Life is problems. Living is solving problems.
But should you ever come to a time when you need to say something upon my behalf, say this, 'The last truth is that there is no magic.
Don't assume the world evolved in the order in which you discovered it.
There's always going to be comparisons, and that's unavoidable. There are people out there who feel I hit my peak with Magician and have gone downhill since.
There were two things going on: 1) I had already established in my own mind where I wanted to go with the next series, and having James around as a Grey Eminence would have complicated matters. He had had an amazing life and it was time to bid him good-bye.
In the end, my reasons for moving down the timeline and introducing a new cast have more to do with keeping myself entertained, on the assumption that if I get bored, my readers are going to be even more bored.
Jigsaw Lady is the working title of a science fiction novel I've had in my head for darn near 15 years. I think I'll start work on it next year (in all my spare time) but I'd like to get it finished some day.
Often I'll try things that just won't happen the way I'd like them to, so hearing that they're not working saves me some wear and tear the next time around.
One likes to think one grows as a writer as one ages, else all you get is an old young writer. Beyond that is the changing landscape of the universe and the stories I choose to tell.
Also, it's risky to try to duplicate earlier success. Magician had a certain charm to it, mostly due to my choice of lead characters, that I would be hard put to duplicate.
The issue of the Betrayal was so central to that, I felt the need to comment upon it. My choices were to ignore the games and put them outside of continuity or to integrate them. I chose the latter.
You can only have one first born child. You may love all your children deeply and with passion, but there is something unique about the first born.
If I leave my computer, I'm probably not going to get back for hours. If I take a few minutes to answer questions and go web surfing, then guilt kicks in and I get back to work.
Writing is hard work; it's also the best job I've ever had.
One of the key issues will be personal honour vs. the good of the many, and unforeseen consequences.