I am currently on the home stretch of the final revisions for the sequel to my book East, the title of which, fittingly, is West. It is scheduled to be published Fall 2018.
When I finished East more than 14 years ago, I had no thought of writing a sequel. I considered it a stand-alone story. If anything, I thought I might try my hand at another fairy tale retelling, but not a continuation of East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
Over the years, fans of East asked if there might be a sequel, and I always said no. After all, Rose and her White Bear were living happily ever after.
But then I had a very simple ‘gotcha’ moment. A what if. What if when the Ice Palace was destroyed at the end of East, the Troll Queen, in all her evil, lovesick glory, hadn’t died.
I figured she’d be angry. Very angry. And she would want revenge. Revenge on the entire ‘softskin’ world. But most especially, revenge on Rose.
And so, the happily-ever-after ending for Rose and her White Bear would have to be turned upside down.
I confess it made me a little sad to snatch that away from them. But it was also a joy for me as a writer to revisit those characters. My violet-eyed, wild and wandering heroine, Rose, with her stocky body and indomitable spirit. Dear Neddy, the best brother a girl could ever have. The tortured but stalwart enchanted prince, Charles, who spent most of East as a White Bear. And even the evil Troll Queen whose obsession for the golden haired young prince with his sweet smile proved to be her undoing.
What I envisioned for West was these two women—Rose and the Troll Queen—each powerful in their own way, on a collision course to a final reckoning, with no less than the fate of the world at stake.
And because listening to music has always fueled my writing, I needed a playlist of kick-ass songs for my kick-ass heroine.
Here’s what I came up with (and since West is still a work in progress, I would love to hear from anyone with suggestions of songs to add!):
- Ship to Wreck – Florence and the Machine
- Uncharted – Sara Bareilles
- Get Out the Map – Indigo Girls
- I Will Survive – Cake
- I Take my Chances – Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Try — Pink
- Fight Song – Rachel Platten
- Superwoman – Alicia Keys
- One Woman Army – Kate Earl
- Wild Horses – Indigo Girls
- No More (from Into the Woods) – Chip Zien
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
- Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel
- The Story – Brandi Carlisle
Win something from Edith here.