Please welcome Danie Ware back to the blog! She just wrapped up her Ecko series with Ecko Endgame, and was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about it, and what comes next!
What can fans expect from Ecko Endgame? Will you give us a bit of a teaser?
Endgame is all about the Final Battle, the lead-up to the show-down. It’s about the muster and the march to war, the last confrontation between Rhan and his brother. It’s about the blight and the rotting of the plains, and what’s really behind the death of the grass. And it’s about Ecko, coming to the end of his ‘program’ and finding out, once and for all, what’s real and what’s not.
Did you do any particular research for this installment, and were there any new characters that you particularly enjoyed writing?
There were no new characters at this late stage, but I had a lot of fun finalising the storylines for the existing ones – there’s something about an epic battle that allows characters to face their demons, real or metaphorical. And each one has to go through it – Amethea’s faith, Roderick’s vision, Rhan’s strength and ego, Ress’s madness, Triqueta’s age and her relationship with Redlock… and Ecko himself, and the end-of-level nasty that’s been waiting for him, right from the start.
After Ecko Rising, was it easier to write subsequent books in the series since you’d already established the “world” of the books?
The end of the series was both easier and harder to write. Easier because, as the plotlines wove together, it became much clearer, with a strong forward motion and therefore a lot easier to structure. And harder, because making sure all those plotlines wove together accurately, when and where they should and that everything tied up in a suitably explosive ending, was an interesting challenge. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out, though, I think it provides a suitably epic ending to the series!
Is it bittersweet to be wrapping up the series? What did you enjoy most about writing it?
Of course – it’s saying goodbye to a world I’ve known for a very long time and characters that have been my friends for many years. I cried when I finished it, from a mixture of loss and relief, I suppose. The best bits to write have always been the battle scenes, the huge confrontations – Rhan and Triqueta, particularly, are always great characters to write fight scenes for, and the closing couple of chapters were proper edge-of-my-seat stuff.
It’s been a while since we caught up… Have you read any good books lately? Anything you’d recommend?
Great reads recently have included Andy Wier’s The Martian (I haven’t seen the film and I must), Mike Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts, Clare North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. I also really enjoyed Ernest Cline’s Armada, not as much as Ready Player One, but it still made me chuckle!
What new projects are on the horizon? Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve made a start on the new thing, which is suitably difficult after Ecko being so huge. It’s a complete break from both cyberpunk and fantasy and, so far, features very little in the way of bad language. It’s coming together as a detective story with a side order of metallurgical magic and another of an actual romance… though perhaps not ‘quite’ as mainstream as that sounds.
After all, I’ve got to be a little bit off the wall!
About Ecko Endgame:
Winter has come to the Varchinde and with it, the fatal spread of the blight. The grass is dead, the cities are falling and the Kas take their chance to rise from Rammouthe.
Betrayed by his own forces, Rhan will abandon Fhaveon to lure the Kas into a final confrontation.
As battle rages round him, Ecko realises that to save the Varchinde, he must face the greatest threat of all – the one that has come from his own world.