The ending: I remember one of the notes my editor gave me in her first editorial letter for this book was to slow down at the end. She'd said that the pace felt leisurely generally and so the short ending seemed rushed. It was a pleasure really to take some more time and allow all the loose threads to twist together.
Britta's lie: This is the part that I get the most complaints about for this book. What do you think about Britta's behavior? Do you understand why she did what she did? Was Miri right to forgive her? How did you feel about the outcome? (ps. there will be fallout from this in Palace of Stone)
"Maybe Mount Eskel didn't need a princess, just an academy.": I felt shy about writing that line. That's the kind of conclusion that means more if the reader arrives at it herself rather than a character saying it outright. But it felt true to me that Miri and Britta would have that conversation. I felt like they needed to acknowledge it among themselves.
Olana: By writing with a close third person narrator, we only know as much as Miri knows. It takes till the last chapter for Olana to open up a little.
Peder holds her hand: Nothing we write is ever wasted. I wrote a middle grade book several years before The Goose Girl which hasn't and never will be published. At the end of the book, the boy takes the girl's hand. That moment stuck with me and I borrowed it for the end of this book. (My favorite moment in Enna Burning I also stole from one of my never-will-be-published short stories.)
"the miri flowers were already blooming": Choked up a little reading the last line!
Alysa asks, "If I bring my copy of Scapegoat to a Palace of Stone signing, will you sign it?" Of course! I love that book! Check out my events page for book tour locations.
Savanna asks, "Do you prefer handwritten notes and drafts or working on the computer better? And what are your thoughts on choosing titles for your books?" I started writing my first novel when I was 10, which was also the year our family got our first computer (an Apple IIe). I think my brain is hardwired to write on a keyboard. My fingers and wrist hurts writing longhand. Titles are so important. Some come naturally, some I have to search and fight for. Sometimes titles come very late after much debate and dozens of suggestions. On my site, I'll post a list of all the titles we considered for Palace of Stone, but here are a few that were almost the title: Lady of the Princess, The Robber Princess, Crown Breaker, and Miri of Mount Eskel.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me! Next week: more fun stuff, with a contest the week after.