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Lessons Learned

I went back in time this month to reread my first novel, Retribution. Mostly, I'm doing my best to remember why I love Zartan. He figures prominently in the novel after Amends and I've been struggling with him a bit. I needed to remember his sense of humor (he's gotten much to serious lately), his burning love for Antonia, and what he was like when he'd move the world for her. Since she became Queen, he's been a bit of a second fiddle.

I found Zartan in all his ostentatiousness. (I'm borrowing a word from Antonia.) He loves his wealth and his show of power. He loves his mate passionately and would do anything to keep her happy. He's snarky, physically fit, and ready to take on the world at a moment's notice. He's also caring, protective of his clan, and gentle when no one's watching.

What I learned from this is that rereads aren't bad. (This is the first time I've gone back to read a novel after publication.) They're tough (you see the mistakes the editor missed) and can leave you feeling naked. You see the scenes you wish you would have put in and the ones that didn't quite play out the way you thought they did. But you also see your vision and you remember the power the original story had on you (and hopefully still does).


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