Today we have Stina Lindenblatt at our blog sharing hardships of Writing a Sequel…
aka talking about her NEW RELEASE ◊ Let Me Know
When I first set out to write Tell Me When, I hadn’t planned for there to be a sequel. I wanted to write a standalone book. But as I plotted it, I realized I wouldn’t do the story justice if I threw in the trial at the end. It wasn’t part of Amber’s character arc at that point, and I wanted to make the most of the trial. The only problem was I had no idea how I was going to do that. But I didn’t care. I only had to worry about writing the first book. I’d worry about the sequel later.
Not a problem. At least it wasn’t one until after I’d had written the book and had no idea what was going to happen in the sequel. I knew there had to be one. There were a few unfinished threads left hanging that called for a sequel (and my publisher, Carina Press, agreed). Fortunately, I found the idea for a story from watching the news while on vacation.
Now, I learned a few things while writing the sequel. Or rather, I hit a few problems with my sequel. By the time I was editing Let Me Know, Tell Me When had already gone to production. I realized the trial date I had identified in the first book would no longer work in Let Me Know, and it was too late to have it changed in the first book. Let’s just say there was some creative reworking of Let Me Know to work around the issue. If you’re planning to write a sequel, before you publish or query the book, make sure you have a loose outline planned so that you know if you will have to change the dates in the first book. It’s a lot easier to do that before the book is published. And figure out the sequence of events on a calendar. That would have saved me a lot of work. I would have seen that I was trying to squeeze in too much in a short period.
Another challenge of writing a sequel comes from forgetting minor details in the first book and turning them on their head in the sequel. I realized after Let Me Know had gone to production that I had messed up a small detail, but fortunately the sentence was able to be reworked. I wasn’t worried, though, if it hadn’t been fixed. I had a plan B if I wrote a third book to the series. It wasn’t until the ARCs had already gone out that I remember another place in the book where I had made the same mistake. Fortunately this mistake, as it turns out, is going to work to my advantage in the next book in the Lost in You series. I couldn’t have asked for a better mistake. But yes, it would have made things easier if I had reviewed my secondary character’s backstory while writing Let Me Know. So the lesson learned: keep detailed notes about everything, including things pertaining to your secondary characters, and review them frequently.
A final challenge you have to worry about deals with readers remembering who the characters are and their role in the story. Some readers will have recently read the previous book. Others read it when the book came out and don’t have time to re-read it. You have to be careful not the bore the first group of readers by rehashing everything that they’ve just read. But you also have to give the other group enough to go on so that they don’t get frustrated and abandon the book.
• When reading a sequel, what kinds of things frustrate you that you wish the author had considered when writing the book?
•If you’ve written a sequel, what kinds of challenges have you faced?
Let Me Know Synopsis:
This shouldn’t be happening again…
Amber Scott thought her screaming nightmares would end now that her stalker is locked up and awaiting trial. But they return when her slam-dunk case starts to fall apart. Explicit letters she allegedly wrote surface, suggesting she was the mastermind behind her assault, a willing victim.
Amber only feels safe in the arms of her boyfriend Marcus, the one person she can lean on. Until damning evidence from Marcus’s past collides with the case and the media circus drags them both down. To protect Amber’s reputation, Marcus has only one option: end their relationship. He won’t risk further damage to her case, even if it means breaking her heart.
Amber has to find the strength to step into the spotlight and bring awareness to victims’ rights before she’s convicted in the court of public opinion. And she’s really not sure what’s worse—that her kidnapper could walk free, or that the seemingly endless attention and speculation will drive Marcus away permanently…
See how it all began for Amber and Marcus in Tell Me When.
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Stina Lindenblatt Bio:
Born in England, Stina loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina is a photographer, mother of three adorable kids, and devoted wife. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada.
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