It seems like there’s a sequel to everything. Every book. Every movie. Every television show.
The market demands them.
We invest our time reading or watching a story. We get engaged and excited or enraged at the characters, the plots, the themes, and then it’s over. Two hours, 12 episodes, two hundred and fifty pages, just isn’t enough. We want more. We need more. We just can’t get enough.
I’m learning that there’s an art to the sequel. A balance. How much to retell. How much to move ahead. How much time to wait between installments. Too soon and the items can’t stand on their own and your audience loses excitement and anticipation. But if you wait too long they become disconnected and disengaged. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and Go Set A Watchman… Lots of hype, disappointing reviews.
I’m reading a great sequel right now. I read Addie Zierman’s When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over last year. I loved this honest memoir of questioning and redefining faith. I connected with Addie. I understood her story and was sad when it was over. I was over-the-moon excited when I heard she wrote another memoir, Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark, which allows us to sit in the passenger seat as she continues to fight her demons, find her voice, and authentically live out a vibrant true faith in a God that does not fit in any man-made box. She’s struck a perfect balance.
I decided to write a sequel to my novel, All I Once Held right around the time it was released back in July 2015. I hadn’t considered it before. But so many people had told me that they wanted more. Wanted to hear what happened next. So I’ve ventured into this world, trying to figure out how to tell more of Katy’s and Ivy Roses’s story, to strike that perfect balance.
But I’m not a quick writer. I write from experience and heart and trials of life. It takes time. There’s no danger of releasing my sequel too soon. But I don’t want to wait too long so that readers are disconnected and disappointed.
So that’s why I’m releasing little backstory ebooks. To help you keep involved in the stories and characters that I’ve created. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. I am delving deeper into their lives, creating and communicating the whys and what ifs of who they are and what they’ve done. Making even minor characters more real. And hopefully changing hearts and helping us all to feel more empathy and understanding.
So pick up Everything In Its Place, the backstory of Laura, Katy’s mother-in-law, and the most despised character of, All I Once Held. You can get it for free by subscribing to this blog. Or pick it up for only .99 cents on Amazon. Keep engaged. And before you know it, hopefully, I’ll be ready to release the rest of the story.