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Author Answers with A H Serrano: What Did You Edit Out of Vile & Blessed?

Hey, Worldhoppers!

To a lot of people, how a novel is made is a mysterious process. As a reader, you usually only get to see the story in its most perfect form. It’s certainly different for every author, but it’s highly unlikely that any of your favorite books didn’t go through the meat grinder and leave something on the kitchen floor.

We caught up with A H Serrano and asked her…

What did you edit out of Vile & Blessed?

I’ve edited the entire book out of this book at some point, so that’s a loaded question. V&B went through a lot of changes over the years. Characters, character names, titles, plotlines … If it could be changed, I changed it in some way. As for the final round of revision and editing, what didn’t make it in was mostly flashbacks and little scenes that were relevant to the story, technically, but didn’t move anything forward. A lot of those things will be seen later as short stories for my readers. However, I do have this scene that I saved (don’t ask me why, I’m not really sure). Since it isn’t in my “turn this into a short story” file, I’ll share it with you now.

Hah. Hah. Hah. Hah.

Panic churned in his gut as his breath came in short pants. Bright white light nearly blinded him.

“Doctor, the healer has arrived.”

River strained to see past the light. Figures moved around him, their eyes the only things he could see clearly. Black—their eyes had bled completely black.

“Send the healer in. We are prepared to move forward.”

For a moment, peace calmed the erratic pounding of his heart. A healer could take away his pain. Maybe it meant he was going home. Maybe he could finally be done with this place…with these people…

“The metal worker crafted a beautiful prosthetic. However, I’m put off by the size. It won’t make my job any easier.”

“It is a prototype. We did not require perfection.”


It took a moment for the word to sink in.


River’s voice came out as a high groan, the sound foreign, like a wounded animal. Why had he expected anything good from them?

Warm hands touched his shoulder. It was soothing and deceptive. He tried to pull away from it, but his body seemed as if it had been separated from him. It didn’t respond to his commands, lying still under the healer’s ministrations. He cried at the betrayal.

It started as a simple prick and more followed. Tiny needles of feeling spread over his arm and stretched down to his chest. The prickling grew, stabbing, then searing as pain sawed through his body.

“No!” he screamed. “Please don’t do this! Please stop!”

“Without this, you’ll die,” a voice whispered near his ear. “You cannot die, River. Not yet.”

The pain exploded.


I know AHS said she doesn’t plan to turn this bit of story into it’s own story, but now I kind of want her to.

Don’t worry. We’ll talk to her and see if we can convince her to make it. You’ll just have to sit tight and see if we can make this thing happen. Either way, we can promise this: there will be more stories from the world of Eszailha coming!

But if you haven’t read the first book in the series, you don’t have to wait.

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