Let’s forget our political woes for the moment, and get down to the important stuff – where am I with the third novel in Malmaxa? Namely, Vengeance Cost.
Well, I could lie, and say Vengeance Cost is going great. Or, I could lie and say I’m struggling. Though it goes against everything I am as a man, I won’t lie (but I console myself in this by keeping my lips firmly pressed together as I type – they aren’t moving, therefore I’m not lying…). Vengeance Cost is going … OK.
I have already defined the main threads, and even written the first 44 pages of the story. So, I just lied – Malmaxa really writes itself – there, I feel better already :). Don’t hold your breath though, there is a massive amount of work to be done before Vengeance Cost approaches readiness for release. That said, things are definitely getting faster. Beltamar’s War took me about two years (after literally a lifetime of dreaming about it), The Pilgrimage took just over a year, so perhaps Vengeance Cost will be out in less than a year? I don’t think so, though hope springs eternal.
One of the things I’m doing as I work on Vengeance Cost is re-reading both Beltamar’s War and The Pilgrimage to ensure continuity. A side effect of that is that I will be releasing a revised edition of The Pilgrimage – I know this is hard to believe, but I’ve actually found several sentences that are currently beneath my already low standards. The paperback version of The Pilgrimage will be released with that revision.
In case you’re wondering, the title of the third novel in Malmaxa was set to be “The Un-Matched Prophet”. As with many things Malmaxa, that changed on a fateful impulse. Though I won’t say what that impulse was, for fear of spoiling things for my readers, I will say this:-
I find that much beloved, and often visited, perception, “Sometimes you must do the wrong thing, for the right reason”, to be fatally flawed. Wrong, is wrong. Though the perpetrator of wrong might eventually find their way to right, there is invariably a better path to justice than the one that leads through wrong. Evil’s taint becomes increasingly tolerable, with each exposure…
Still, the reasons that good people do bad things are compelling. Poor behavior is almost endlessly fascinating. Since Malmaxa is a thinly veiled look at real life, not even its best characters are exempt from poor choices and disastrous decisions.
Does vengeance have a cost? Indeed, it does and in Malmaxa, multiple paths lead toward vengeance. The question must therefore be – To which thread in my written tapestry does the title refer, and what price will the capricious Gods levy for its satisfaction?