Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Going Back To Square One: Continuing A Series

Today’s Brew: Still The Apple Stuff. Hell, it’s still the same cup.

By Kristen

In a makeup school art class I realized for certain that I just couldn’t follow the rules.  I should have known that to begin with, feeling like a bull in a china shop in my middle management position for a behemoth corporation.  It shouldn’t surprise me that I would march to the beat of my own drummer with my writing as well.

When I’ve asked readers to tell me what other books that mine remind them of, I get a lot of empty looks. That’s good, but it can also be a little scary.  I’m not stupid enough to think I’m blazing new ground, but at least I know I have a distinct voice.  Hopefully, readers won’t think “not this again” when they pick up my books. (Oh, who the hell am I kidding.  Hopefully they’ll pick up my books!)

But I couldn’t follow the rules in my trilogy either.  In Night Moves, book two, I introduced a new set of characters.  I use the same mythology.  We learn things about Talis’ vampire clan from Ryder that Tristan couldn’t share with us.  And it leads us to the junction between books one and three without any spoilers.  Instead of a straight line, we take a detour.

Albert Camus- Debauchery

Now that I’m writing We Own The Night, I need to blend Because The Night and Night Moves into one book, solve all the problems that the first two books didn’t answer, and oh yeah, blend two sets of characters.  It was the blending of characters that I dreaded the most, and caused me to screw around on Pinterest for hours instead of diving into the manuscript.  I write in first person.  You can only really have one first person without confusing the hell out of readers.  It made the most sense to have Callie pick back up with the story.  As you’ll learn as you read it, she’s the one in the driver’s seat. But I don’t’ want to neglect Melanie, Ryder, and our friends from Soul Divider.  They can’t be an afterthought.

Speaking of Melanie and Ryder, I’ve spent the last few months with them, getting to know them and learning their story.  I’ve been writing in their voices.  Now, I’m switching back to Callie and Tristan.  I feel like I have to get to know them all over again.  With a new book, there’s no rules.  With book three, you have to work with the rules you’ve already established.

Now that I’ve finally settled down to write, the ideas are flowing and I’m glad to have my first loves, these characters, back.  A part of me thinks that it’s easy to stick with the same mythology and characters for multiple books, but the other part of me realizes it has it’s own challenges.  These characters have to grow and they have to meet new challenges. It’s like raising children.

I hope that readers love all of these characters enough to want to stick with them for three books.  It’s a lot to ask.  But nothing makes me happier than when someone reads my books and asks for more.

 

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