Greetings! I am Green Snake, of the Chief Clan, of the Sky Hand People. To most people I am simply known as Trader. Many of you have read PEOPLE OF THE WEEPING EYE and PEOPLE OF THE THUNDER, so you know my story. Here’s what you don’t know: I’m not in any of the later books. Perhaps you wonder what happens to a character when the novel is finished? For a fact I can tell you that things just get downright boring. Now, after everything those Gears put me though in the above mentioned novels, I can tell you, bored can look pretty good. It really beats worrying about some Yuchi holy man tying me up in a square and gouging my eyes out. Having nothing to do but reread Gear novels, I started bothering Mike and Kathy about this blog site. According to the rules, it should be updated every so often for the sake of the fans. Kathy just gave me that irritated look, the one she does over her reading glasses that says “If you don’t go away and leave me along right now, I’m going to rewrite that scene to that you actually get hung in a Yuchi square and have your eyes gouged out.” Having survived as a Trader all these years, I’m nothing if not perceptive. I gave Kathy one of those weak, innoffensive smiles, and let her get back to Koracoo, Gonda, and Ganajero. They are characters in PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE. I read some of the story over her shoulder. Wow! And I thought Old White and I had enough trouble on the river with crazy old Two Petals? That Ganajero is just plain wicked and scary. I’ll take Smoke Shield over her any day of the week. The good news is that as you read this, PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE is finished and being submitted to Susan Change at Tor/Forge. I thought Kathy would be free to do the blog post, but she immediately started the sequel to PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE, and gave me that “I’m going to hang you in a square” look. For a Trader, I’m really smart; I sneaked downstairs to where Mike was running PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE through his computer one last time. I started bugging him about updating the blog. He asked me if I’d like to have de Soto clamp a slave collar around my neck and be worked to death in the second CONTACT novel. Characters, you see, can appear in more than one book. If you are a character, rule number one is: Don’t piss of the author. I meekly reminded him that he’d been really busy, what with Pocket Books changing the title of the first CONTACT book to THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA: THE COMING STORM. I knew that he liked that better than PEOPLE OF THE SWORD, and maybe he’d forget about letting de Soto work me to death in book two of that series. He had already drafted out about fifty pages of the second de Soto book before Kathy handed him the LONGHOUSE disc, and by the time he finishes that, Jennifer Heddle will be sending revisions for COMING STORM. Mike always gets that harried look when he gets reminded of how much work he has to do. That’s when he told me that if I was so worried about the blog post, I ought to just do it myself. Which, when you think about it, is what I’ve just done. What happens to characters after their book is finished? I guess that these days, we’ve got super new futures as bloggers. May Horned Serpent gaze fondly on the Internet with his crystalline eyes. And me, I’m going to sneak down and read the ending of THE COMING STORM. I was busy watching over Kathy’s shoulder so I didn’t see what happened to Black Shell and Pearl Hand at the battle of Napetuca. And that de Soto? One bad dude. I’d rather face a Yuchi square any day.