Why did you choose to end World of Dawn: Arise with a cliffhanger?
This is a great question. I should begin by saying that any time an artist creates a work of art there are inherent risks. If he’s inspired by another’s work and infuses too much of this into his own, he might be accused of idea plagiarism. If she creates some experimental piece, she may be denounced as too radical. If an author writes a series and ties every plot thread off too neatly at the end of each book, it might be perceived as fake. And if an author leaves too many threads untied, it might be perceived as unfinished and disrespectful to the audience.
At the end of the day, the author must commit to certain plots and give them the vitality they deserve. The author must trust his or her intuition and act accordingly. Some might like. Some might not. Or perhaps everyone will like it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
So, with World of Dawn: Arise and the subsequent books in the series, except for the fourth and final book, there are a few reasons I chose to end on a cliffhanger.
First, the pragmatic reason is that I didn’t want the books to be overly long. I didn’t want the reader to carry around a six hundred page tome. I wanted a book that an average reader could finish in a week or over the weekend.
Second, I wanted the reader to finish the book and be left with a number of urgent questions.
Take book one for example. How did the group end up on World of Dawn? Who is One Who Sees All? Why does he want Tanner, Boy with the Scar? What happened to Tanner’s father? What is poisoning the Sawnay’s river Cootamain? And of course, will the kids make it home? These are just several of the many questions. Throughout the next three books, some questions are answered, while at the same time new ones are posed.
Lastly, I wanted the endings to be weird and haunting. I wanted the endings to be very memorable. And if you’ve read book one, you’ll know the final scene is Dejunga’s. And if you’ve read book two, you’ll know the last scene is also Dejunga’s. Yes, there’s a pattern here. All four books end with a Dejunga scene.
Spoiler alert! The last scene of the final book four will be in the polar opposite of the last scene in book one. It will feel so poetically right, so weirdly perfect that it will be with the reader for a very long time. That, I guarantee.