Do I or don’t I? In some areas The Bastard Line is developing to be more vicious than anywhere in the previous two books – it has more calculated cruelty and violence in the story – more blood, more death – The main thread was always certain, it just needed to be written and linked together in appropriate detail and order (yes, with some of that savagery), however a secondary thread, which is Va’el’s side of the story, had to be created from scratch and proved trickier than I anticipated, for reasons I didn’t expect – mainly because of the blood.
His age is a concern. How rough can you get with a kid? Yet, let’s be clear here, I don’t write children’s books and you always knew that once we got into Khekarian territory, things were not going to be so nice. This story is most definitely meant for adults. I had to give Va’el something more than a kiddies’ adventure and it had to be something fitting for the character, his future and the history and nature of Khekarian society.
What I have ahead for him is actually something pretty nasty, and I don’t mean Sevi. Given his age (ten), I’m not sure I should go there, but I’ve decided to push ahead anyway because the event has done a strange thing to his nature. Primarily, it will be what transforms him from spoilt-brat boy to eventual villainous adult, but along the way it opens him up a bit to sensitivity you don’t really expect to find in this sort of character. It also paves the way for connections with future ramification.
This means I’m running with it, whether it’s too graphic or not. The trouble with realism, though, is that you sometimes bump into the Uh-oh of consequences. That means, I’m bound to offend some people. All I can do is remind readers that Va’el is from Khekarian society which is much harsher than most of our own.
The Bastard Line is the third book in the Khekarian series. It’s not ready yet, but it’s well on its way and so far is looking good.