Still Ensnared by Wonderland? Author A.G. Howard discusses how it felt to end her bestselling gothic Wonderland spinoff series, and shares some surprising developments on the horizon for the beloved characters of her Splintered fantasy world.
While writing Ensnared, the last book in my Splintered series, not only was I saying good-bye to the characters and Wonderland, but I also suffered a loss in my family—suddenly and unexpectedly. Every emotional obstacle my characters were up against throughout the book, I shared to some extent, in real life, which bled into every word and scene. To be honest, by the time I finished, I felt like I'd been through the wringer with my characters. But I also felt satisfied and purged.
I walked away from Ensnared more confident and secure about the ending than I have ever been about any book I've ever written, including both Splintered and Unhinged. Being so deeply invested in every emotion and decision that the characters faced, I didn’t worry about outside opinions. This gave me the courage to write for Alyssa, Jebediah, and Morpheus as individuals—to let them take the final story the directions their hearts led. Even if some readers don't like the resolution, they can look back over those last pages and see that I was being honest, and most importantly, that I entertained them in the telling. I consider it a job well done, to have accomplished those two things…
… Although I have to admit, even being as satisfied as I was with the ending, I still wanted more from these characters and the warped Wonderland world. So, although I had another deadline looming, I indulged myself, and began to write an extended version of the epilogue, using some of the deleted scenes I’d had to cut from Ensnared’s final manuscript to keep my novel at the ideal word count. What started out as something for me, ended up catapulting into a novella that my publisher was interested in buying. So now I’ll get to share it with readers.
The novella (title TBA) is a post-Ensnared collection of three stories—and it will be available in both print and e-versions.
The headlining short story, Six Impossible Things, takes readers into Alyssa’s future, via new and deleted scenes, to offer a deeper understanding of the decisions made at the close of Ensnared. It’s an extended, detailed version of the epilogue and beyond. Two bonus stories, The Moth in the Mirrorand The Boy in the Web, delve into the past.
Together, this collection provides a “director’s cut” version of both the past and future in my dark, magical world. I’m hoping Splintered seriesfans will be as delighted to experience these stories firsthand as I was to write them and revisit my characters and settings.