So why am I returning to the Mendaihu Universe? That’s a good question, and my answer is that I’d never really left it in the first place. Once I made that decision to self-publish A Division of Souls back in 2013 or so (and spent several months rereading, revising and editing before releasing it in 2015), I knew I could finally see the culmination of the trilogy. It would take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but it would be worth it by the time The Balance of Light dropped in 2017.
And right about that same time in 2015, I started writing outtakes of the fourth book. At this point I knew it as a rough draft, because I’d decided that it would be a backburner project. I wanted to focus on a few new books in the meantime: Meet the Lidwells! and In My Blue World. I wrote both of those to prove to myself that I could write shorter and tighter novels, and I’m quite proud of them because I’d proven myself right! The rough draft of MU4 (as it’s currently titled for now) bubbled to the surface now and again when I had the time and the inclination, but never went all that far.
But back to the question: why refocus on the Mendaihu Universe again? Easy answers: because I’m ready for it, and because I’ve wanted to return to it for some time now. Because I love how deep I’ve made the worldbuilding and I can’t wait to get back to it.
A slightly harder answer: because I still have a story to tell that the original Bridgetown Trilogy didn’t completely cover. When we last saw Denni at the end of The Balance of Light when she’s on the roof of Poe’s apartment building, asking him if she’d done the right thing. He can’t say yes or no, because his personal thoughts on that don’t matter. Enigmatically he responds by saying that if it resonated with her own spirit, then she did the right thing, and she seems to accept that. We don’t exactly know if she did accept it, as the scene was from Poe’s point of view, but it’s assumed she did.
Or did she? See, here’s the thing: in that same book, Denni and Amna (and Caren to some degree) realize that nothing is permanent, not even their spiritual awakening. Whatever miracles they performed to that point will definitely affect others in the future…but perhaps not the way they expect. Added to that, the last we see of the spirit of Saisshalé, he says he goes where he’s needed. So it’s assumed that he might go elsewhere…or perhaps he’ll return again.
All this metaphysics and spiritualism aside…I want to know what happens next because of these choices these characters made. There’s more to tell, and a lot of it has been stewing in my head for a while now.
We’ll see where this goes.