When this head cold hasn’t made me too fuzzy to think straight I’ve been working on the new revision of Shara. The final revision ever. I think. Anyway, the recovered chapters are sure bringing back a lot of memories of the days when I wrote the first draft.
Just the formatting reminds me of how new the computer world was to me when I began this book. Shara was the first novel I wrote on a computer. My previous five had all been done on a typewriter or my Smith-Corona PWP-3 word processor, which used diskettes, but didn’t hold much, so I saved every chapter as an individual file; one novel might be five to seven diskettes. I was doing that on the computer, too. The floppy disk I found these chapters on has the whole book divided into dozens of chapter files.
As I’ve said previously in interviews and such, Shara began as the short story “Biological Clock.” The first major characters of The Werewolf Saga, however, were fully developed in a creative writing class I took at Francis Tuttle Technology Center shortly after we moved to Oklahoma City the first time in 1993. That’s where Shara’s childhood was written and where her romance with Mark Dixon blossomed. In one assignment our character had to meet an adversary, and that’s when Josef Ulrik was born.
Almost everything from those sessions is being put back into the novel this time. I always felt that, in both previous editions, that the reader barely gets to know Shara before Ulrik gives her the Gift and she becomes a werewolf. In this one, we’ll see what brought her and Mark together and see the relationship change; we’ll see cracks before it all blows up. There’s even a chapter from Mark’s point of view. And one from Don, Shara’s father, plus another from Ulrik before he bites Shara. I think that, by the time Shara is bitten, the reader will understand her more, and hopefully like her better.
Right now it looks like these additions add about 10,000 words to the length of the Scrybe Press edition, which was a little longer than the 3F Publications edition because I added the whole Othala rune thing. Almost all of the additional words come in the first 50 pages of the book.
It’s also interesting to note that my MoonHowler Press edition will mark an anniversary of sorts. As I said, it was 1993 when I began writing the novel. Ten years later, in 2003, 3F Publications released that first ill-fated edition, and here we are 10 years later with me self-publishing the book. It’s been a weird journey.