If you go into Ravensong expecting it to be just like Wolfsong, you are going to be disappointed.
If you go into Ravensong expecting it to be written just like Wolfsong, you are going to be disappointed.
I made both of those mistakes when I first started writing Gordo and Mark's story. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
Except I've never been that kind of storyteller. I don't like to have one book be exactly like another, even in a series. But given that this book is part of a series, there has to be some kind of bridge between the voices, especially when the narrators change like they do here, from Ox to Gordo.
Gordo is not Ox.
Ox is not Gordo.
Ravensong is not a coming of age story.
This is an I-already-came-of-age-a-long-time-ago-and-I'm-now-an-asshole-adult story.
I tried too hard, in the beginning, to make Gordo sound like Ox, to try and tell the story the same way, and it was terrible. It took me longer than I cared to admit to figure out what I was doing wrong, but when I did, I realized I was being inauthentic to Gordo Livingstone as a character.
So I went back and scrapped much of what I had written already, keeping the basic structure, but rewriting most of what was already there.
And it went so much easier.
There was a poetic cadence to Ox, and the way he saw the world.
Gordo is grime and dirt, blunt and hot-headed. And his voice caused me to write him that way. It's still a little different than what you're used to reading, but there's a distinct difference between Ox and Gordo. Remember that.
And you should know Gordo has very good reasons to be the way he is.
I knew, even while writing Wolfsong, that there was a history here between the Livingstones and the Bennetts. I touched upon it briefly, but there was so much more teeming underneath that I knew was going to be a big part of Ravensong. I also knew it meant going back to Gordo's younger days, to see how and why he became a witch at such a young age, and what happened to cause him to hate the Bennetts as much as he does in Wolfsong.
And with that, there was that now infamous time period that I also wondered about: three years, one month, twenty six days.
Wolfsong covers a long period of time over the entire novel.
Ravensong covers even longer, but in a shorter amount of time. The first quarter of the book alternates between Gordo as a kid, and Gordo with Carter, Kelly and Joe as they chase after Richard Collins. It's disorienting, going between the kid that was and the man he's become, but it's meant to be. There are echoes of Wolfsong in Ravensong, as Gordo and Ox are two sides of the same coin; however, before too long, you'll come to the hard right turn that sets them on different paths, allowing them to become the men they did. Ox is almost messianic. Gordo was broken by people he trusted most, and the pieces that remain don't fit like they used to.
Ox's story was one of hope in the face of adversity.
Gordo's is one of tragedy, and overcoming the darkness within.
But this only the first part of the book. The remaining three fourths?
That covers a period of two weeks.
Wolfsong was filled with thunderous highs, and the quietest of lows.
Ravensong is a crescendo. It starts soft, but increases through the entire story until it's screaming by the end. It is going to be a wild fucking ride. You won't see the end coming.
(and for the purists: Wolfsong (to me) was a happy for now (HFN) ending versus happily ever after (HEA), given that so much was still up in the air. Ravensong is the same way. Many things are resolved and Gordo and Mark will be...Gordo and Mark, but there are major threads that will feed into Kelly and Carter's books. You'll soon see why.)
This is the first of eight posts, to be released weekly in advance of Ravensong on July 31, a little over two weeks away. I'll be extremely light on the spoilers, though I might drop a small tease for each post.
Some of the other topics to be covered:
--Gordo's (and my) complicated relationship with Thomas Bennett
--The women of Green Creek
--The official soundtrack for Ravensong
--The importance of packpackpack,
--enemies to lovers vs. grumpy assholes to lovers (guess which Gordo and Mark actually are), and why the angst in Ravensong is harder for me than it was in Wolfsong
--Why everyone in Green Creek could be gay, and I don't care who hates that
Pre-orders should go up in a few weeks.
See you next week!
A little tease... (look away if you want to go in knowing nothing):
The best non-romantic pairing I had fun with in Ravensong?
Gordo and Robbie.