’m writing, so getting to see them from the outside grounded me as I was moving into the third book, which I started almost immediately after finishing this, so it flowed very well into it.

I was a little worried that going outside of Dev and Lee’s perspectives might be jarring for some people, but reaction to the story was generally very positive. People like Hal.

Hey, maybe he’ll get his own book sometime. :)

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