Jack of Spades - Author Notes II

By Laurie Tom
Mar 2, 2020 · 305 words · 2 minutes

From the author: A look back at my Jack of Spades novella now that serialization is complete.

My novella Jack of Spades is now complete!  It's free for subscribers and to celebrate the last chapter, I've temporarily lowered the price to $1 for anyone who is not.

It's been quite a ride updating Jack from the story it was originally.  As I mentioned before, this was a story I'd written and shelved a long time ago (partially because the Hunger Games came out, but in retrospect the similarities aren't that much).  While I won't spoil major anything here, there were a lot of changes in the second half simply because I've grown as an author.

There are essentially three sections of the story; the setup that covers Gerard's current situation, the flashback that shows what happened to him and him comrades, and the finale that returns to the present day.

When I was revising, I realized that I needed a better ending to the story and to better flesh out the motivations of different characters.  I also realized that I hated Sara.  In fact, she was originally designed to be a whiny hypocrite who got on people's nerves, but I decided that I really wanted her to occupy a more nebulous space where she was on equal footing with the rest of the conspirators.  That required a fair bit of adjustment to the middle section, and that wasn't the only thing I changed there.

And because the middle was changing, that meant the finale had to as well, because the bonds between these characters is what makes the finale happen.

As a result, I'm a lot happier with the ending and with Gerard's finale choice.  I know my original draft was searching for some kind of emotional oomph at the end, and years later, I think I finally found it.

You can start reading the first chapter here.

Laurie Tom

Laurie Tom is a Chinese American author living in southern California. She likes books, video games, and anime.