Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats was written as a standalone with series potential. This is the most common tidbit of advice I’ve found directed at newbie/unpublished writers–along with a 200k fantasy will never sell.
With my previous four books, it was easy to “trunk” them and go on to the next story. But Gracie and Asher’s story won’t leave my mind. So I’m currently writing my first sequel. This is turning out to be easier and harder than expected.
The easy part is, well, easy to understand. I know these characters. Maybe it’s my psych degree or maybe it’s my admittedly OCD tendencies, but I’ve built up extensive psychological profiles on all the major characters. I know what drives them, their emotional wounds, what they want to accomplish, and even their favorite color. (Gracie’s current fave is watermelon with a hint of shimmer. It is summer after all.)
The hard part is more head scratching. I had expected issues with continuities. Would I be able to keep the plot going? Would I be able to continue the voice? None of that has been an issue. In my office I have three chalkboards–my storyboard wall. One lists the characters, the second has plot threads, and the third is my random board with idle bits of dialogue and questions my fantastic writing group asked. This has really helped.
For me, the hardest part of writing the sequel is time. I’m publishing Pink Lock Picks this summer and there always seems to be something to choose or prep. I assume this must be something like having a second child. Just because you have a new baby, doesn’t mean the firstborn will quietly play by herself. My plan of Saturdays for book one and Sundays for book two hasn’t quite worked out.
But I have a large cup of coffee and a free morning, so book one will have to grab her crayons and entertain herself for awhile. It’s time for me to dive into the sequel to see what kinda trouble Gracie gets Asher into this time.
And Happy Father’s Day, Dad.