Once upon a time, I had a dream about two little boys in the 1800’s finding a gypsy caravan. While trying to steal from the wagon, one of them had a rather enchanted encounter that led to mystic changes in his entire being.
I shared that dream with my then blog followers and suggested we write a story together. They were given the option to change the age or gender of the main characters and give me a new setting. For several weeks, I wrote a chapter, received their feedback and suggestions, and continued the story. Eventually, I took the reins back (mostly because I wanted to go faster than the feedback loop allowed), but the input of those original participants magnified the scope of the project. The next thing I knew, the short story I’d dreamed had become a three-book space saga, The Gypsy Pearl.
To this day, Caz, the teen girl main character, is probably my favorite female lead in any of my books. She proved to be quite popular with readers, too, and several fans requested that I keep her story going.
Earlier this year, I addressed one of the more enigmatic characters in the series, her mother, Brita. The book, a novel-length prequel, is now part of the saga, too. It introduces us to the world before Caz and lets us see a glimpse of why she became the little rebel she was in the series. I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out.
When I began that latter project, I’d contemplated doing a few prequels of side characters before moving on to some kind of grand finale involving Caz again.
And then life kicked me in the teeth a few times. I lost momentum, and eventually I lost inspiration for the story line as well.
Now, as 2019 draws to a close, I have a writerly sense of guilt that I let my readers down. At the same time, I don’t want to write a book out of obligation and have it be a dreary dud. So, with that quandary, I approached one of my oldest writing contacts, a woman of supreme linguistic talent who has an ability to be simultaneously brutally honest and kind. She now holds the manuscript of another sequel in her hands… what there is of it. I’m seeking her feedback because she was also a great fan of Caz and the series, and I know she’ll want me to keep the quality high. Hers will be an adjudication of sorts–whether it’s time to re-energize myself and complete the sequels, or whether it’s time to let the series rest.
Ultimately, I’ll be happy either way, but I need to know that what I’ve written thus far passes muster. If I have to start from scratch, I’d frankly rather begin a new story altogether.
I’ll have an answer in the next couple of weeks, and I’ll let you know then. At that time, I’ll give you the tentative run-down of books to anticipate in 2020.
Until then, please sign up for the Newsletter if you haven’t already. I promise to make it funny, not spammy. Most likely it’ll come out bi-weekly, so it’ll provide a little chuckle for you a couple of times a month.