"Tilt-a-whirl, tilt-a-whirl, tilt-a-whirl. Come on ride my tilt-a-whirl."For a solid week after I finished Layla's narrative arch in "The Harvesting," a carnie girl was in my head talking--relentlessly. I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear her dialogue. Cricket.
Some readers have wondered about "The Parallel" at the end of "The Harvesting." I didn't set out to purposefully confuse readers. Basically, I was just the victim of being bossed around by my characters! Writing is weird. Since I have the narrative arch of The Harvesting Series already mapped out, I know about Cricket. Cricket is an important character in the second and third novels of this series. I know, exactly, how Cricket will appear in Layla's storyline and the role she will take. But then something happened. Cricket wanted everyone to see what she went through when the world died. Cricket wanted people to see the moment when she was reaped into the big picture of "The Harvesting." Cricket told me to write about her, and I usually listen when my characters have good ideas. As I said, writing is weird.
I like stories that look at different perspectives. In Literature, a parallel is when you see the same story from a different perspective. If you have kids, you might have seen "Burn-E," the parallel story to "Wall-E." Or maybe you've seen "Dug's Mission," which is a parallel to "Up" (we see a lot of Pixar movies in my house). These are parallel stories to the main storyline. "The Parallel" at the end of "The Harvesting" is kinda like a "meanwhile, on the other side of town," moment. We see the z-day event from Cricket's perspective. We see Cricket led to somewhere important . . . just as we see the z-day from Layla's perspective, and we see Layla led . . . somewhere important.
I wanted--well, Cricket wanted--readers to see the z-day event as Cricket saw it. I wanted the readers to know and understand a bit about Cricket before book two.
So, nope, Layla didn't transform into someone else. "The Parallel" is not the beginning of book two nor is it a free preview of "The Shadow Aspect" . . . it is simply a parallel (happening at the same time) to Layla's storyline.
Hope that clears up any confusion! I wasn't trying to annoy or confuse readers, I promise. "The Harvesting," Book 1 is about a metaphorical harvest. "The Parallel" is part of this overall theme. Thanks for bearing with me.
Stay tuned for more information on "The Shadow Aspect." Teasers coming soon!