“The abbot told me once that lying was a betrayal to one’s self. It’s evidence of self-loathing. You see, when you are so ashamed of your actions, thoughts, or intentions, you lie to hide it rather than accept yourself for who you really are. The idea of how others see you becomes more important than the reality of you.” —Myron Lanaklin on the morning of the Battle of Medford.
This is the most noted quote from The Crown Conspiracy presently highlighted by 100 Kindle users.
Whenever I speak to readers of my first book they always mention the little monk. Many reviewers have complained at the lack of Myron in the subsequent novels. I recently read a comment from a fan who lamented the lack of Myron in the books following The Crown Conspiracy. “I'm not sure that Sullivan realized what he had here and since the books were written in one go there was no real chance of bringing him back. Sigh.”
Readers have a thing for Myron.
So what is it about this bibliophile shut-in that has everyone complaining that he’s too isolated and should go on more adventures? He’s not dashing, not handsome, not at all a lady’s man, but female readers swoon at the mention of his name. Well, perhaps not swoon--more like melt, the way they might when confronted by a big-eyed, floppy-eared, devilishly cute puppy. And I have known men to get misty-eyed while sitting with him on a stone bench staring at the burnt remains of a tree.
So many people commented on Myron that in a re-write of Avempartha I altered Esrahaddon’s dialog to say: “Well, I did see The Crown Conspiracy while in Colnora. I found the sets pathetic and the orchestration horrible, but the story was good. I particularly loved the daring escape from the tower, and the little monk was hilarious—by far my favorite character.”
Back on 5/26/2004 a friend of mine who was discussing the series with me via emails wrote: “The Myron character is great. It's a very original idea (or at least so it seems).”
To which I replied: “Yes I like him too only in laying out a more detailed outline for the first book, he doesn't have a place in it which is somewhat frustrating since I want him to appear in the first book in a role that keeps him confined to the monastery so we can see him in his normal environment, that way in the second book I can perhaps pull him out into the world and it will be more effective I think. Of course I am still having issues with the first book's plot so who knows I might be able to find a part for him yet.”
As you know I found a place for him in the first book. The question remains, why doesn’t he play a more substantial role in the following books. One reason is that there was never any reason for Myron to be involved in the events of the series. Royce and Hadrian would not have any need to drag Myron around on their adventures and Myron would not wish to go. The best I could have done was center some scenes at the monastery, but those scenes would have been dull and unnecessary in the scope of the plot.
I also didn’t want to dilute him. On the seventies show Happy Days, Arthur Fonzarelli began as a rarely seen character in a gray cloth jacket (because initially the ABC censors would not allow him to wear a leather jacket.) His popularity drove him to the forefront where I felt his over-use ruined his aura of cool and eventually led to the infamous “jumping the shark” incident, that became an idiom for a story, or character being pushed beyond its limit. Much of Myron’s appeal comes from his innocence, and once he is taken from the monastery that innocence must rapidly fade. So because he was special I didn’t want to waste Myron.
Besides, I had plans for the little monk.
I have written on this blog before about how I feel the end of a story should justify the build-up. I hate being let down at the end of a story and as a result I think I just might have gone a bit overboard in trying to make certain that the final book of this series did not disappoint. One of the editing comments I received from Orbit was that so much was packed into the last book that they felt I ought to spread it out some. As it happens that really isn’t possible. Certain revelations (you might start to see where the series title comes from now) don’t come to light, and can’t come to light until the final book. Keeping these secrets hidden makes it impossible to reveal anything in any other order then how I did. This leaves the final book packed very tight with shocking discoveries, and the connecting of hundreds of little plotlines that come together in unexpected ways. In every chapter and around nearly every page there is something to make you go: Oh! Hah! Hehe, Aww, and of course, by Mar!
There are virtually no new characters introduced in the last book. I did not have the time or space for them, as I had so many existing ones to account for. One of those was Myron.
So for those of you hoping for more Myron. Fear not. The little agoraphobic bookworm will be part of the final quest which should close the series with a resounding crescendo.
I just wish it was out already. I hate this waiting.
Ofttimes Myron considered how he might like to be a mole or shrew, not a Dusky or Greater White-tooth, or even a Lesser White-tooth Shrew, but just a common shrew, or perhaps a mole.
—one of my favorite lines from Wintertide, that no one on Amazon highlighted.
Maybe it’s just me.