Teaser Tuesdays: Hawkspar (again)

Hawkspar almost never made it to print.

The drama started in September 2006, when Holly Lisle’s editor told her that the manuscript was too long. It weighed in at a hefty 190,000 words. So either 55,000 words needed to be cut, which would gut the story, thereby ruining it; or else it would have to be published as two volumes, which would split the story down the middle, thereby ruining it. Then the editor left, and the new editor asked Holly how many galleys she wanted. Joy of all joys; the book was going to press, whole and intact. Except that it wasn’t, not even close.

The old editor, before she disappeared, had gutted the manuscript with a chainsaw, leaving it a reeking mess. So Holly was left back where she started.

But barreling through an emotional exhaustion that probably would have sent me into a depressed resignation to fate, Holly went to bat for Hawkspar. And delay after delay, it did eventually come out, whole and intact. (Comically edited, too, but that’s a different story.) Now that I’m almost finished with the novel, I just want to say: Thank you so much, Holly. This story was certainly worth the battle. I don’t know, as you once said, whether it’s the best story you’ve ever told. I still think it might be second-best, next to Talyn. But you can’t read one without the other, anyhow.

UPDATE: I take that back, about Hawkspar being second-best. Having now finished the last few chapters of Hawkspar, it’s on par with Talyn. They run neck-and-neck, because of the best ending ever. Had me in tears. Incredible.

After reading these two, and mourning that the third book, Redbird, will probably never be written, I have only one comment left:

I so wanna be Tonk!

Today’s teaser, from page 155 (randomly selected by Random.org) of Hawkspar:

As they sailed into the hidden harbor, with the red sun falling into the western sea and bloodying it, he considered that his windmen were exhausted…

He would be sailing from the harbor onward, toward monsters, cannibals, and Jostfar only knew what other nightmares, and he would be doing it on the power of drained windmen and nothing more.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just follow the directions at the “Teaser Tuesdays” post.