The Next Book

I have come face-to-face with something I had always hoped for but wasn’t sure would ever happen. That is, writing the next book in a series.

Now, before I start sounding all new and everything, the truth is, I have written the first three books of the Mik Murdoch series. Even still, I wasn’t sure what the future of said books would ever be. In fact, I know books two and three are pretty rough so I have to do some serious rewrites.

What is different, is there is now a need for those books. I actually have to take the time to ensure they are as good as they can be so they are publishable. That is the difference.

I’ve also come to realize that another series I’ve started, a trilogy this time, might need some additional attention if I want to sell it. I’ve had some interest in the first book, but the question keeps coming up: “Are the second and third books written too?”

My original plan was NOT to write all three right away. Sell the first one and then write the next two. The fear I am seeing from publishers is, they don’t want to leave their readership in the lurch.

I can understand that.

So, I am now faced with the need to continue working in worlds I’ve already created. Not a bad prospect, but it means I will have to put some of the myriad of other projects I’ve got in mind on the back-burner for a while.

It is both great and sad. I love exploring new worlds. There is nothing wrong with the familiar, but new is always fun. Now, I am the victim of my own success (if victim is truly the right word). More accurate would be, I am the benefactor of my own success and get to play with characters that I’ve created and care about.

Not everyone gets that privilege (at least gets paid to do it), so I’m not complaining. It’s just different.

And Exciting.

I can’t wait to make the next books even better.



  1. I’ve heard from publishers to sell the first book first (Robin Sullivan said that Michael’s method isn’t advisable, but he did it with finishing all six books of Riyria Revelations before selling them because he hadn’t intended to sell them). That’s interesting that they are asking about the second and third book. Are we as authors really responsible for writing books two and three before we know if the first one even sells? My first inclination would be to shop around for a publisher interested in buying the first book without the requirement of two and three being done. Of course, I’m not your agent. I just think that’s asking a little much of your time. All that being said, there is an advantage to working foreshadowing into the first book via knowledge of what is going to happen in books two and three. Either way, I hope you enjoy the process. I too am dealing with a new experience making my fourth draft shine. It’s hard, but rewarding.

  2. I’m not sure responsible is the right word for it. We writers really only need to write what we want. However, if we have hopes of selling our work we should be aware of what might be asked for. While I didn’t write books two and three, what I DID do was plot out book two and know what the overarching plot and storyline for book three was. I tried to leave enough threads loose in the first book to give myself something to tie book 2 into and I will do the same for book 3.
    If only I had more time, I would enjoy the process that much more. 😉
    Good luck with your editing/revision. It can be a much tougher slog than the original writing but it is so worth it.

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