Today is launch day for That Good Mischief, Lyra Wolf’s third book in her series starring the one and only god of mischief, Loki! Congratulations Lyra!
First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel.
My series is a Norse mythology reimagining told through the POV of Loki, the god of chaos and mischief. The Nine Worlds Rising is a romantic adventure adult fantasy series that is a little dark, a little angsty, and a lot snarky (with the occasional spice).
“The Order of Chaos” picks up right where book 1 leaves off, and takes us on a deeper journey exploring the characters and their motivations. To say Loki is a morally gray character is an understatement, especially concerning what his main goal is in book 2. Ragnarok didn’t just start itself. However, while book 2 is firmly a “revenge” tale, it is also a story about hope and love.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
I have been very blessed that most of my readers do continue on to read the whole series. Readers seem to get very attached to Loki and the rest of the gang. I think they enjoy the puzzle that these morally gray characters represent, because you never know what they will do next. Will they choose what’s right, or make it worse? (For Loki, it’s usually the latter. He just can’t help himself.)
I also like to end each book with a bit of a continuing thread (note: I never have ANY cliffhangers, each story arc is completed for each book). However, I do drop many easter eggs and introduce a new “what will happen next?” type question at the end, because I am 1% evil.
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
For me, yes. In fact, further developing the characters is one of the parts I love most with writing this series. Since my characters are all (well, mostly all) thousands of years old and full of drama, there is a lot to unpack with them. They’ve had practically every experience under the sun, and that can all result in various traumas that I get to slowly reveal to the reader.
I love getting to explore and unearth these characters, and even though I know all of their backstories, I STILL find myself surprised by something I didn’t see.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
I actually find this to be a really fun puzzle. Honestly, I just start with the simple question: what type of personality would annoy Loki most? And I go from there. These new characters practically write themselves. This was especially true for “The Order of Chaos.” There is a certain Elf I introduced as a brand new character. I tried to make him the biggest thorn to Loki I could.
However, if I do want to explore a new layer of Loki, Sigyn, Odin, etc, I will also create a character that will help facilitate that. This held true with the introduction of Loki’s children.
I loved getting to create his kids’ personalities to help explore Loki as a “father” more deeply. I wanted Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungand to each have elements of both of their parents, who are each rather extreme people. And that “extreme” element was what I used as my guide in their creation. Each child is vastly unique, however, all of their personalities/hobbies are taken to the EXTREME.
*Slight Spoiler for book 2* Fenrir is a very kind and gentle soul, however, I took his personality to the “extreme” by making him a very serious vegan.
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?
If anything, I find it easier. I have the world already established, so I can just have fun adding in new details I didn’t get a chance to introduce in book 1. I also love switching locations (hey, I have nine realms—gotta explore them all), and developing those worlds is a real joy. I really want readers to feel like they are IN these locations, and can enjoy the adventure and journey through all of these lands along with the characters.
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?
So far this has only happened to me once with something from book 1 that affected me with book 3. Luckily, it wasn’t anything major. I had somehow forgotten that I established how Odin had lost his eye in book 1, which meant the entirely new “reason” I gave in book 3 had to totally be tossed. Oops.
It all worked out in the end, though. But, yeah. These small details can really wait for you like thorns.
For the most part, I “try” to think very thoroughly about anything I put in the books knowing once it gets published it is “canon.” (Which is why I double checked the eye thing…too bad I didn’t do that first, haha). I try to think forwards and backwards, because while I have to think about the future books, I also try to keep in mind how this will affect any prequels. I sometimes feel like I’m writing two series at once in this way.
Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?
YES. With each book I definitely feel my craft improving. With book 2, I could really feel the characters were stronger. With book 3, it is the character emotions and the ability to dig one layer deeper that I noticed improved the most.
It’s sometimes very tempting to go back to book 1 and rewrite with all the skills I’ve learned. But, book 1 was written to the best of my ability at that time, and sadly, writing is a craft where you never STOP learning. This is something I’ve had to make peace with. Because otherwise every author would always be rewriting everything all the time. That is impractical.
And to this effect, with the draft I have for book 4, I can already tell I am improving as a writer with crafting bigger and deeper storylines than ever before. It’s just the nature of the beast.
So, yes. Please keep reading through the series! Us authors are always improving, and our books just get better. 😉
Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time?
A little of both.
I have planned out every antagonist and “problem” for each book. So, in that way, I know where I’m headed and what the issues will be, and the resulting character “growth” from these events.
Those things are all “set.”
What isn’t set is everything else. One character was supposed to die, they aren’t now. Some characters were supposed to be a POV in subsequent books, now another character (who I never imagined) is the POV and wow, now I’m suddenly doing a bunch of family therapy with everyone. So, these are all my surprises I don’t expect, but I love.
I like that I have a good mix of “set” and “organic” story with this series. And in a way, I think that’s perfect for a story centered on Loki. The series needs a bit of chaos, even though sometimes it makes me want to pull out my hair.
Do you try to make sequels readable as standalones or do you design a series so that readers have to read the whole thing?
I definitely try to make each book as “stand alone” as possible. I mean, they are far better if you read the series in order, but I did want each book to be a complete “story/problem.” This way, if someone DID want to jump in with book 3, for example, they could and still enjoy the story without being too lost.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
Other than to just write the next book, I find making posts about book 2 (and beyond) is always helpful just to remind people that they exist. Find any excuse to talk about them! I recently did a whole series of photos of the locations I used for book 1, and I am now planning to do a similar series for book 2!
Another great tool has been TikTok, where I can match fun sounds to my books, and it gives me the ability to showcase ALL of the series. It’s really been invaluable.
Thank you for joining me for March of the Sequels today! Good Luck with all your books!
About the Author
Lyra Wolf is a Swiss-American author of fantasy and mythic fiction.
Raised in Indiana, home to a billion corn mazes, she now lives in Central Florida, home to a billion mosquitoes. She enjoys drinking espresso, wandering through old city streets, and being tragically drawn to 18th century rogues.
When Lyra isn’t fulfilling the wishes of her overly demanding Chihuahua, you can find her writing about other worlds and the complicated people who live there.
Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.
You can follow Lyra on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit her website at www.lyrawolf.com.
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