Writing a Sequel: Witch Hunt
Posted by Kristen S. Walker
Ever since I released my teen contemporary fantasy Small Town Witch (Fae of Calaveras #1) one year ago, I’ve had people asking me, when is the sequel coming out? While it’s flattering to know that they enjoyed the story and they wanted more, it also put a lot of pressure on me to make sure that the second book was as good as the first!
A year between books in a series is standard for traditional publishing, but in the brave new world of independent publishing, a year feels like forever. By that time most readers have forgotten about the first book and moved on to something else. After all, most readers read more than one book per year.
So why did it take me so long? I have to confess that I took a few wrong turns on the way. At first, I wanted to take a break. Finishing my first novel was more work than I’d expected, and I didn’t feel like writing anything. But after I stopped writing, I lost momentum. My habit of writing something every day fell by the wayside. I threw myself into promoting that first book and didn’t have anything else to follow it up with.
Then, when I did sit down to write a few months later, I wanted to go in a new direction for the series. I brainstormed ideas for books featuring different main characters and putting Rosa, the main character from the first book, in the background. This was a huge mistake. The heart of the series is the conflict between Rosa and her mother, but I lost sight of that when I tried to write stories about her boyfriend or her best friend. After a few false starts, I gave up the project in frustration and walked away.
The solution turned out to be writing something completely different. I wrote A Flight of Marewings, an epic fantasy with an ensemble cast, in a completely different tone. That story challenged me to learn new skills in writing and cleansed my palate by taking me in new directions. It gave me back the joy of writing by taking the pressure off. I flew through the novel.
When I finished, I turned back to my original series and realized where I’d gone wrong. It took me a little time to refresh myself on the story and characters, but this time I kept my focus the same as the first book and wrote what happened next between Rosa and her mother. It took me six months from start to finish, but now I’m proud to release “Witch Hunt”, and I think it stands up to the promise of the first book.
And the good news is I kept my momentum going after I finished the second book, and started right in on writing book #3. It’ll take some time to polish, but I plan on releasing it in a few months. No more long wait between books!
Witch Hunt (Fae of Calaveras #2)
She wished her mom would disappear. Now her mom’s missing, and all she wants is to find her again.
Teen witch Rosamunde broke the spell her mother, Rosmerta, used to control her family and reported the illegal use of magic to the Faerie Court. So her mom became a fugitive from the law, taking Rosa’s younger sister Akasha with her. When none of the faeries can track down her mother, Rosa realizes that she’ll have to be the one to find her mom.
Rosa takes a dangerous risk: getting close to the mysterious exiled Unseelie who helped her mother go into hiding. To gain their trust, she’ll have to break the rules. Her faeriekin friends, Ashleigh and Glen, and kitsune boyfriend, Kai, worry that she’s getting in too deep. But for the chance to confront her mother and save her sister, Rosa will sacrifice anything… maybe even the things that she believes in the most.
Available on Amazon