I like to stretch my skills on each book I write both to keep me from getting stale and to keep myself from writing the same book over and over. With five books under my belt (including the unpublished sequel to Masques) I felt up to the challenge of writing a male viewpoint. I tried third person, knowing that this story was going to require multiple viewpoints, but Ward insisted on telling this story himself.
From the beginning Ward had a very strong voice, but I never knew from one day's writing to the next, exactly what he was going to be up to. I don't write from an outline, but Ward's story was extreme even for me. When he decided to go to war, I read ever mediaeval war book I could find as well as Sun Tsu's The Art of War. Then I had to research a whole slew of things...only to find that Ward had a few more tricks up his sleeve. I can remember the icy chill of dread that hit me when Ward and Oreg are on board ship and I realized how I had to end the book. To my surprise, when I began the first rewrite, Dragon Bones felt as if I'd planned it scene by scene and I only had to do a very little work to knit it together.
Dragon Bones is the only book I've written that wasn't a romance. I've always found love to be a very strong motivation for characters, making for interesting books. Dragon Bones though had so much emotion to work out between my major characters that there simply wasn't enough space for a good romance, so I left the romance for its sequel Dragon Blood.