Now that Crossroads is finally complete, I wanted to take this opportunity to say a few things because I feel I owe it to all the people who've been following this fic for a long time and who have been so encouraging and wonderful along the way.
When I first had the idea of doing a J/L fic, I was going to write it as a one-shot – a standalone. It involved a lot of things that didn't even come close to ending up in the story that exists today, and that's probably a good thing because most of it was awful (ie a dance, Lily falling down a flight of stairs, a broom closet, and similar clichéd horrors). Just about the only thing that survived was the conversation James and Lily have in Chapter Eight about him being an animagus...and funnily enough, that's almost word for word from its original concept.
Slowly but surely, it went to being a three-parter and finally to a full-fledged novel-length. It was in the works long before I ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard – whatever) and since then it's gone through countless revisions, sometimes with me and my faithful beta Casca rearranging things a mere couple of days before I put the chapter online. I began it, then in the middle of writing it I went to France and spent endless hours in my room on Allée Spach with my laptop and God-knows how many euros at the internet café sending it back and forth for editing and posting. I scrambled to get that last chapter out right before Order of the Phoenix hit the shelves...and then decided to revise, which turned into a project that was ten times bigger than I thought it was going to be.
Crossroads has been a constant source of pride and joy for me during these past three years, even if I want to faint when I think that it's actually been that long since I came up with the idea in the first place! I wouldn't have done it if it hadn't been enjoyable, and it wouldn't have been half as enjoyable if it weren't for the countless readers who let me know that they were eagerly following it. For that, I do not know words eloquent enough to thank you.
As the story has wound down to its conclusion in the past months, however, many will have noticed that my updates have become sporadic. Life for me now is very different than it was three years ago, and there are different kinds of time constraints. Not to mention the fact that even the most enthusiastic writers run the risk of getting burned out if they work on something for too long. So, needless to say, this version of Crossroads will be the last, no matter what Ms. Rowling has in store for us (or James and Lily) in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I am glad I revised, because I think I have made it a better story, but I don't have it in me to do it again – and I'm sure you don't have it in you to read it again! If indeed the story becomes an AU, I know that it has run a good course creatively and know that it will still maintain its place in the hearts of its most staunch fans – one of them being myself.
I'll close by saying once again how much I've appreciated your support over the years for this story. I want to send a huge thank you to the gals who carried me through my numerous bouts of writers block and gave me heaps of inspiration along the way – Adrea, Sandra, Kathy, and most especially Cara. I couldn't have done it without you guys, because you've all made sure to nurture my obsession with your own and it's always better for eccentrics to travel in groups. ;-) Also to all those Hidden Tower inmates who were generous with their praise and always managed to leave a review (or a nag) for me at the Tower forum – thank you. To those who never posted at the boards but who took the time to email me and let me know they were liking what they read – thank you. Last but not least, to all the lurkers who never came out from behind their screens but who followed the story – thank you.
With that, I'll bid a fond farewell to Crossroads (writing it, at least), and now I'm on to the next thing, whatever that may be. :-)
PS – I would be remiss if I didn't also express my thanks to those assets which made the 'discussions' (read: arguments) Cara and I had over the details of this story much more comfortable (read: less dangerous). These are, in no particular order:
· Oldsmobile (provided the means for summer - and winter - evening drives)
· New Star Chinese Restaurant (in Elmwood Park, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago and if anyone ever goes, you MUST try the eggrolls)
· The CocaCola Company (for Diet Vanilla Coke)
· The late, great Angel's All-Nite Diner (RIP to the best cream of chicken soup ever)
· Net. (the most accommodating internet café in Strasbourg)