This was probably the hardest book to write in the series so far, for two reasons.
Firstly, because it was the first book where I was starting from scratch. While I wrote half a million stream-of-consciousness words a few years ago that became the basis for all ten books, once I put the scenes in order, I only “completed” 8 books before I started publishing book 1 on Wattpad. I don’t really mean completed, as I was rewriting and editing (and adding thousands of words to) the books as I published them, but essentially the plotting and two-thirds of the writing was done.
Book 9 had a bare-bones plot and a few scenes written, but I was writing on the fly for the most part, and under a little self-imposed pressure to keep updating regularly on Wattpad (where it was uploaded chapter by chapter every few days).
Secondly, one of the character in this book takes a tumble. It was painful to put him, and his family, through it. I was determined to cast his fall from grace in a sympathetic light, because I don’t believe in trashing characters I and readers have come to love. Still, as he grew weary and depressed – so did I.
A worldwide pandemic didn’t help. I’m congratulating myself for setting this story a few years in the past, so Wynter and her family won’t have to deal with it in the series. I can fully imagine Jesse rounding them all up on a weekly basis during lockdown to live-stream Rule212 mini-concerts.