When I was outlining this book, the idea of Ani taking care of the king's geese reminded me of an old story from The Book of Mormon where a privileged young man named Ammon decides to leave home and go offer himself as a servant to a king in another land. He's put with other servants to guard the king's sheep and dramatically defends them from sheep hustlers. That story gave me the idea for this bit, a way to show her progressing skill with the wind and a reason for Conrad to go to the king. (Conrad reporting to the king is from the original tale, and I tried to keep as many of those events as possible.)
256, the windstorm
This passage is an example of where the point-of-view pulls back slightly and tells us a little of what the thieves are feeling. The narrator usually follows Ani, knowing and seeing what she knows, but generally is a half step back and can observe and understand slightly more than she can. And sometimes the narrator can speculate on what others are feeling. This narrator isn't omniscient--but it's just not as close to the main character as other third person narrators I've written, like in Princess Academy, for example. For the more epic scope of this novel, this style felt appropriate to me.
The war song
I'd forgotten about this song. I've been busy lately with the third Princess Academy, writing new songs for the chapter heads. I guess I started the book song writing earlier than I remembered.
Fear! Night! Running!
I don't have anything to say here. I just like this.
Aquinnah asks, "in River Secrets, you introduce Dasha, one of my absolute favorite characters. Have you ever considered writing a book from her perspective (I would love to see what she REALLY thinks about Enna...)?" Yes, but truthfully I've considered writing lots of different Bayern books. I don't know that it will happen, at least not any time soon.
Erica asks, "Is Dasha the only redhead on the continent?" No, but there are no redheads in Bayern.
Lacee asks, "I'm in love with fairy tales because of all the possibility that they represent, all of the magic in them. I was wondering if you were drawn to adapt these tales for the same reasons, or were there others?" Depends on the tale. Usually I pick a tale to retell because I find beauty and mystery in it and am haunted with enough questions that I feel a lot of energy to explore it. A tale like Rapunzel I tackled because it irritated me so much I couldn't let it lie.
ilikefish asks, "