Welcome to March of the Sequels, D. W.
First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel.
Hello! So, the Onyxborn Chronicles is essentially a big old good vs evil story. The second novel in the trilogy is The Darkest Dusk which picks up with our protagonist as he navigates a landscape of war and prophecy. It also introduces some cool new characters and elements that move the story along and add new layers to it to set up for a grand finale of sorts in book three.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
I think there was a big drop off. It was most likely due to the time between releases and the fact there is a WEALTH of incredible new titles and series continuations out there.
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
Yes and no. My novels are set in a short-ish time period so I can’t have them develop too quickly, at the same time it is good to flesh them out as they experience the ups and downs of the story.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
I don’t find it too difficult. I actually really enjoy this part because I feel new characters, big or small, can add so so much to the story and it doesn’t take a lot to give them a little back story to tie them in with other characters or incidents.
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?
Yes it’s definitely harder for me. I think I found influence for world building based on my own settings, the media I am consuming and what my interest is at the point so I have to really think about that kind of element when I’m fleshing things out in The Darkest Dusk. I always have to cast back to where I was when I sat down to put things together initially and try to stay there…otherwise it gets out of control.
As for creating new places in my world, thatstill has to remain grounded to my initial inspirations to an extent. One thing I like is that my ‘world’ is really just a continent so there is scope for expansion if I want to write in that world again.
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 definitely. I have a whole document of harks back to book 1 that I revise often to make sure I am not missing things. If I didn’t have that I would struggle for sure.
Did you notice your craft improving from book 1 to subsequent books in a series, and if so, how?
I definitely did. I felt a lot more confident when I was writing the second installment, I understood the method I like to write in which is write, revise, polish, repeat x 3. And I was able to make my text a lot more vivid, the characters came more naturally to me and they had new dimensions that were hella fun to write.
Do you plan out the entire series at once or one book at a time?
I had a beginning and end. The rest is weaved as I work.
Do you try to make sequels readable as standalones or do you design a series so that readers have to read the whole thing?
Great question. I kinda do. I like the idea of a series being a collection of linked stories instead of a continuation of one tale from start to finish. Ideally readers read the whole series and come to the conclusion I set out but if not they should have a good journey to a satisfying ending in each novel that tells its own equally important part of the story.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
Not really. I was lax on marketing book 2, I released it the month my daughter was born so the weeks after were hectic. I think my plan is to have all three novels out before I really ‘market’ the Onyxborn Chronicles and then people can dive into the whole thing rather than being put off at the idea of potentially having to wait for a while to get their hands on an installment.
Thank you for taking part in March of the Sequels – and good luck with your books!
About the Author
D.W. Ross is an author who took the boredom of lockdown 2020 to another level by deciding to write a book despite having no experience in doing anything of the sort before – to say he never thought he would get this far is an understatement. One book has become a series, and now there is no stopping his creative mind as he plots books daily that he will absolutely never get to writing. Cold From The North was his first novel, with follow up The Darkest Dusk which came out in 2021 with the closing novel of the Onyxborn Chronicles coming in early 2022. When not writing, he can be found watching pro wrestling, reading fantasy, dystopian and thriller novels, gaming, lifting weights and eating chicken wings. D.W. lives in Scotland with his wife.