My seven year-old daughter skedaddles into our living room and perches herself onto one of the settee’s arms. I’m sitting on it, typing, editing, reading, thinking. ‘What are you doing?’ The dreaded question every parent fears hangs in the air. I’m still typing, interrogating Windows’ thesaurus and weighing my words’ options.
‘Muuuum, what are you doing?’
‘I’m writing my second novel. It’s not for children though. It’s for young adults, basically kids just a little older than you but still a lot younger than me.’
‘You mean there will not be a book 2 of the first book you wrote?’
‘Should there be?’ This girl reads far too much. I make a note to myself to eliminate box sets from her Christmas list.
‘But of course! At the end of the first adventure your main character sits down.’ She slums on the sofa, acting out her words,’ and says: “what a good adventure that was!” Dot dot dot!’
She looks at me, expectantly. I say nothing.
‘Yes, he sits down and says: “I wonder what the next adventure will be?” which is your book number 2, and then the next one, book number 3 and so on. All good adventures have more than one book, everybody knows that!’ She skedaddles out, taking my ten minutes of peace with her. Worse still, she takes away my well intended plan for this year (remember my Resolutions, resolutions post? https://ofglassandbooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/resoutions-resolutions-who-are-we-kidding/), which is to focus on novel 2, for YA, and novel 3, for little ones, as well as giving my new sister blog Barking at the wrong tree some loving care and experimenting with short stories.
Should my plans be revised? My daughter has a point. Adventures are made for sequels and children expect them. Looked at it this way, they are tough customers. One single book doesn’t cut the mustard. On the other hand, the opposite is true. Think of creating a popular story and managing to come up with a second, third, and many more follow up adventures. No need to squeeze your creative brain for anything new to dazzle the world with. Your first idea won the hearts of so many, why diversify? My son is devouring the Cherub series. He’s on what seems to me and my purse to be book number 134 and he’s still hungry for more….OK, it’s more likely to be number 8 or 9, but you get the point.
Are you a sequels fan or are you happy to settle for one timers? Your thoughts are, as always, gratefully received.
All the best, OG&B