The Conclusion of Wingfeather Saga

By

Almost ten years ago I put my three kids to bed, told Jamie for the millionth time about my desire to write a novel, and with her blessing dug out my sketch pad to draw the first map of Aerwiar. I turned off the television (this is key) and sat in the recliner with my high school art supplies, eager to tell a story. As with any adventure, had I known how much work and time it would have taken, I might not have had the guts to start. I drew the coastline of Skree on the left, then for some reason on the right I drew another coastline and named the continent Dang. The expanse between was named the Dark Sea of Darkness. I grinned like the geek I was, sharpened my pencil, and began the work of filling in the details. Eventually, Glipwood sprang out of the map, and the Wingfeather children sprang out of Glipwood. But who were they? And why did their story need to be told?

It took a few years of “research,” which when it comes to fantasy novels means “making stuff up.” Orson Scott Card’s book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy was a tremendous help, mainly because it reminded me that, because I was inventing a world from the ground up, I had to answer a zillion questions about the history of the world, the political situation, the currency used, the presence (or absence) of magic, the presence (or absence) of religion, and what the flora, fauna, and fangishness of this new world might be. At some point in the writing of the history of Aerwiar, a nameless evil (named Gnag the Nameless) demanded my attention, and soon I had the beginnings of the Wingfeather Saga. After a laborious first draft, then a second, third, and fourth draft, I managed to fool the good people at Random House/Waterbrook into giving a singer/songwriter a shot at publication. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness was published in 2008. North! Or Be Eaten came in 2009, and with the help of Rabbit Room Press The Monster in the Hollows arrived in 2011.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s 2013. That means it’s time to finish the story. Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli are weary and homesick, and I need to bring them home (in one way or another). And you can help them. As of the writing of this post, I’m at 124,758 words. According to my Word document, that’s 417 double-spaced pages. I’m on chapter 79. There are quite a few chapters remaining, but not too many. Things are winding down, slowly but surely, and it won’t be long before I know how this whole thing ends. Since this book (and the previous one) were published by Rabbit Room Press and not a major publishing company, there’s a great deal of freedom. That’s a good thing. It means I can choose my editors, I’m intimately involved in the look and feel of the book, and I get to work with the illustrators. But there’s another side to the coin, and that’s this: there’s no big, fat monetary advance, and we need you, dear readers, to help us make this book happen.

We live in a pretty exciting time for music and publishing. Thanks to websites like Kickstarter, not only are projects that may have never had a chance given birth, the readers get the thrill of being the midwives. I know first-hand, because I’ve helped to Kickstart albums by Matthew Perryman Jones and Andrew Osenga (among others) as well as books by DKM and Doug TenNapel. There’s something wonderful about opening a package and holding a book or record in my hands, knowing that my modest contribution helped make its existence possible. Community begets art. It was true of the Inklings, it’s true here in the Rabbit Room, and I’m hoping that with the help of the amazing community of Wingfeather fans it will be true of The Warden and the Wolf King.

We decided to pull out all the stops and shoot for the moon. (Yes, that’s a mixed metaphor involving a pipe organ and a rocket.) With your help we’ll not only be able to publish this book full of beautiful illustrations by Joe Sutphin, we’ll be able to do much more. If you can help, click this link and learn about all the fun stuff we’ve cooked up. Thank you all, young and old, for your enthusiasm about this story, and whatever help you can give. My family and I are delighted that a super-nerdy map ten years ago is culminating in the publication of this book. Back to writing! Beware the bumpy digtoad.

AP

P.S. There’s a weird guy at the end of the video making some outlandish claims. Ignore him at all costs.

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


16 Comments

  1. LauraP

    “My teeth are falling out.” HA!

    So glad this series exists, and excited to see where and how it winds up. What a joy to get to contribute a little bit to the effort.

  2. Leslie Sheridan

    I’ve been a fan forever, so it’s very cool to get to be a part of this. I’m glad you wrote this post on the RR to let us know how the story began – I’ve often wondered.

    Yay! I clicked on the kickstarter link this am just a little over an hour after you posted the link on FB. I was thrilled to see how many backers were already there – and I hope it puts a smile on your face and a joy in your heart to see this community rally around what you are doing.

    Remember who you are, AP and finish the story well. 🙂 We. Can’t. Wait.

  3. PaulH

    ..AND if there is money left over after that, how about a Wingfeather Saga Soundtrack?!

    So cool though can’t wait

  4. Jimmie

    Cannot wait!!! Speaking of movies…how about a kickstarter for the Wingfeather Saga motion picture quadrilogy? I’ll even lend my acting services for free!!! Wingfeather is such a beautiful story! It rings and flows with a truth that can only come from the Maker. The entire world needs to hear/see it and I’ll do my best to make sure that happens.

  5. Rebekah

    The speed with which people are backing this project is a testimony to the power of The Wingfeather Saga. Monster in the Hollows in particular, was a very special book. I have been long awaiting my copy of The Wardan and the Wolf King. (and now it looks like it will be a beautiful, fully illustrated hardback!!!)

  6. Eowyn

    This is terrific. I’m looking forward to going back and re-reading the other books. I remember that I didn’t like the Monster in the Hollows as much the first time I read it (possibly because there weren’t enough explosions), but I have a feeling I’ve matured a lot since then.

    Looking forward to the concert Thursday, by the way.

  7. Gillian Bronte Adams

    So glad the next book in the series is coming! The Wingfeather Saga is one of my all time favorites.

    It’s been thrilling to see how fast the Kickstarter campaign took off. Art thrives in community, does it not?

  8. Scott Richardson

    I am renewing my (lapsed) frequent prayers for your safety and well-being, so that you live long enough and stay healthy enough to finish this book. I LOVE how you’ve gently woven biblical themes into the stories, without moralizing or being “preachy”. These are destined to be classics — far beyond the current AP fan base. The fact that the Kickstarter campaign has been so wildly successful should tell you that you’re really onto something. Can’t wait to rejoice next week at HM!

  9. Hannah

    So excited for the new book! And I second the motion for a Wingfeather soundtrack/album. That would be amazing.

    I can’t get the video to play…?

  10. Heidi Spencer

    Thanks for writing. My daughters and I read your books to one another. Now one of them is at college. The other will leave too soon. I am adrift, almost, but I cherish our time spent reading together.

  11. Luke Thompson

    I am Sooooooooo Exited About The Warden And The Wolf King i can hardly wait for it to come in the mail.

    P.S. you should make it a motion picture

  12. Last Light

    I just read your books in three days. At first, I thought of them as an engaging distraction from my school. A bit below my reading level, but worth it for the good story an the creativity coming out it’s ears. As I read through ‘North! Or be eaten’, the writing style and seriousness of the story built and built. Then ‘The Monster in the Hollows’ suddenly transformed itself from a book that I wouldn’t really tell my friends I was reading to my tenth favorite story or so. That end! I stayed up quite late reading it last night.

    My sister and I have dreamed up our own fantasy universe, and written some short stories ourselves, and as a fellow dreamer of dreams, and teller of tales, I just want to encourage you not to get bogged down or discouraged, and most of all, to make sure the end answers the questions you brought up. This is something that newer fantasy authors have a disturbing habit of not doing. (Inheritance Cycle, anyone?) it is quite maddening, and I think the myth of this book (Myth in the C. S. Lewis sense) has so much potential for reaching people, that you have to carry it all the way through. Otherwise, you’ll lose the impact.

  13. Ethan Porter

    I am so excited for The Warden and the Wolfking to be released. I hope I can get it for my 11th birthday. I have loved all your books. Thank you for writing such great books. You really inspire me.

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