For a long time, I didn't know what to think about DRIFT & DAGGER. It was a book I had a hard time with. The first draft was so tough and tortured--the wrong story, the wrong focus. I always want to do better as a writer, dig deeper and create something I'm proud of. I wondered if I would ever get there with DRIFT & DAGGER.
Thankfully, my editor sat me down after that first draft and we talked things through. Where was the happiness? Where was the joy? Who was Mal really? What was his world and his journey?
It woke me up. It brought me back. I'd been trying to retell SALT & STORM with new characters, but DRIFT & DAGGER is its own book. Mal is his own person, with his own amazing story.
So I refocused. I found the things I loved about him, about his world, and I rebuilt the book around that. Mal is funny. He's tough. He's a hopeless romantic forced to be practical. He sees the best in everyone, except for himself. His world is dangerous and magical, and his immunity to magic means he walks through it untouched, both by the things that could hurt him and the beautiful things that make it special. He's got that unique kind of loneliness that I remember as a teenager, feeling totally lost and like there isn't anyone who could possibly understand you. But he also can laugh at things, and just because he's been burned by trusting the wrong people, he's not afraid to reach out again.
By the time this book was ready to go into print, I had fallen in love. It was a special kind of love. SALT & STORM was my first book, the one I had poured so much of myself into that it felt a part of me right from the beginning. But I had to find DRIFT & DAGGER. I had to get to know Mal and his story and figure out how to share that with the world.
I am so proud of this book. And I am blown away by the people who have read it and love it so hard. Reader responses are just the best thing ever and I'm grateful for all the people who have shared their enthusiasm for SALT & STORM. But DRIFT & DAGGER seems to be hitting something different. There's something in the way that they reach out to me that's just like, they get it. It's the greatest thing I could ever ask for as a writer, and it's why I am so thrilled for this book to finally be out on shelves and into your hands.
I hope you love it. I hope you love Mal. Thanks for going on this journey with me. <3