Welcome to March of the Sequels, Susana!
First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel.
Timelessness is a mythological space opera. A sort of American Gods mixed with Stargate set in a fantasy world. It’s also a very introspective story, focused on the characters and their psychology. I structured the plot like a puzzle with lots of gameplay elements added to it.
Book 1, Wyrd Gods sets the pieces on the board. The game only really starts in book 2, The Dharkan.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
No. Not most of my readers, unfortunately. Wyrd Gods is a challenging and polarizing book. Most people don’t get it. They might enjoy some aspects of it but they won’t be able to see the big picture. Many lose interest. Others just rant about how confusing it is. Those who do get it, though, love it. And most readers who finish the Dharkan will want to read the rest of the series.
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
Absolutely. Book 1 is usually the worst book, or the weakest. Certainly the hardest one to write because of all the foundation work necessary to introduce the characters, their relationships, worldbuilding, etc.. This leaves little room left for character development.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
Not difficult at all. For me, it’s much easier to introduce a new character into an already established relationship than to build it from scratch.
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?
Everything in Timelessness circles back into itself. I have a limited number of locations that I reuse in different times, with different characters dealing with different situations. In a way, the locations are just like another character. They develop with the story.
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?
Oh yes… I’m dealing with one of those right now. I had to write an entire chapter in book 4 to explain my way around one sentence in book 1. It would be easier to just go back and delete that sentence or simply ignore it and hope no one noticed the plot hole. But figuring these things out is part of the joy of writing. I see it as an opportunity to be creative.
Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?
Absolutely. Book 3, Nephilim’s Hex is so much better than Wyrd Gods or The Dharkan. How? Practice, of course. The more you write, the better you get at it. And it’s easier to make sequels more engaging than the first book. You don’t need to spend so many words with backgrounds or worldbuilding. You just focus on the actual story.
Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time?
A bit of both. Each book needs to have its own beginning and end without losing track of the big picture.
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 tried to make Wyrd Gods stand on its own as much as possible. Although, you do need to read the entire series to understand it fully. I don’t recommend skipping it or reading any of the sequels on its own.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
I’m hopeless at marketing… 😂
My advice for sequels is: make each one better than the previous.
Thank you for taking part – good luck with your books!
About the Author
Susana Imaginário is a misfit from Portugal. She moved to England to pursue a career as an aerialist and now runs a Board Gaming retreat in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled dog.
Her hobbies include reading, playing board games, hanging upside down, poking around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired.
Her work combines mythology with science fiction, fantasy and psychology in a strange way.