Today I want to talk about what it's like to put out a sequel in less than a year from the first book. I just recently announced that TRANSPARENT will, in fact, have a sequel called BLINDSIDED—and it will be coming out in January 2014.
That's 8 months after TRANSPARENT came out. A full 4 months earlier than the traditional 1 year between sequels. Not only that, but I didn't know I'd be writing this book until this year, when a contracted sequel is usually started soon after the sale of the first book.
I often hear people lamenting the long wait for sequels, and why can't writers write faster and why can't publishers put out books quicker? Heck, I've wished this myself quite often. A year is a long time to the average person, but I will be honest and say it sure don't feel like a long time to this author anymore!
I spent 2 years writing TRANSPARENT (and then re-writing it all). Then I spent 2 years from the time it sold to debut with lots of time to edit, and I also had time in between to work on other projects and have a baby and stuff.
With BLINDSIDED? I have had 1 year from first draft to end. ONE YEAR. (Actually, technically I have 9 months because it has to be entirely done in September). Hot Key asked me in January to write it, and I have spent my whole writing life doing this one single thing. While I count myself lucky for the opportunity, I highly underestimated just how difficult it would be to create this book in roughly 1/4 of the time I spent on TRANSPARENT. I've had to squeeze all those hours I stretched over 4 years into about 9 months, and that has been a huge challenge with 3 kids plus debuting as an author.
It's like everything an author experiences while writing a novel still happens but in a shorter period of time. That means the angst is on steroids. Every emotion out there I've felt about BLINDSIDED. The doubts. The excitement. The fear. The joy. Sometimes they all come on top of each other and I have no idea what I'm feeling. That's stressful.
After doing a sequel this fast, I wonder if I would ever write one this quickly again. I'm not sure I would. Not because it wasn't doable—I've totally met my deadlines!—but it was a huge undertaking that caused me to put so much else in my life aside. Maybe that works for some writers, but I've found a lot of enjoyment in taking my time these days. I remember when I used to dream about putting out a handful of books a year, and I laugh at myself. Just having two next year feels like SO MUCH.
While I have loved working on BLINDSIDED (well, for the most part), I'm looking forward to working on new worlds, exploring new characters. It has definitely taught me that I'm not cut out for a 7 book series or anything near that, ha.