The Pius Trilogy, at long last, is coming to a close. I’m almost done. The stories and the book of history is coming next, and then the rerelease is closed up.
You know how hard it was to say goodbye to this thing the last time I did this?
I’ve actually been rather busy going through a lot of different things, so I haven’t really be able to dwell on this thing finally being put to bed.
I wrote the original one-volume A Pius Man novel in 2004, during a slow season in my graduate studies — I had written my Master’s Thesis, For all their Wars are Merry, during the winter break. This original volume had guest appearances from Merle Kraft before he met vampires, Marco or Amanda. It was before Middle Earth’s Most Wanted Elvin Assassin had grown into a character and took over whole novels.
The Pius Trilogy is the second longest running project that has consumed my life. I was 22 when I wrote it, and I’m just short of turning 36. The only other thing that has eaten up even more of my life is my space opera project, which I started when I was 16. That’s something I hope to be rid of by the end of next year.
So, there is some emotion when I dwell on the conclusion of this project for too long.
It’s not even so much a matter of never playing with the characters ever again. I have already done more horrible things to Sean A.P. Ryan in Set to Kill, a sequel to It Was Only on Stun! and a bit of an epilogue to The Pius Trilogy. And several of the characters are already slated to come back in other work …. in part because I had written Pius as a capstone to a dozen other novels I had written, using secondary characters as the leads. Obviously, those will have to be rewritten. But I will be playing in this sandbox again. I’m not done with these people yet. They all have a long road ahead of them.
But this will be the last time I relive (and rewrite) the deaths, some of the more dramatic moments. The Pope’s kidnapping. The final stand of the Vatican against the forces of darkness. The people I’ve buried. The moment when I finally, at long last, put a stake through the heart of this one son of a bastard who JUST. WOULDN’T. DIE!
I think that the first time I really ever answered the question “What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?” was on Geek Gab, with Brian Niemeier and Daddy Warpig. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but my answer is still the same.
If you want to be a writer? DON’T. You have no idea what you’re getting into. You really don’t. Getting emotionally entangled with the voices in your head? Staying awake because of the plots and action burning up your brain until you write them down? You don’t know what it’s like until you get into it. But if you have to be a writer, go for it, all in. Don’t even blink.
But then you have a project that eats up your life, with characters you don’t want to kill, but you know must die, because they won’t stop until they pay with their last breath, and they’re at war with beasts who won’t stop until one of them is dead. You’d think it would be easy, considering they don’t exist except on paper and in the head of the author …. but no, the author has all of the biographies of everyone s/he kills. You know how they like their drinks, and their favorite songs. You know that this character grew up wanting to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the Red Brigade. You know that this other character had a girlfriend who died during the Irish Troubles, and could never love again because everything he had left went to The Cause. You know that the other one is actually a lesbian who doesn’t even want to BE in this Charlie Foxtrot, but she’s fully aware that the Vatican is the right team to be on, even if this all ends in fire.
And no, most of that isn’t even on the page for your reader, but YOU know it, because these people are yours.
So, yeah. That’s the end of The Pius Trilogy. No more battles in the Vatican. No more warring on the streets of Rome. I can finally say goodbye to the story of Pope Pius XII, the Battle of Rome, and this particular battle against the army of darkness…Next time, I’ll remember to bring the chainsaw.
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