I have said it before and I will say it again, my main motivation for writing is so that kids like mine will have more quality reading material. Our seven year old has been reading for several years now, and I would conservatively estimate that she has read hundreds of books. Her 10-20 books per week for three years more likely works out to a couple thousand books, but some of those are re-reads and there are occasions when we don’t get to the library as often as we would like.
I bring this up today because she has finally caught up on The Vergrinn War. I read the first book with her when I finished it (she was five at the time) and she liked it, even not knowing that I had read it. She put it aside and focused more on Nancy Drew, Barbie, Magic Treehouse, Disney character, and other series of books for a while. Last month, she asked me to read my second book to her. We read a chapter at a time before bed, and occasionally she would read the next chapter or two the next day because she was anxious to see what would happen next.
We finished the second book, and she immediately wanted to start Book Three. I read the prologue, and the next night I went in and she was seven or eight chapters in. The night after that the bookmark sat in the middle of chapter twenty when I opened it to read and within two more nights we were done.
For the past several days, we have been reading Book Four together which is currently in progress. She likes it so far, but in a day or two we are going to be out of chapters to read. This more than anything is motivating me to buckle down and keep writing. My daughter is proud that she gets to be a beta reader, and she is asking good and relevant questions as we go. As we read a section last night, she asked “Why are they going to New Eyjolf instead of Gudmund?” I read the next several paragraphs, where one character asks that same question and another answers it (so in my mind I am clearly understanding where the reader’s mind might be going).
I think Book Four is still on schedule to be finished this summer, and I will keep everybody updated between now and then. I recently shared a scene from the prologue with a long-time serious fan (who is not a beta reader), and I will go ahead and share it with you to whet your appetites. Enjoy this little excerpt from near the very beginning of The Vergrinn War Book Four: The Rightful Heir.
Today, nine months after the second battle of Eyjolf…
Sharptooth raised his snout into the air and sniffed. There was moisture in the air, but not enough for his purposes. The fog would have to be thicker for him to order the assault.
“Sire?” Sharptooth glanced at the young warrior before him. The whelp clearly wanted to know if the attack would go forward.
Sharptooth slowly shook his shaggy head. “Not tonight. Not yet.” The youngster turned his head to the side questioningly. Sharptooth growled softly. “We will only get one chance at this. If we strike too soon, we lose that chance. If, however, we wait for the right moment, we will strike a blow from which the humans can never recover.”
The young warrior slunk away into the night. Sharptooth watched him go, and then turned his gaze to the moon rising over the trees behind him. “We will be patient,” he muttered to no one. “We will be patient.”