1) Yes, I’m related to the A.S. Peterson who wrote the swashbuckling adventure tale The Fiddler’s Gun. He’s my brother. He started his two-book epic Fin’s Revolution (which concludes this December in Fiddler’s Green) right about the same time I started On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. He’s three years older than me, and in a bout of brotherly competition we challenged each other to finally get around to writing that book we’d always talked about writing. Mine was The Wingfeather Saga and his was Fin’s Revolution. Mine features sea dragons, three kids, a treasure map and a reformed pirate. His features an orphan girl, the American Revolution, unrequited love, a treasure map, and a reformed pirate. But they’re very different books, I assure you. One big difference is that The Fiddler’s Gun isn’t written for children, but for young adults. There are pretty intense situations, and it’s about real-life sailors who sometimes talk like real-life sailors.
2) I expect there will be five books in The Wingfeather Saga. There’s always the possibility that more could happen in The Monster in the Hollows than I expect, leaving only the fourth book to complete the saga. I don’t possess the genius of J.K. Rowling (and yes, I think she’s a genius), who mapped out all the Harry Potter books meticulously and somehow kept millions of obsessed fans on the edges of their seats (including me). She knew where she was going at every turn, from what I’ve read about her process. Nor am I following my nose. I have in my mind a story arc, along with certain scenes in my mind (one of those being Kalmar’s transformation in North! Or Be Eaten). I’m writing to get to those scenes. There are valleys and mountain ranges between me and the those moments, and getting there is as much an adventure for me as it is the characters in the story. Well, I’m not in mortal danger, so that may not be true.
What about you? What are the mysteries you want solved? What are the questions you want answered? I’m curious because I’m wondering if I posed the questions well enough, and because I want to make sure I tie up all the loose ends I have so cavalierly severed. Heaven forbid I do to my readers what the writers of Lost did to me.