Dahveed II took much longer to write than anticipated, principally because I didn't know where the book began and where it ended for a very long time. It wasn't until after I'd written book four, that I was able to identify the major breaking points in Dahveed's life, and tailor the books to that. The publisher was very patient while the manuscript alternately grew and shrank as I tried to find the place to end it.
Once the period of Dahveed's life was determined, I faced the task of keeping myself on track as I told the story. Book one had a very straightforward story line, but book two not only continued the story line, but introduced many new characters---with story lines of their own---and planted many "hooks" for future books in the series. Things became tangled very quickly as I juggled using "hooks" from book one, creating "hooks" for book three and beyond, told Dahveed's story, Jonathan's story, Michal's story, stories for new characters . . . I do not think I could have done it with any coherency without the expert help of my agent, Lee Hough of Alive Communications. His comments and critique were invaluable as well as his recommendation of the book Story by Robert McKee.
I spent a great deal of time learning what tools I needed in order to write Dahveed's story as a series, then learning to use those tools. I was, however, happy with the results. And it was a very good thing I learned it all because when I began thinking about editing book three, I realized I would need every tool I'd learned, and would probably have to invent some more!
Research had slowed considerably, giving me time to concentrate on editing and writing,
but it never stops completely. If I find something that is relevant to the part of
Dahveed's story I haven't done yet, I will take notes
on it and add them in. Colleagues at work will often pass along notes of sources they
have found which I might find useful, and I've been alerted to several additional books
by my editor, Gerald Wheeler. The story keeps getting richer with each source, and I
hope I've passed that richness on to the readers.