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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Response to Final Chapter Comments

Mike MUST leave the Valley - why?
First, purely external - John has said that Katrina CANNOT marry Mike at this time, in contradicts what he wants to do with the storyline.  (More, I cannot say.)
Second, Mike HATES the danger he has brought down on the Keldara - see Unto the Breach, if nothing else, and the opening of A Deeper Blue to see how much he hates it.
Third, PAINT IT BLACK is a parallel story which will show lots of missing details that the Interludes hint at (but essentially, Mike is almost exposed to ALL the jihadists, well, those willing to pay - and wouldn't THAT be nice, having screaming lunatics descend upon the valley?).
Fourth, how long do YOU think Katrina etc will simply accept things?  Yeah, about 30 seconds.

So.  Here's my challenge to YOU. 
If you hate the ending - and it seems that many of you do! - then give me a better idea.  He won't simply walk away - okay, follow me on this.  Mike thinks/feels/believes that he is the center of the maelstrom that is threatening to descend upon the Keldara.  Given this, and that he doesn't want them wiped out, there is a certain twisted logic to him faking his death (again) and leaving the valley.  Now, whether this is RIGHT or not, I can see how HE might feel it the ONLY choice.  AND he knows that if he walks away, then the Keldara will search for him and get MORE of themselves killed, which will be on his conscience (or the bookkeeping system he has in place of one).
So.  Give me a better idea - he CANNOT marry Katrina at this time.  Period.  Full Stop.  I promise, I'll read ALL your ideas, and then, if ANY work, Dick and I will try to flesh them out.

You can send them to, or you can post them as comments on here (depends on whether you want MY feedback or EVERYONE'S feedback).



  1. AG & DE,

    very cool to open up the discussion of alternate endings with the fan base; should get lots of ideas for potential re-write. But also remember, it is the authors job to present the story he (she/they) wants to tell, not necessarily the story the public wants or expects. In that vein, JR has set a precedent (Ghost, and his personal message about why he wrote the book, and didn't want to publish it [or not under his own name] in the first place). Keep true to YOUR story, and let the chips fall where they may.

    That being said, maybe an epilogue detailing a lot of what you said in the comments of the Final Chapter. Or a bit of foreshadowing/premonition which lends some ideas as to why the story ended the way it did, without tipping off all of those non-negotiable restrictions on the overall story line. Take it for granted that your readers are smart enough to figure much of it out, but we do sometimes need a little direction to get there in the first place.

    Overall, a good read. Hey, I kept with it to the end! Can't say I'm entirely thrilled with the ending, but this wouldn't be the first for me. I'll take it for granted that it is the way the story ends, and have to wait for the next one to continue to get (any) satisfaction. Almost a guaranteed following.


  2. I personally do not like the way the "new recruit" is used and murdered. In my opinion killing him the way it is done is not necessary. An ending like the one to Kirk Douglas' character (David Daniel Marcus) in "Cast a giant shadow" would be more appropriate. After all, Mike and his merry band of roughnecks are the good guys after all. Shooting the new kid without a real purpose is not "in character"...

  3. This is a reply to the above comment. You must understand that Mike HATES Muslims and especially Jihadists. In his eyes, if your Muslim but don't pursue Jihad, ok, he doesn't like you but he'll leave you alone, BUT, if you join the Jihad, your life is forfeit. The "Nugget" was a Jihadist and while it may not have been planned to do this to him from the beginning, I seriously doubt they would have let him live and join their merry band. Just doesn't fly with how Mike has acted in the past..... then again, leaving the way he did doesn't seem to fit either.

  4. actually had a thought on the ending and had wondered where to post an outline or two for a follow-up series. Consider if you will using the name 'KILDAR' the same as 'The Dread Pirate Roberts' and have MIKE scoure the world to find a good person with all the right qualities to take over then train that person in and then wait till mike falls in Battle. Put Mike in the Dunn and have New hero step in. maybe start that book 20 to 30 years ahead. sprinkle with familiar names from the Paladin of Shadows. That way, Mike is closer to 80 and having a hard time leading from the front (but he wouldnt let anyone know) then since he knows it, he finds someone worthy of the Mountain Tigers. also, for kicks, by that time have a few adult tigers living in the mountains around their valley. I actually have an early outline drawn up but have no way to put these suggestions to Mr. Ringo.

  5. I sort of agree with bilboleo, if your goal is for this story to be published as canon by Ringo then, you're fucked. You can't really write a satisfying ending to a book that is all about Mike and Katrina getting together where they don't do just that.

    If it was me then I'd just say "fuck canon" and let them have their happily ever after and then I could have my wish fulfillment.

    Caveman from the arctic north

  6. Find the Revised ending. It's here somewhere.