It’s been one year since Hands Held in the Snow began serializing on the internet. One year since Emi and Beatrice first laid eyes on one another and our beloved narrator asked us, was it love at first sight?
It feels like an eternity ago. That’s kind of what 2020 was generally like, though. I started writing the book over three years ago, and now it’s finally out for everyone to see, for the world to read and hopefully fall in love with just like I did writing it.
There’s been a whole lot of support for the series since it came out, enough that I’m still pretty overwhelmed about it. ATL is enough of a slow burn experience that I felt OK with how it finally became a little bit more popular as time went on. Hands Held in the Snow, though, had an active readership from the very start! That’s one of the cool things about how web fiction has grown in such a short time.
While the main site has not been particularly active, a few people each month read through the story and leave comments, either on Royal Road or Tapas, and it fills my heart with warmth every time. The Twitter account gets a lot of fun stuff on it from time to time as well. It’s enough to keep me happy, though I’m still waiting for the day the story eventually breaks out (if that lucky day ever comes).
Maybe not enough time has passed to do a thorough reflection. I’m at a loss to actually talk about the story as a whole. It’s still really fresh, like the world of Balarand still hasn’t left me.
As much as I am glad that Hands Held in the Snow is finally over, part of me doesn’t want to let it go! It was a really fun experience and I keep finding myself tinkering away at it, trying to make it perfect for everyone. I’ve been meaning to make some small maps of the continent and of Balarand itself. And I still have a few fun bonus stories to share with the world… though those will mostly be silly non-canon alternate universe tales.
Maybe that’s why I don’t feel ready to reflect on one year with Emi & Beatrice just yet; because my heart doesn’t feel like the experience is fully complete yet. Maybe that’s pretty silly of my heart to think that, but there’s only one response I can make: 仕方がないわ。
I’m glad you read this reflection, whether you are a fan of the story or someone who hasn’t tried it out just yet. (Though if you are the latter, I really recommend it! It’s good! Start from chapter 1!)
With any luck, my next romance novel will release in 2021 (after over two years of research and planning!). And I hope you will be there for it.