Going into the last part of The Enemy Within, I knew that I was running on a short deadline. February is my month off (for the novel, not the series), and then I'll pick everything back up in March. I was also well aware that this Thursday and Friday, I'd be unavailable.
Last week, I worked as diligently as I was able to. I managed to hastily type 131 pages over the course of six days, and brought the unofficial total of pages to 503 (compared to Bindings' 268 pages and Darkness' 306). There is most likely going be a small amount of material removed when I do the final sweat of the novel in March, so it may not be over 500, but you also have to keep in mind, when I do my typing, it's typically on the 8.5x11 paper. When the book releases in paperback, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it ends up hovering close to 750 pages. This novel is massive, which explains the long wait in getting it to market.
I remember starting The Enemy Within in September of 2010. I had just finished typing As Darkness Falls, and likely had it in the hands of my editor already. With every intention of leaving Tellest to the side for a moment or two of respite, I headed down to Florida for a vacation. Hot off the heels of the second book though, I couldn't think of putting the series down. I wrote at least a chapter of the third book on my vacation, and that zeal has been with me since those first few words.
The Enemy Within has a few missteps that I still need to work out. It suffers from one of the same problems the first book did, but with very little reason. An unnecessary treasure hunt leads to an artifact that would have simply been lost to the main character a few chapters after he acquired it. I knew that the segment was a mistake before I finished it, and the treasure was never mentioned after that. All I have to do now is take off the tourniquet and actually treat the wound.
Other than that, I think this is probably the best book I've written. The characters that readers have grown accustomed to are introduced again almost immediately. The lore and backstories for individual people is as strong as ever. The action sequences and set pieces are energetic and intriguing. And also, the new characters that are introduced have interesting stories and strains. The Enemy Within comes together as my most impressive work thus far, and I can't wait to show it to everyone. Once the final edits are done, I'll begin putting together some excerpts. Until then, just be patient a little while longer. May is closer than you know!