Wow, the Enchanted, Inc. reread has finally come to an end, with the last chapter.
I'm pretty sure the final chapter in the published book is different from what I initially wrote, but I don't think I could tell you exactly how. I think there might have been more wrap-up and a bit more dithering.
I did get some complaints about Katie not ending up with Owen at the end, but I'm a big fan of the slow build, and I didn't want to move too quickly. I wanted to give just enough of a hint of possibility, but I wanted her to explore other options first so we'd have a basis for comparison and know Owen was the right guy. Besides, he's kind of a chicken socially, so it would take a lot for him to be able to openly ask her out. In my mental backstory, he's the one who first noticed her when he saw her in a bookstore and was attracted to her, and then in watching her from afar he noticed signs that might indicate she was immune to magic, and so they set up the test that morning on the subway. If you're really shy, it's harder to talk to someone who really matters to you, so it's going to take him a while to work up the nerve and the comfort level to ask her out.
I actually think I got them together too soon and I might have done things differently if I'd known how many more books there would be, but at the time I had a two-book contract with no real guarantee of more, so I didn't want to leave that thread hanging.
I know the very last scene, of her heading to the office on the subway and noticing the magical things but not being shocked, wasn't my first draft, but now I can't think of any other way I could have ended it. It's a full-circle kind of thing, going back to where she was at the beginning and showing how much she's already changed.
It's been fun re-reading this because it's finally been so long since I wrote it that I can almost read it as a reader and not as the writer who still wants to tinker with it. I wrote this book largely because it was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to read, and I couldn't find anything quite like it. I think that I'd have loved this book and become a huge fan if I'd just been a reader who found it -- which seems rather obvious, since as the writer I was able to customize it to my personal tastes.
Incidentally, the book is set in 2005. I wrote it in 2003 and planned it to take place in 2005 because I figured that was when it was most likely to be published if it sold, so I used a 2005 calendar to figure out days of the week and dates. This doesn't really show in this book, but the later books are still set in 2005-2006 even though they were published later, so I had to keep checking technology levels. That's why there's not so much texting and people aren't yet widely using smartphones. That sort of thing was more ubiquitous when the later books were published, but it was only just barely getting started at the time when the books were set. The first book actually takes place in the near future after the publication date (published in late May 2005, set in September-November 2005), but the rest happen after the time period in which they're set. I don't put any date stamps in the book, so they're more or less timeless, aside from any trends, entertainment, and technology, but I tried to mentally keep everything in period.
I may take a little break before diving into book 2.