5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel

Now that the initial flurry of publishing Above Ground has died down (and the subsequent post-publication I-hate-my-writing stage has passed) my thoughts have turned to writing the sequel.

Ideas keep bubbling. The excitement is returning. What can I do to the characters THIS time? How can I raise the stakes? How can I give the readers who’ve enjoyed Above Ground more of what they love?

And yet…

Even though I’ve jotted down every idea and drafted a rough outline, I cannot bring myself to sit down and begin writing.

It took me over three years to write Above Ground. In that time, I’ve learned where I went wrong. I’ve learned how to write better and faster. I’ve learned that I CAN write a novel.

But what I haven’t yet learned is if I can write ANOTHER novel. A sequel doesn’t count: it’s the same characters I love, the same stories, the same threads.

Can I write something unrelated? Can I build a new world and fall in love with a new cast of characters?

The idea of starting afresh terrifies me.

And yet…

5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel

  1. Only people who like Above Ground will want to read the sequel.

  2. Diversifying my offerings will introduce my work to new readers.

  3. Creating a new world, plot and cast will improve my skills.

  4. It will prove that I can write unrelated novels.

  5. Most importantly, because it terrifies me.

Yes, those waiting for the sequel will most likely throw rocks at me. But I believe that a writer who only sticks to writing what they find comfortable will never grow. And I want to be the best writer I can be.

And when I do go back to write the sequel to Above Ground, the story will be all the better for it.

A mini-Silver in 3D!

Hello, all!

This is a silly little update, but I thought I’d spread the fun.

As you may recall, I ran a blog tour for the print/ebook release of Above Ground last November, with prizes up for grabs.

One of the prizes was a mini foldable character of the winner’s choosing. Onge, the winner, picked Silver.

I had great fun designing the mini Silver online, but it doesn’t compare to how cool it is to see a photo of the final result. Bless his grumpy face.

You’ll have to ask Onge how hard Silver was to assemble. :-)

p.s. I am 99% positive that my NEXT release is going to be a Jake/Fang novella, covering how they met and ended up with the Lakeside pack. I’m already working on it now – aiming to start posting mid-year. Woo!

Above Ground’s Futuristic Technology

One of the reasons I enjoy straddling the science fiction / fantasy line with Above Ground is that I have the chance to play with werewolves and high-tech gadgets at the same time.

Much of the world building and gadgetry of the story has existed in my mind for years… so it gave me a very strange sense of deja vu when, throughout the course of writing, I stumbled across the same concepts.

Take Google’s Project Glass.

In Chapter 10 of Above Ground, Emma is harassed by a blogger/journalist called Mike, who suspects her of being involved in a government plot. He wears a pair of sunglasses that double up as a computer, very similar to what Google envisioned.

Excerpt from Chapter 10:

Mike touched his glasses, adjusting whatever screen he was reading. “You touched out on this level,” he said, “but there was no record of you touching in.”

“You got that information illegally,” Emma said, nervous. “The privacy acts—”

“So you don’t deny it?”

“I’m not a fare evader,” she replied. “I paid for my fare in cash, and forgot that I didn’t need to touch out.”

“In cash?”

“It’s archaic, not illegal.” Or so Emma hoped. If Liam had lied to her….

“Either way, I don’t really care,” Mike said, dismissive. “I’m not writing that piece anymore, not when there’s a bigger story out there. The theatre,” he added, once again flipping through screens on his glasses. “I ran checks. You’re the only one who went above ground this morning who has come back. The only traceable one, anyway. If you hadn’t touched out, I wouldn’t have found you.”

He pulled his glasses down for the first time. His eyes were small, bloodshot, the blue pupils fixed on Emma. “You bought two tickets to the theatre; I know you were there. Tell me what you saw. Give me the exclusive, and I’ll make you look like a hero.”

Check out Google’s version:

Then there’s the Nokia 888

In Above Ground, phone are flexible, adaptable, and shape shifting. Snap them onto your wrist. Project holographic screens. Unfold them into normal phones. Clip them onto your belt.

Excerpt from Chapter 4:

King’s phone beeped. He glanced down, read the message without unsnapping the phone from his wrist. He’d opted for the latest model—a thin, flexible strip of smart plastic which could be worn almost anywhere—and the sight of it made Emma long for her own phone, as inconvenient and bulky as it was. She felt naked without it, defenceless. The thought of being locked up in this tiny room, cut off from the world with no means to call for help, was terrifying.

And lo and behold:

Rather than feeling bummed about my ideas lacking originality, I’m intrigued by how similarly people think. It is pretty incredible how quickly technology develops.

Although, really, if all our predictions came true, we’d already be driving around in flying cars.

…maybe next year.

Above Ground Blog Tour Winners!

The time has come to draw the Above Ground blog tour to a close.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who followed along. You rock.

Secondly, yes, I’m finally going to tell you what the prizes are.

As part of the month-long tour, I ran a mystery raffle with 11 secret prizes up for grabs. Each prize was based off of the letters in the title “Above Ground”… and now, I’m going to reveal what the prizes are.

But first, an important note:

There is no way I can FAIRLY assign prizes to winners. Instead, each winner should claim what prize they want in the comments. Crossed out prizes are already claimed.

Onto the prizes:

The Prizes!

  1. Appearance – a cameo of you in my next release
  2. Book! A print copy of either Above Ground or Hungry For You
  3. Origami – a foldable version of any Above Ground character
  4. Voucher – a $5 Amazon voucher
  5. Ebooks of Above Ground, Hungry For You & Merge
  6. Goodie bag – postcards and fun stuff!
  7. Request – a flash fiction written on a subject of your choosing
  8. Object d’art (kinda) – a poster of the cover of Above Ground
  9. Untold secrets! 5 spoilers for Above Ground
  10. Note from the author – a letter from me, plus a treat
  11. Drawing – surprise print of Above Ground artwork

So now you know the prizes. But which lucky people are the winners?

And the winners are…

The Winners!

  • WA_side – goodie bag!
  • Kyle Newton – $5 voucher
  • Brittni Kay Snye – ebooks
  • Andreea
  • Alicia – note from me
  • Jaid Keenan – untold secrets!
  • Lillie Webb
  • Jim Larranaga
  • Onge – origami
  • Fiery Na
  • Victoria Zumbrum – print copy of Above Ground

Thank you to everyone for following along, and congratulations to the winners!

Winners, claim your prize by leaving a comment!
First come, first served.

Above Ground Blog Tour: The End Is Nigh!

From November 1st to 30th, I’ve been running a blog tour to celebrate the release of Above Ground.

Enter to win the tour-wide giveaway by December 1st for your chance to win a mystery prize!

Tweet along with the tour using #AboveGroundTour, and make sure to visit…

THE LAST TWO HOSTS!

A Bit of Dash Graham Storrs

THE TOUR IN REVIEW

It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a month, so I don’t blame you for missing a stop or two. Below is a recap of the month’s posts.

Guest posts:

Reviews:

Interviews:

Fun stuff:

Don’t forget that you can still enter to win in the mystery raffle!

Thank you everyone for following along thus far. Woo!