I had a nice conversation with my new editor from Thomas & Mercer on Friday. I've known there were a few things I wanted to do with the second book, Mighty and Strong, to hook it in better with the other two books and the overall arc of the series, but he had a few other suggestions. They were spot on, but it is kind of strange to turn my attention back to a book that I haven't worked on for a couple of years.
The schedule is aggressive. I only have a couple of months to finish the revisions for the three existing books and then I have to turn in the other two books by March 15 and June 15 respectively. Yikes.
The last few weeks have passed at a leisurely pace. Since I released The Devil's Peak on August 1, I've kicked around with agency stuff, some desultory brainstorming on book #4 of The Righteous series, and then recording and editing the audio for The Devil's Deep. I've uploaded the last two episodes of the podiocasts, just waiting for final release, so there are no more excuses on that score.
Interestingly, both my agent and my editor like The Wicked the best of the three. There is no question that by the time I'd written that third book, I had greater command of the craft than when I began. The Righteous was the sixth book I'd written, and I'd also written over 100 short stories, so I wasn't exactly a beginner, but it was the first time that I felt a sense of mastery over some elements. By the time I wrote The Wicked, I'd also written Devil's Deep, State of Siege, Mighty & Strong, Implant, and The Red Rooster. Having said that, the first two books had a discovery of character that the third book doesn't enjoy. I would think that it would be less satisfying for that reason, if nothing else.
Also, I wrote the book at lightening speed, working harder than I'd ever worked, and progressed from first words to final draft in three months. This gives credence to my believe that fast does not necessarily equal bad.