A note on my books. Can they stand alone? Do you have to wait for Three for satisfaction? How finished or unfinished is the story?
Answer: One and Two are whole books, with a conclusion to the events in them, and the themes tied up. Read One, and you’ve reached a finish. Read One and Two, and you’ve reached a finish. As for me, if I’m smashed by a bus today, I’ll be upset that I haven’t gotten to tell you my ideas on Temujin’s later life; but I, too, for my comfort, know I have reached a finish.
My instincts operate this way; I wouldn’t myself write an unfinished book, and very far from leave you with a cliffhanger, I’m concerned to give us both closure. I think you’ve a right to insist on that at the end of six hundred pages, and I have no excuses, I’ve had space to see my story and my themes out to an end. [There is a footnote to this. See footnote.]
Also, I want to be free for the next. The next has different demands, and I need the freedom to meet new questions with new answers. Each of my books has a different style — at least to my eyes, which may be hyper-sensitive. It’s a big thing for me about how Temujin changes, how life changes for him, and I’ve got to have an elasticity to capture that.
So, what about the sections I’ve issued? Are they finished books? I’d say, #1 Of Battles Past, #2 When I am King and #4 The Sheep from the Goats — yes, these are books in themselves. Only #3 Me and Atrocity I don’t call a book, and I’m dissatisfied with the situation there… a casualty of publishing. By great fortune, The Old Ideal split neatly into halves, both in size and subject; less fortunately, Tribal Brawls had to divide into a third and the other two-thirds. What’s worse, I stuck a facetious title on: Jamuqa must have named Me and Atrocity.