Welcome to March of the Sequels, Rachel.
First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel.
The Lightning Conjurer series is a contemporary fantasy adventure that has elements of romance, magical realism, and choice vs destiny. While the first book centers firmly around Aspen (as she calls herself) and her insular cabin in the woods, the rest of the series explodes onto the global stage.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
Based on reviews, about half don’t, though those who do rate the sequels 4.6+ stars on average. I think the first book was a little slow to start. Also, some of the best twists and reveals are in the second book and onward, so many are just happy to have a sample without knowing the feast to come 😂
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
Not difficult at all. In fact, the primary relationships in my series don’t full develop until books 2-4.
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 books take place on earth, and it was a lot of fun going from cabin in Colorado to a national roadtrip to worldwide adventures in the sequels.
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?
Not personally, though I have heard this is common.
Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?
My craft definitely improved from my first novel (which was also my debut). Every book was better in quality, plot complexity, and, overall, my confidence in myself.
Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time?
I put the series out one book at a time.
Do you try to make sequels readable as standalones or do you design a series so that readers have to read the whole thing?
This series must be read as a whole.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
No, but I’d love to chat with other authors and learn more about the dos and don’ts.
Thank you for taking part in March of the Sequels. Good luck with your books!
About the Author
Rachel Rener is the author of THE LIGHTNING CONJURER Series, a critically-acclaimed contemporary fantasy with elements of magical realism and romance. Her most recent release, THE GIRL WHO TALKS TO ASHES, was an Amazon #1 new release and a BBNYA (Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year) semi-finalist.
She graduated from the University of Colorado after focusing on Psychology and Neuroscience. Since then, she has lived on three continents and has traveled to more than 40 countries.
When she’s not engrossed in writing, Rachel enjoys painting, reading, rock shows (musical and mineralogical), Vulcanology (both the lava kind as well as the pointy-eared kind), and playing Diablo 3. She lives in Colorado along with her husband, a stellar mineral collection, and a feisty umbrella cockatoo (“Jungle Chicken”) that hangs out on her shoulder as she writes.