March of the Sequels – T. A. Bruno

Today T.A. Bruno is joining me for March of the Sequels!

First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel.

As the lights go out in the Sol System, humanity flees the grip of nightmarish machines and journies to a far-off world called Kamaria. It is a paradise, but not without its own dangers. Low in numbers and desperate to survive, humanity will be forced to adapt to this strange new world or face extinction. The Song of Kamaria is a Scifi Fantasy trilogy filled with action and wonder.

In the sequel, On the Winds of Quasars, humanity has gained its foothold on Kamaria, sharing it cohesively with the native Kamarians, the auk’nai. In the aftermath of the brutal slaying of a sacred auk’nai deity, Cade and Nella Castus are taken from their home and brought deep into the wilderness. They must make their way back to civilization, traversing dangerous landscapes as they are pursued relentlessly by their captor—a winged abomination. As Denton and Eliana search for their missing children, they uncover something that will change life on Kamaria forever.

Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?

So far, it seems that way! I have no outside experience other than this trilogy, so if I have readers reading Quasars at all, I assume they came from reading In the Orbit of Sirens. From reviews, readers are excited to learn more about the auk’nai and Kamaria and what an auk’gnell is. I think I left enough breadcrumbs for readers to be eager to jump back in. 

Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?

Very much. I enjoyed writing In the Orbit of Sirens enough, but writing On the Winds of Quasars was an utter joy. I loved throwing my previous characters into new situations and having them interact with new characters. I also set Quasars 26 years after Sirens, so seeing how the world has grown in that time was also really fun to explore as an author. 

How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?

Not difficult at all! It’s one of my favorite parts. One of my favorite things in stories is when main characters sort of become side characters in the sequels. We know their story, and we see how others act around them. Denton and Eliana remain main characters in Quasars, but there’s a lot more going on around them. Their path is just one of many in the book. 

Is it difficult to continue with worldbuilding for a world you have already built in book 1? Do you find it easier to switch locations for the sequel and start again with worldbuilding?

It is easier to build on top of a good foundation than start from scratch. Now that I understood Kamaria on a fundamental level, I could play with more ideas. Developing the auk’nai was a long process, but now that they were established, I got to lean into how they adapted to human inhabitation. I also wanted to see what auk’nai that live beyond the city of Apusticus live like, hence the birth of the auk’gnell. I want readers to know every corner of my world. 

Have you ever been stymied by a worldbuilding or plot detail from book 1 that is very inconvenient to deal with or write your way around in subsequent books?

I was fortunate enough to build a world that didn’t give me any roadblocks. I knew when to keep the doors open to give myself room to grow, so it was always just a fun-building exercise. 

Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?

Yes. Quasars is a much tighter novel, with a very straightforward plot that flows nicely (I think so, at least). I don’t think I could write a book like On the Winds of Quasars before finishing a book like Sirens. 

Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time? 

I have a general idea of how I wanted the trilogy to go; it wasn’t too specific. Still, it was a clear enough path that I hit the end target I had set up since Sirens. I am so proud and happy with the way the trilogy comes together. 

Do you try to make sequels readable as standalones, or do you design a series so that readers have to read the whole thing? 

Although I think a reader could pick up On the Winds of Quasars without reading In the Orbit of Sirens, I highly recommend reading both. I feel like the plot warrants a straightforward read, especially by the time readers get to At the Threshold of the Universe. Still, I try to include enough information so no one is lost. 

Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?

Sadly I don’t. I’m still learning this part of the process. I’m interested in seeing what other authors say to this question because it’s bizarre to sell a sequel. I feel like my gut says it’ll be easier to sell the complete series rather than a sequel on its own. 

Thank you for the interview, Sue! These were great questions, and I enjoyed answering them. Cheers!

Thank you so much for taking part! Good luck with your books!

Amazon | goodreads

About the Author

T. A. Bruno grew up in a suburb south of Chicago and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. Since then, he has brought stories to life for over a decade as a previsualization artist. At home, he is the proud father of two boys and a husband to a wonderful wife. He released his debut novel, In the Orbit of Sirens, amid a global pandemic in 2020, and it has won multiple awards.

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One thought on “March of the Sequels – T. A. Bruno

  1. Pingback: March of the Sequels Hub | Sue's Musings

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