Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sequels - Part 3

When I wrote my first YA novel, Chance, I envisioned three books and knew what they'd be about. Their titles were obvious – Chance, Second Chance and Last Chance. (Chance is the name of the main character, by the way.) I mentioned this to my then-agent, who said not to start planning the second and certainly don't start writing it until he'd sold the first – which he never did. So instead of writing Second Chance, I started working on Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter. But the then-agent decided he didn't want to represent it – or by extension me – any more. So that was the end of that until this summer, when I got the new agent.

When I signed with him this summer on the strength of Chrissie Warren, the new agent called and we talked a little about the book. Needless to say, it was my favorite phone conversation of 2011! And then he made it better by asking. "Would you consider a sequel?"

Let me say that again the way I heard it. "Would you – yes YOU!!!! – consider writing a SEQUEL??!!!!!!!!!!!"

I allowed as how I just might. It was not an accident that I left a couple of loose ends at the conclusion of Chrissie Warren Pirate Hunter, just as I had with Chance. Not holes, the story wraps up in a totally satisfying way, and I particularly love the last line. But there's an allusion to what they might do next that leaves me plenty of room for a sequel. And the agent caught it immediately.

His suggestion is, after I finish the revision (which I'm working on and very happy with) I write out a one- to two-page synopsis of each sequel I envision so that publishers will know I have something concrete in mind.

It's definitely a double-edged sword. If they like the book and are excited about it, it gives them one more thing to love. But it also feels like I'm going to rise or fall not just on how good the book is, but how good the ideas for the following two also are.

It's a risk I'm willing to take. I love the characters – Chrissie, her father Dan, shipmates Jack and Charlie and Nathan – I enjoyed spending time with them writing their story and want to see where I might be able to take them next. Or where they take me, because not everything in the book is my idea. They did some of it all on their own. They already have histories and personalities, so it won't be like starting over. And if a pubis her wants three books – well, hell, that's three times better than a publisher wanting one, isn't it?

So I'll definitely give it a shot. And that's all I have to say about that.

1 comment:

  1. Huzzah! ANd, carry on, mate!

    Much support,
    Your Biggest Fan