Series’ are all the rage.
When I first published I had an idea of what I would publish and when. I had several books completed and so envisaged preparing and releasing each of them as I went along. What I hadn’t factored in was that readers would care about my work.
I don’t sell very many books, I know that the world of indie publishing often leaves many authors languishing in obscurity because of the sheer volume of available books if nothing else. I always wrote the kind of books that I would want to read, I write as a reader.
Mistake Me Not drew varying feedback but there was always going to be a book two. I’d written it before I published the first. Explicit Instruction, I have to be honest, is my favourite. I relished writing every single word, and though my confidence in how it would be received flagged, I toned it down in the editing process and I’m proud of the end result – even if there are those out there who are not.
But I hadn’t thought anyone would want another Explicit novel. I’d written an outline for a second novel but that’s not unusual for me. Sometimes I write chapters and chapters after I’ve completed a novel because I’m not yet ready to give up the characters, and I’m interested in how they develop, in where they go. I hadn’t thought anyone else would care!
So how to decide? I have to admit that since I realised people were interested in further Rushe and Flick novels my mind has been jumping with ideas. I couldn’t sleep last night because of them. I actually got up in the middle of the night and started making notes.
So what’s the problem? Well the problem is that I promised this MMN sequel and I am doing it, I will get it out this year, but I don’t imagine there are many people anticipating it.
Both novels have been enjoyed by people who have read them, not by everyone who read them, but you’ll never please everyone. I suppose my dilemma comes from the fact that there isn’t a huge audience. I would be happy to write for the dozen or so folks who have expressed interest in a sequel but chances are they’ll have forgotten about it by the time I get it out.
The only thing to do is to keep writing. I’ll get the MMN sequel out, then see if the audience for more Explicit novels has grown. The nature of the characters mean that more Explicit novels would continue to be graphic. Rushe isn’t going to suddenly become a flurry bunny, and Flick’s confidence would skyrocket knowing she had Rushe at her back. The language and imagery will continue to offend some people, but I would have to stay true to the style of work that the original Explicit book follows.
I’d like to write more but it’s a big decision to make. My other novels are softer, safer, and if my readers expect that then I’ll have to deliver. But – and this is a big but – if it turns out that my readers actually prefer my raunchier work then way-hey! Let’s get to it!
I can’t put Explicit Instruction in front of too many people because it’s just not suitable for all. But without readers there is no point in a sequel.
Grr! See how frustrating it is to be in my head! Anyway, I’m procrastiwriting, I should be writing, and I’m not. My head is bouncing. It’s at times like these I wish I had an editor to help direct my creativity. I’ll write what people want, for the largest audience. But how do I know what that is?
Good luck on your adventures,