Please welcome Kim as she talks about sequels and series! We all know how bad I am about them. LOL Let’s see what Kim’s got to say…
Hi! I’m Kim Fielding. What do you think about sequels and series? I don’t write them very often. Mostly because it’s the initial conflict and drama of a burgeoning relationship that interest me. Once a couple has been together for a while, the struggles become more mundane. One partner wants to make a career change that the other is skeptical about. The couple is compelled to care for aging parents. Someone forgot to take the garbage bins out to the curb. While these conflicts are often huge for the people involved, they’re generally not all that exciting for anybody else. Believe me, I know whereof I speak. I’ve been married for 27 years.
So even though I fall in love with my characters and miss them horribly when they’ve gone their own ways, and even though I sometimes get pleading emails from fans, I don’t often write sequels. For a lot of my guys, now that they’ve found each other and settled their differences, any additional complications I throw at them will feel contrived.
That being said, I think sometimes sequels are not only justified, but necessary. There’s when:
- The first book is enough to get a solid relationship in place, but the guys still have plenty of baggage to deal with. That’s what happened in the first two books of my Bones series. By the end of Good Bones, Dylan has come clean about his rather unusual problem, and Chris has indicated that he’s willing to accept him. But both of them are new to long-term relationships, and it takes another book—Buried Bones—for them to truly find their bearings. Besides, Chris has a boatload of family issues to deal with.
- The characters live a life where adventures can be expected. By the end of my first novel, Stasis, Enek and Miner are together. But they’re just setting off on a major journey that’s going to take two more books to complete. At the end of Brute, Aric and Gray are free and loved, but they’re left contemplating exploring their world. And now, the lovely Tali Spencer and I are contemplating a crossover between my Brute and her Thick as Thieves.
- A new character—one who played a minor part in a previous story—clamors for his story to be told. When I was writing Buried Bones, I totally fell in love with Ery Phillips, Dylan’s old pal. Ery had only a small role in that book, but he was so fun! And single, and maybe an itsy teensy bit jealous that Dylan and Chris had found love. So I wrote a third book, Bone Dry, that tells Ery’s story. That book came out this month.
- Old characters appear in cameo roles in new books. Jeff and Clive from Venetian Masks show up briefly in Pilgrimage. In part, this was just for fun. But I also wanted to show that after their adventures in Europe, things were working out well for them in California. Likewise, Travis and Drew from Speechless meet Chris and Dylan in my freebie short, “The Gig.” And Travis and Drew also have very small roles in Bone Dry.
- A setting is particularly evocative. I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve read series in which a particular place generates multiple stories, most of which overlap only a little.
- A series of books has a common theme or minor character. I have plans now for a series of at least four books centered loosely on Raven mythology. The Raven himself will appear in all of them, mostly to stir up trouble between the protagonists.
When do you think series and sequels work best?
Bone Dry is one of my five (!) new releases. I’m doing a Fieldingpalooza tour, complete with prizes. You can find all the details on my website. Please come join me!
Kim’s new releases:
The Festivus Miracle—releases November 1—all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders—available now for preorder!
For more details on Kim’s books, as well as some free stories, visit her at http://kfieldingwrites.com/. You can also follow her in Twitter @KFieldingWrites and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites.