Monday, August 12, 2013

Sequel Mayhem

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.


  1. Aw, no 7-book series around Fiona and superpowers? ;) Haha! From a writer's perspective, I can understand that. From a reader's, dang!

  2. I imagine the toughest part is relaxing so that you don't go on brain lock or something. Big congratulations on the deal and handling the pressure!

    1. Jeff, that actually HAS been the hardest part! Striking that balance is a work in progress. I try to at least take weekends off, but it's felt like burnout is right around the corner all year, heh.

  3. Wow! You are amazing, lady, and while I can't wait to read it, I'm glad you get a chance to shift can be hard living with the same characters under so much pressure!

  4. I could be wrong, but I feel like a lot of writers dream about working faster, and then do a reverse and dream about being able to take their time.

    Anyhoot, I'm super excited for the sequel! Congrats again, and props on writing so much so quickly. :)

  5. Wow, that seems like an undertaking. Congrats on the books, though! :)

  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing the experience! I wonder though, if it was easier to write because of the experience and practice that you had writing Transparent.

  7. While I had my second novel written before Locked Within came out, I had to do a full re-write before I was offered the contract, and I managed it in about 2 months. It was the hardest, most intensive writing I've ever done, but the end result was a much stronger book and it taught me a lot about my own strengths and weaknesses as a writer.

    The time between starting that re-write and the release of Silent Oath will be about 13 months.

    The scary thing is I've aiming to try and get two books out next year; the final part of the current trilogy and the first book in an all-new series.

  8. Of course, there's all that real life stuff that can get in the way....

    Good that you're keeping on schedule.