Demons and Lullabies: How This Story Came To Be
When I was writing Fangs & Lullabies, I was confronted to a new but major problem: I couldn’t stop! Before I knew it, the story was well over 100,000 words, and I felt I still had a lot to say. After all, I was telling eighteen years worth of stories! I finally managed to stop and send the manuscript to my editor. Getting it back, however, I was confronted to another problem: she thought the story lacked unity. In particular, she wanted me to either ditch a snapshot or develop it and reference it again in the book, namely the revelation that the demon invasion might have been triggered by the magic that brought Jacob to life.
I couldn’t get rid of this anecdote; it was the beginning of an explanation to the demons! Writing more on the other hand wasn’t a problem, seeing how I had to force myself to stop in the first place. I was reluctant to create a longer book, though, especially in the light of looming deadlines. The solution was simple: rather than adding a stronger demon plotline to the book, I’d center a second book around it, and I already had a title for it: Demons & Lullabies.
I ended up setting that revelation snapshot as a teaser for Demons & Lullabies at the end of Fangs & Lullabies, cut a few scenes to keep for Demons & Lullabies, and started writing it almost right away. The demon storyline shows us the evolution of Andrew’s feelings in regard to fighting, how Nicholas joins the fight, and how Jacob, as he grows up, understands what his dads do and discovers how his birth might be linked to the demons, decides he, too, will be a fighter. We don’t see much actual fighting except for Jacob’s first fights; I was always more interested in the reasons why they fight than in depicting battles, which I have done in other books.
I had decided early on that the second book would be structured like the first, with snapshots from every year of Jacob’s life, and that gave me the opportunity to revisit some snapshots and expand on them. For example, the very first scene shows us Andrew the morning after Cara’s death as he has to push through his grief to plan his next steps. A later one shows Jacob teaching Kirsten to skate, as he had promised in Fangs & Lullabies.
Other snapshots cast a new light on things only alluded to in the first book: where did Nicholas get the lighter he carries everywhere? How did Sam Jones end up in the mud? Why was Andrew so mad at Nicholas in the ‘dirvoce’ incident? A few of these questions were asked by readers, and I was happy to answer them.
And then, more snapshots explore things I didn’t get a chance to touch on in the first book, like Jacob asking about his mother, or Andrew’s other Childe, Roxanne, and how she finally follows the same path as Nicholas.
Now that Demons & Lullabies is released, I do need to answer another question… Will I stop here, or do I have enough snapshots to share for a third full-length story?
Where to find Kallysten and her work: