Writer’s Process: Thoughts on Writing Sequels and Natural Order Peek

Lately I’ve been pretty focused on the subject of sequels. I remembered a few years ago before I started college I got e-mail from my publisher stating that my sequel for Ancestral Magic (currently named Shadow Magic), didn’t have enough back story. Now I admit, as a woman who enjoys a good fantasy or paranormal book series, nothing irritates me more than feeling like a previous book is being retold in the following one. Fortunately, for my sake and that of my readers would’ve been politely nudging me for the sequel, I finally got over the creative speedbump and now Shadow Magic due out early next spring.

Lately I have been working away on my newest project, National Rebirth, the sequel to my novel that is coming out in a few days, Natural Order. It’s crazy hard. It’s been so long since I wrote the first one, I had to really reacquaint myself with the story, and the little details. Timeline was a huge one. The characters, those seem to always remain with me, but setting, dates, even name sometimes, those can be tricky. I found the easiest thing was to become a scholar of the first book, before I even started working on the second. While I have enough back story this time with all slowing the pace? Who knows. But I now have a better respect for the authors I used to be irritated with as I waited for the sequels and continuing sagas of their work.

So for my readers who have enjoyed getting to know the wonderful folks in the community of Green Grove, and who are waiting patiently to revisit there, I invite you to come and get to know the Archiquette family and their newest daughter, Elizabeth.

Here’s a sample of that community from soon to be released novel, Natural Order.

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What a week!

I have to admit the last couple weeks have been very frustrating for me. With Natural Order coming out on October 1, and me not having done any marketing for any books for a couple years now, there was a lot of prep work to do. The advantage to that is now that I have the groundwork set up future marketing for other novels is going to be easier. The disadvantage is I was spending so much time feeding the marketing beast that I had little to no time left to actually write.

A few days ago, just as I was about to do the read over on Natural Rebirth so I could start finishing the last few chapters, edits came in for Shadow Magic (the sequel to Ancestral Magic). As of today I’ve got the first run edits done on  Shadow Magic, and I am about through chapter 6 on my read through of Natural Rebirth. I admit when I first wrote the rough draft a while back and when I did the reorg of the chapters a month or so ago, I wasn’t really sure if I was happy with the way the novel was going. Now that I’ve had a little time away and I’m able to read through what I have so far, I’m happier with the story. I’ve got about eight more chapters to read through and clean up, and I think probably about five more chapters to write, but my goal of finishing the novel (the first draft at least) by October 1 doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

Part of me wishes I’d been able to blog more this past week or so, but I imagine once the first book is released and I’m stressing less about the whole thing, finding things to say here will be easier. It’s possible that trying to theme certain days is making me feel limited rather than my original intent of giving me a plan, so I might keep things here a little bit more free form for a while. I did recently replace my academic datebook, so I finally have a way of keeping track of what I’m supposed to do on each day, so that might help, too.

I’m hoping soon, however I decide to do it, to start seeing people comment on the posts here. It’s a lot more exciting and engaging to talk when you know you are have an audience listening and interacting with you. Here’s hoping as this blog grows and my books become available to a wider audience of people, that I will see more people come here to have conversations with.