Message From The Author

Rachel Caine

Book Title: TOTAL ECLIPSE
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Author's Message

The Weather Warden series has been an amazing ride (for me, at least!). It started with the idea of sentient storms and a woman whom they hunted; I thought it would be one book, because I'd never written a series before that lasted longer than two books. So when ultimately I wrote the proposal for Ill Wind, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this might last three books ... and the publisher agreed, much to my surprise.

Flash forward seven years, and Joanne's wild journey is finally at an end. It's been breathless suspense for me as an author ... when asked to do six books in the series, could I do that? And then, incredibly, nine? After all, for better or worse, the hallmark of the Weather Warden novels was that the challenges were always huge and life-threatening, and that exerted a constant pressure to up the stakes. I knew that book 9, Total Eclipse, would have to be the big finish ... and that was a whole new kind of stress, wrapping up such an epic story in a way that would be satisfactory not just to me, but to my loyal, very vocal readers as well.

I did know by the second book how I wanted to finish off the series, but knowing and doing are two different things, and with the natural growth of characters, I was especially pleased that the ending I'd imagined still, after all that time and story, still worked exactly as I'd hoped.

It's going to be hard to say goodbye to these characters, who got me through so many life-threatening challenges of my own – breast cancer, and most recently, a drug reaction that nearly cratered my liver and rendered me weak and sick for months. In a very real way, escaping into the world of the Wardens allowed me to take control at a time when I was in control of nothing else in my life. I hear feedback from readers that the stories did much the same thing for them ... that Joanne’s life-and-death struggles, vulnerability, pain and triumph helped them face hard things in their own lives. I couldn’t ask for a better review than that.

I'm going to miss Joanne, who grew from a self-interested character to someone willing to sacrifice everything for others. I'm going to miss David, a lot, because ... well, he's David. Most of all, though, I think I'm going to miss Lewis, who was a character that secretly drove the books for me all along. He's sneaky that way.

Did everything come out the way I'd intended? No, because it never does. Writing is a bit like battle, and as Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke once observed, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." (The enemy being, in this case, my own mind, trying to get out of doing all the constant, focused effort writing must entail.) In the process of engaging with the plot, characters changed, grew, failed, fell, morphed into different people altogether ... and that's good, because part of the joy of writing isn't that you execute a sterile outline that never changes, but that there are happy accidents that challenge you along the way. The character of Cherise, for example, who was introduced in Windfall, was meant to be a walk-on character ... but instead grew to be such a great foil for Joanne that I couldn’t put her away, and instead wrote her into the rest of the series, all the way to the end.

I leave you with another quote, this time from the movie Shakespeare in Love, which seems appropriate:

"Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."

"So what do we do?"

"Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well."

"How?"

"I don't know. It's a mystery."

Thank you all so much for joining me in exploring the story of the Weather Warden series - without you, there would be no series. I hope you enjoyed the mystery – and the adventure – as much as I did.

- Rachel Caine


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