What have I been working on? Top Secret - Shh! Not really. When I finished The Girl Who Remembered Horses, I never intended to write about Sahara's future world again. Truth be told, creating that world was difficult for me. I don't consider myself a fantasy writer, and most of my novels have been set in the contemporary world that I'm quite familiar with. It was a bit of a struggle to create a believable society in a post-apocalyptic world that readers could still relate to.
But according to this recent review from the UK, I pulled it off okay: http://booksandmud.blogspot.com/2012/04/review-linda-benson.html Still, it was a surprise when readers, upon finishing the book, immediately clamored for more. "What comes next?" they asked. "We can't wait to find out!"
While this is, of course, a great compliment to a writer, it also feels like a huge responsibility. Can I revisit Sahara's world convincingly and give my readers another great plot? Can I satisfy all the horse lovers, dog lovers, and post-apocalyptic fans that each took something of their own from the story?
Then of course, there are the practical considerations. Where do you start a sequel? Immediately after the end of the last book? One year later? Five years in the future? Maybe a writer should even choose another character from the book, and tell their story, instead of our original heroine, Sahara.
Well, enough teases and conjectures. I am working on a sequel. It is (at the moment) told in Sahara's point of view. And although I have a vague plot rolling around in my head, I am very much a Pantser (which is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants.) So I cannot tell you much more than that.
I did tease one family member recently, who chided me with "what's going to happen?" "I believe I'll make it a Choose Your Own Ending story," I joked. "If you think Sahara and Evan become romantically involved, turn to page 33. If you think a band of marauding raiders come down out of the mountains and steal the horse, go to page 47. If you think all of the dogs die from distemper, or a huge epidemic wipes out most of the food supply, please see page 55."
But I jest. The truth is that I am working on it. I am also working on edits for a brand new book coming out June 1, 2012 (counting the days) called Six Degrees of Lost. You can read about it on Goodreads right here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13539721-six-degrees-of-lost
But my work-in-progress right now is a sequel to The Girl Who Remembered Horses, and I find that I am quite enjoying myself - becoming immersed in Sahara's world again. She is a great character, don't you think?
For those of you who have written sequels - do you have any tips you could share?
Readers - what do you enjoy, or not enjoy, about reading sequels?