Welcome to March of the Sequels, Marie. First tell us something about your series.
I have five series—but right now, I’ll stick with the completed (sort of 😉) fantasy one. It’s six books—The Lost Ancients. Humorous fantasy with action, adventure, and drunken faeries. The first book is The Glass Gargoyle with the first sequel being The Obsidian Chimera.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
I have a fairly good read through. I’d attribute it to people enjoying the adventure and the characters. I love reading series, but it’s all about the characters for me as a reader.
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
Definitely! The first book is fun, developing new things. But in the sequels building on the characters is wonderful! I have folks who love the little changes even the secondary or minor characters go through—that development is always further down the series line.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
Not very. It’s like in real life- we meet new people all the time. My characters meet new people and those people change the previous dynamics a bit. It makes for more interesting stories.
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?
My series all travel around (rather the characters do 😊). In this series it’s the same world, just different locations. It allows me to expand and change things up a bit.
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?
Thank goodness—not yet.
Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?
Yes, not only within the series, but with every book. I’m more likely to rip things out if they don’t work now, and I’d like to think my writing is always improving.
Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time?
I’m a pantser—I don’t really plan anything. However, I do have a vague idea of where things will go. Maybe. Sorta. Mostly fly by the seat of my pants. But as I closed in on the sixth book, I did have a bit of planning creep in.
Do you try to make sequels readable as standalones or do you design a series so that readers have to read the whole thing?
Mine aren’t standalones—more like a giant book split up into six sections. There is a little bit of “catching up” in the first part of each sequel, but not enough really for someone who hasn’t read the prior book.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
Most marketing for me has been for the first book, since it’s a series that is dependent on reading order. I rarely market the others unless it’s for my box set of the first three.
Thank you for joining me for March of the Sequels, Marie, and good luck with your books!
About the Author
Marie is a multi-award winning fantasy and science fiction writer with a serious reading addiction. If she wasn’t writing about all the people in her head, she’d be lurking about coffee shops annoying total strangers with her stories. So really, writing is a way of saving the masses. Her first fantasy series, The Lost Ancients, starts with The Glass Gargoyle. The rest of the series is complete at six books total.
A space opera trilogy, The Asarlai Wars, launched with Warrior Wench, and continued with the Victorious Dead. The final book, Defiant Ruin, is available now.
A steampunk adventure, A Curious Invasion has also been released.
When not saving the masses from coffee shop shenanigans, Marie likes to visit the UK and keeps hoping someone will give her a nice summer home in the Forest of Dean or in northern Wales.
Marie is also a member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America).
To find out more about the books, and future series, please visit her website at www.marieandreas.com -especially if you happen to have a small cottage to give her.