And yes, I had suspected that it might be Gandalf who is still meddling :-)But it's nice to see it confirmed.
So I hope there will be some kind of contact between Anna and Beomia before the end? Would be great to have an update soon!
Author's Response: Before the end of the series, certainly...but not before the end of this book. Sorry!! Have to save some things for the sequel ;) thank you, as ever, for your continued support and feedback.
GAAAH! I KNEW IT WAS HIM! It was either that or Tom Bombadil, which would've been interesting too :)
Love this chapter. So. Much. Is Proust ever going to explain how he got here? That'd be super interesting! :D
Author's Response: Yes, you'll find out :) but not until the sequel! (I seem to be saying that in a lot of responses recently...) Thanks for R&Ring :) interesting that you thought Bombadil - that one never crossed my mind, though you're right, it would have been interesting!
I just wish he were my teacher.:P
Too bad Derry wouldn't stay... ah well. Oo! I wonder what the private lessons are going to consist of. :)
Author's Response: Hey Kitt! Sorry for the failure to respond earlier. Well, there's still plenty to find out - what Gandalf is doing still around, how and why souls from this world can move between here and Middle-earth...and a few other things. Proust, in true mentor style, is going to be prodding Anna and Derry in the right direction - but not until the sequel I'm afraid to say :D thanks for R&Ring, as always!
The deepening relationship between Derry and Anna is beautifully and realistically written, and the end of this chapter; I had three people in mind, C.S Lewis, Tolkien himself (being some kind of Maia, which some people surely think he is when it comes to the canon, lol!) or Gandalf. :)
Author's Response: Thank you!! :) Yeah, a few people said he seemed Istari-like, but it's what I've had planned for ages and I wasn't about to start chopping and changing just to cause a shock. I know you're really busy right now, so I appreciate you taking the time to R&R!
An absolutely wonderful chapter, as usual! Loved the ending with Derry spraying his drink, it was funny.
I have some theories as to who Proust is. I don't want to say who I think he is here...I'll shoot you another email with my guesses later, maybe.
I also really like how Derry and Anna have developed throughout the course of the story. I took the time between various school assignments to read the entire story from beginning to end again, and I'm really impressed with how far they've come from the beginning. Wonderful job!
Author's Response: Hey hello there! Sorry I haven't responded to your last email; I went up to Northumberland for a week and didn't realise there would be no internet connection there. Sigh. I'm really glad you like Anna and Derry's development; I've become extremely attached to them :p I'm sure you can identify! Thanks, as always, for following and commenting; it means a lot.
The girls getting ready was fun to read; hard not to relate to it. ;) I could just feel Louisa’s huge inward grin.
And her dad was awesome… I think if my dad gave my fashion advise, I’d faint right there. Really, he did a good job at dispersing the awkwardness… anything to do with Izzy can’t be easy on him either.
I love how you handled the shift of Anna and Derry’s relationship. That’s a tightrope to walk between getting too sappy or too unreal. You walked right through without a wobble. ^^
Derry’s drink-spraying was classic.
I’m still dying to know who is using Proust as his secret identity… :)
Author's Response: Hey Kitt! Sorry about the long break between updates. Glad you like the chapter :) Derry's drink-spraying was a last minute addition but it seems to have made people chuckle, which I'm glad about! And Proust's identity is soon to be revealed. Thanks, as ever, for R&Ring :)
I really liked this chapter! It was a good look at a different side of Derry, and gave Louisa a chance to come into her own as a character as well. Hope he does go to prom with Anna!
I also love how you showed the vulnerability of all the characters in some way. It added another dimension to them. Can't wait for the next chapter to see what happens! Wonderful job, as always!
Author's Response: Thank you, Caller :) I hadn't really thought of it as showing a different side of Derry (interesting what other people read in your own work that you as an author don't see) but I've had that scene pegged for Louisa for a long time. She and Proust are probably the characters that have grown on me the most as the story's progressed :)
I am at a loss as what is to happen next, but am all agog!
Author's Response: Hehe, thank you!! :) I've had a really busy weekend but will get back to work this week, updates shouldn't be too long in coming.
I feel so light-chested for Derry. Everything that was weighing him down seems to have gone, well, poof!
I love the mother-son moment! It felt so solid and natural... how Derry's reamerged affection flowed from his friends to his mom.
And I'm sure Proust will have a ticket lying around somewhere. ;)
Author's Response: Yeah, I've had that scene pegged for Louisa for a little while - she's not so bad really ;) and yes, there's light at the end of the tunnel now, both for the characters and for me as an author! Three more chapters left to post, in which we will find out if Proust really does have that spare ticket, among other things...thanks, as ever, for following and reviewing! Take care!
So now the question is to go or not to go?
Author's Response: Oh, I think we all know the answer to that one :) thanks, as always, Tinara - you guys really make this writing gig something else when you take the time to read and comment.
A beautiful chapter! I really love how much Beomia has grown, even if a part of me did want her to somehow end up with Eothain. I think the way her character has developed is perfect for the story. I liked the allusion to the way Izzy used to tug Anna's hair at the end, too. Very clever!
That being said, I can't wait for the next time we go back to Derry and Anna. I really want to see how they handle the realization that they're in two worlds at once.
Author's Response: Thank you!! :) funnily enough my sister was all for Beomia ending up with Eothain; I wasn't sure how popular I'd be, pairing her with Aiken, but it felt like the right thing to do in the context of the story. And I like to think they'll be happy. Anyway, thanks for R&Ring, as ever - we're heading back to our world for the next chapter!
Author's Response: Ah, Eothain...sorry about that, it's me leaving story threads open to work on in the sequel! It will be made clear eventually though :) thanks for R&Ring, as ever!
Proust’s secret identity is killing me. I was thinkin’ he’s rather Istari-like, but I’m open to anyone. (If he’s Eothain, I will be thrilled enough to burst).
It was lovely to see Beomia so happy! She’s changed so much; it’s been beautiful watching her come over her sorrow and stubbornness. As always, great job getting into her head. I could feel all her joy and relief; really, I had to sigh deeply once it was done Whew!. Beomia’s nerve-wracked mother and Eothain’s comeback to the solemn question were nice human touches.
Looking forward to the next installment, as ever. ^^
Author's Response: Hehe, thanks, Kitt! I'm glad you liked the handfasting - and Beomia's mother was based on how my auntie behaved at my cousin's wedding a couple of summers ago, fussing with everything and generally stressing out :D as for Proust...all will be revealed ;)
I love the parallel universe(s) ideas and the way this is all beginning to come to the denouement.
Lol I remember when Edmund, Susan and Peter talked to Professor Kirk about Lucy's story. Gosh it has been some years since those books, but I read them a lot at one time.
Well done. :)
Author's Response: Ooh, what are your ideas? I want to see if your theory is the same as Callerofcrows :) and yeah, I loved the Narnia books as a kid, though the religious allegory went right over my head! Thanks, as ever, for reading and reviewing :)
So Mr. Proust knows quite some things? His role is interesting, as in the beginning you showed him through the eyes of Anna and Derry. Though he seemed kind enough they mostly perceived him as annoying and mistrusted him. And now he presents himself as a totally different character.
Author's Response: The next update shouldn't be tooooo long - I want to get this story finished before uni gets crazy again, so basically within the next few weeks. And yep, Proust is way in the know; there'll be a couple more clues about him in this story, and a proper explanation somewhere in the sequel. Anna and Derry's reaction to him in the beginning was, I suppose, the standard teenage reaction to any friendly teacher - "what are you trying to gain by being nice to us?" etc. As you say, though, now they'll have to look at him in a new light :) thanks, as ever, for following and reviewing!
Author's Response: Haha, incoherent is cool :D I'm glad people seem to like this chapter; this is one of the scenes that's been in the brewing for a long, long time! Thanks for reading and leaving feedback - I've got way behind on Dawn, I need to catch up. I think I might go back and reread from the start.
Loved this chapter. Your style of writing is very Rowling-esque. This scene reminded me of all of the various conversations between Harry and Dumbledore whenever Harry ended up in the hospital wing with Madam Pomfrey. The dialogue was really realistic and I could see this scene in my head as if I were watching a movie.
And I'm really excited, because I think I've figured out who Proust is. :D
Author's Response: :D message me and I'll let you know if you're right! I owe you a WTL email today anyway, so I'm sure we'll speak soon. And yes, I suppose there are some Dumbledore-ish elements to Proust; it wasn't something I did intentionally, but I read so much Harry Potter growing up that I suppose I can't help but be influenced by it. Thank you for R&Ring, as always :)
Author's Response: Anna's made of tougher stuff than that :) but then again, Derry has been through hell and back, so I think we can let him off! Next chapter will be up soon, the story's rolling on apace - I know I've said it before, but we really are nearly there now :) again, thanks for following and leaving feedback. I will now go and check out the WTL update :D
Author's Response: Hey Caller! Long time no speak :) glad you're still enjoying, thanks for following - and really, don't worry about reviewing, I know everybody's busy. I'm just happy that people read it!
Author's Response: Ahh, the deliberate communication was a curved ball that got thrown in pretty late on in the story's development - it was that decision that finally tipped me over the edge and realise that a sequel was needed :) thanks for following, as always!
"the sun smiling lazily as it settled in the west..." Aw, that made me feel so warm for a blessed second...
Beomia's idea was so cool and sweet, but certainly was not at the best time. Hey, if Anna and Bee talked with each other, that'd be *the* coolest. :D
I liked the observation of end of exam 'anticlimate feeling.' That's the great mystery of every end of term.
I hope Derry's ok! Mr. Proust really is wonderful in a pinch.
Author's Response: More on Derry and Proust coming up in the next chapter...and as for Anna and Bee, well, there are still more developments to come there, but most of them will have to wait for the sequel. Glad you're still enjoying it; thank you for reading and reviewing, as ever!
Author's Response: Thank you :) I'm glad you like it, you know I was worried! We're almost there now - I've just posted 24, then there are another 6 updates after that. The end is in sight...and I feel kind of sad about it...anyway, thanks for your consistent support and lovely reviews :)
Author's Response: *Assumes shifty expression and says nothing* :p don't worry about Anna; she's a pretty tough cookie. Thank you for reading and reviewing, as ever!
Proust is cool. His farewell speech almost had me teary too!
By coincidence, I just watched a Carl Sagan's Cosmos where he talked about parallel universes. What a headache! I love the parallel universe concept, though painful it is. (I spent hours trying to figure out the new Star Trek movie with my brothers and never did I have a greater brain-bog.) Anyway, I can understand Anna’s exclamation to her sister in the end.
Great job handling the sciene. :D
Author's Response: Haha, thank you...science isn't exactly my forte!! :p yeah, Proust is quite cool, but his crowning moment of awesome is yet to come. Thanks, as always, for reading and reviewing; take care!