Obviously, now we come to editing. The novel has 25 chapters; if I edit one chapter a day, weekends off, it would mean just over a month until it's done. Let's say two months, because some chapters are longer than others and I'm also working on other projects.
Speaking of which, I'm now actively editing Warriors of the Realm, the sequel to Paths of the Shadow. The book will be available for sale on Amazon Kindle soon, and it will also, like the first part of the trilogy, be serialized on Wattpad. I'm not sure which will happen first.
Warriors of the Realm is different from Paths of the Shadow in many ways. It is less dark and more adventurous and, though not a vampire novel in the classical sense, I'd define it as epic fantasy with vampire touches.
Here is just a taste from one of the first chapters:
"Your father told my mother to give me fresh chicken blood," said Lily in a tone of forced calm, though she couldn't keep a quiver out of her voice.
Septimus looked at her, not knowing whether he is supposed to laugh. Lily's face, however, was deadly serious, an expression that instantly became mirrored on his own face.
"Chicken blood?" he repeated, not knowing what else to say. "Why would you want chicken blood?"
"To drink it," said Lily.
He looked at her as though he didn't know whether he ought to believe his ears, whether this isn't some sort of very unfortunate joke. "To drink it?"
"I felt better when I did," said Lily.
All of a sudden, Septimus thought he knew where this was going, but this was so ludicrous, so unbelievable, surely she couldn't mean…
"I'm a vampire, Septimus," she finally said and burst into tears. She cried for a long time, while he started into space, dumbstruck, not knowing what to say. When she finally looked at him again, her face was glazed with tears, and something painful was obscuring Septimus's throat.
A vampire. Hoping against hope, he wondered whether this cannot be some kind of grotesque prank. He knew his father was deadly serious about different sorts of medieval tales, and often pointed out to his wife and children how many things in the folklore could not be satisfactorily explained by modern science. And then there was this experience his father had many years ago, the evidence he presented to Septimus when he first told him about it – but it didn't matter right now, not when Lily –
"This cannot be," he shook his head. "This… Lily, I can't believe this, there must be some other explanation…"
"I said so too, at first," Lily told him, "I told Professor Swift I can't believe something so – so far-fetched. But the fact remained that I had all the symptoms he told me vampires have, and even though now I can eat, you know, normal food, my hunger and thirst can't be really quenched by anything other than blood.”
"So what is going to happen now?" asked Septimus in a hushed voice, finally realizing this isn't a joke.
"Well, obviously, I won't go back to school," said Lily in a matter-of-fact voice, and from how she said it, Septimus knew she probably recited it numerous times as she prepared to tell him, "I will always feel the need for fresh blood, I would be a danger to the other students. So I'm going to stay home."
"But…" Septimus's voice trailed off as he realized, with a horrible sinking feeling, that she is right – if – if this unbelievable hypothesis is correct. "Alright, forget about school. What is going to happen to you, Lily? Is there no cure?"
"There is no cure that we know of," said Lily, "though Professor Swift promised he would put his best efforts into searching old scrolls and books, our hopes aren't high. We know, however, that I can be kept alive and well by drinking very fresh human blood. I refused to do that, of course," she hastily added when Septimus looked at her in horror, "I will never harm others, even if it means I'm going to die."