Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hooked on Sequels

As I delve into the continuation of Ana and Brandan’s journey, I have been pondering the wisdom of putting my time and energy into a sequel. The publishing industry is a shifty beast, metamorphosing, it seems, daily. Is there an interest in sagas anymore? Successes like Outlander, Twilight and Game of Thrones would indicate there is, yet the industry professionals do not seem to be clamouring for them.

Love Denied is, without doubt, a historical romance. Catherine and Nicholas play out their story and leave us with a satisfying happily ever after. There are characters within their tale that demand their own stories and I have given it to two of them in novellas. Two more have so much to say that they will be getting their own novels. But, none of them are dependent upon Love Denied, nor is Love Denied dependent on them. However, readers of the next novels and the novellas will enjoy getting a glimpse of Catherine and Nicholas again and, if they are anything like me, will be pleased to know that their happy ever after continues.

Raven’s Path has been more difficult to classify. History is not just a backdrop; it is a co-pilot, assisting in driving the plot. There is a satisfying ending, but there is so much more to tell, so much more to that era and Brandan and Ana’s lives within it. I feel compelled to continue to explore it. And, the question I have been asking myself is why?

I think it goes back to my reading preferences, developed at a young age. I read every Nancy Drew book, not just for the mystery but because I got to see Nancy and crew again and again. After that I was hooked on Anne of Green Gables. Following her life was such a thrill. Mary Stewart’s Merlin series is another joyful reading memory from my early teen years. Later, as an adult promoting the joy of books to children, I fell in love with the Harry Potter series and was as disappointed as any child when it ended.

Why do I like these series and hold them fondly in my heart? When a story is good, when I fall in love with the characters, I don’t want to say goodbye. They become real in some corner of my mind and I want to know what happens in their lives. Like good friends I have not seen in a while, when I pick up the latest in a series it is as though we’ve never been apart.

I don’t think I am alone in my penchant for sagas. The longevity of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and its recent leap to fame on the small screen, is testimony to that. I await, alongside millions, to see what will happen next with Jamie and Claire.

It seems it is no different for me when I am writing. I want to know what happens next to the characters in Raven’s Path. What are the events of 1750 that impact their lives? How do they respond to them? Where will they go next? Whom will they meet? I am as anxious for the answers to these questions as a writer as I am as a reader. It seems publishing trends are irrelevant to this author. I must follow my heart. And, it leads me back down Raven’s Path.

2 comments:

  1. I love series! But then, I've read a few. ;-) And I read stand alone books, too. So, don't take my word for it, but I'm writing a series. Yes, I am. In Women's Fiction. There are a few of them floating around. It might not be the best thing to do, but it's the stories that have me by the throat. I just can't let my brain babies die before they're born, now can I? Good luck, Rose, whichever path you choose. ;-)

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  2. I know I am not alone in my desire for more story about characters I like; I know too many people who say the same thing. Odd, that it is does not seem popular in the publishing community. Best of luck to you too, Zan Marie, as you give birth to those babies. :0)

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