I've blogged in the past about doing followups to my current published work. I've been asked about sequels to Epoch and Evil?, and every now and then I've tossed ideas around in my mind. My current project, A Walk-In To Remember, is a sequel to one of my as-yet unpublished novels.
And, I'm planning a major remake. More on that later.
I've actually got a really good idea for an Epoch 2, one which would expand on the first while introducing new elements. It is a story that will stand on its own, but it might also draw new readers to the first book.
So, why am I not writing it yet? That's a bit complicated. Any sequel I write to Epoch, I'm contractually bound to offer to Flux first. That shouldn't be a problem, but I haven't heard from Flux about the last two books I sent them. That was a year ago. My future with them, if you'll pardon the pun, appears to be in flux.
I'm sure there is a good reason for the delay (we are in the middle of a recession, after all), and I hope they are still interested in working with me. However, if the opposite turns out to be true, then an Epoch sequel makes no sense, career-wise. Why should I put in a year's work on a book I'd have to offer them, if they no longer want anything from me? I'd be far better served to put my efforts into a project that isn't bound by any contract, at least until I know what's going on.
These are the type of things you have to think about when you become a published author. It's no longer just about writing whatever I want - there is now a business and career aspect that must come into play with each project.
With that in mind, let's turn to that major remake I mentioned. I want to get back into the Middle-Grade market, and I want to bring one of my favourite characters to light. Before I began work on Attack of the Intergalactic Soul Hunters, I'd already written a series of five short novels about a 10-year-old boy named Rytis Maxwell. He was my antidote to what I saw as the typical kid in a supernaturally-themed children's book. You know, a kid who'd never been involved with the supernatural before suddenly being confronted with ghosts, aliens or something else weird and evil. His parents don't believe him and neither do the authorities, forcing the kid to deal with it on his own.
All well and good, but I decided to have some fun with it. Enter Rytis, who by the age of ten has already dealt with every conceivable form of supernatural evil. He's staked vampires, de-probed aliens busted all kinds of ghosts. And he's sick of it. All he wants is a normal, boring childhood, free from adventure and excitement. And, of course, he doesn't get it.
A fun premise from which to launch a series, which is exactly what I did. Unfortunately, I was still learning my craft when I began Rytis' adventures. The first story was nice, and very, very funny (if I do say so myself, and I did). However, I now see it is too short, and not as epic as it needs to be. I love Rytis - he's one of my favourite characters, and writing him has always brought me joy. The only way the rest of the world is going to get to know and love him, I feel, is if I give that series of mine a major overhaul. Again, a business decision.
So that's my next big project - a new (and much better) first adventure for my hero. And possibly Epoch 2, depending on how things go. And of course there's my current project, A Walk-In To Remember.
At least I'm not stuck for ideas!