Dahveed 4 was in some ways the easiest and the hardest book to write so far in the series. It was easy because the story line was almost completely laid out. Indeed, to begin with, I wondered if I'd have enough material to write a book longer than 200 pages! Over a quarter of the book as written was shifted back into Dahveed 3 because of the change in the ending for that book. The time of Dahveed's life covered in this book was only a year and a half, two years at most, and the only other necessity was tying off several storylines developed in the series.
However, as I worked with the story, I decided to follow Abigail and Ahinoam as captives, which added a lot to the book, as well as laying the groundwork for a tie-in with book 6. That encouraged me to think about what else might be needed to make sense of some things in book 5, and I found myself building toward the latter part of Dahveed's life as well as tying off storylines from the first part of his life.
Since I am committed to following the biblical account, I did not have much choice about who died. 1 Samuel is clear. Everyone died. And writing about those deaths was what made this book the hardest to write, emotionally, in the series.
Producing the first draft of "The Last Ten Days" was not as stressful as it might have been since my concentration on producing the story mitigated the impact to a certain extent. But editing it thereafter was very hard, and I had to edit it numerous times. I usually didn't change much, and ended up crying, so eventually, I quit editing it at all, and just let it stand as written. And, once again on the advice of my family, I altered the place the book ended, leaving it in a time of mourning. As my oldest son said to me, "Mom, the book just needs to end sad!"