I never thought this book would meet the eyes of readers, but it turned out my eldest baby has a mind of his own and is determined to use it. The first draft of The Crystal Lattice was written when I was a twenty-one year old college student with too much time on her hands during summer break. It was written on scraps of paper while solo camping in the Ozarks, on napkins during midnight Steak n Shake runs, and eventually on my bulky old desktop PC. It was a disaster. My narrator aimlessly wandered about the wilderness for something like 150 pages before figuring out what he should be doing, and then I couldn't figure out the ending so I gave up and filed it away.
A few years after college I was working a temp job in Kansas and was struck by an epiphany about how to finish the book, which I hadn't thought about in years. I pitched my thoughts to a coworker, who was almost as excited as I was. He ended up being my first reader and the person I tossed ideas at to help solidify them in my head. A few weeks later, the second draft was complete. It was horrible, but we both saw potential in it. I filed it away for a while since I was inspired to write Echoes of Oblivion, then Mayfly Requiem, then Shadows of Absolution.
Twelve years after walking away from the abomination of a first draft, here I am completing it again. It has been completely rewritten twice, edited, reedited, filed away and found again, names have been changed, characters have been dropped, and the heart of the story has been discovered and embraced. A lot has happened in those twelve years - college graduation, jobs, several out-of-state moves, a marriage and three children, diagnoses and illnesses and injuries - but I wanted to preserve Tesji's young voice, a challenge as my thirty-something voice often tried to take over and delete some of immaturity essential to the character.
Those who have already read my other books may be interested to find that The Crystal Lattice is where the Aulors and Web lore originated. The first five Malora books were written well-after this one. Someone told me that my little fable about the fall of Ganebra would make a good story on its own, and that one, simple, possibly drunken comment sparked five books. I still blame this all on you, Jason. To everyone else, thank you for joining me on this millennia-long journey. There are still two books after this one (one on each side chronologically), so I hope I can keep you entertained for just a little bit longer before I bounce on to another world.