Wednesday, 23 May 2012

So, how's that sequel coming along then...?

Well, if I'm completely honest, it hasn't really been coming along all that much over the past couple of days, thanks to the weather.  It's too hot to even think straight here in the north east of England right now, never mind try and edit a book in a stuffy office with the sun beating in through the windows.  It's like sitting in an oven with the heat turned up, and I usually only feel that hot after a Bradley Cooper movie...  It's no fun, I tell you.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know what I'm working on right now, the sequel in question is a follow-up to my debut novel, 'No Matter What'.  At the minute, this sequel is still called 'Illusions of Love' and I have no immediate plans to change that, but, seeing as I'm the kind of person who can't actually make a decision  to save her life, (you should see me trying to choose cereal in the supermarket - it's painful!) that could still change at the last minute.  We'll see.

Now, I didn't actually write 'No Matter What' with a sequel in mind, y'know.  No,  it was never actually my intention to carry the characters from that novel on into another book, but sometimes when you start writing things can turn out completely different to the way you'd originally intended them to.  And by the time I got to the end of  'No Matter What' I just knew that there was more mileage in those characters.  There was room for another book, room to take stories further, to introduce new characters.  There was room to move things on.  And so 'Illusions of Love' was conceived.  But, in my mind, it isn't technically a sequel, because the books aren't really part of a series.  It's more of a continuation of the story, and whilst I tried to write 'Illusions of Love' as a book that could stand alone, meaning that the reader didn't necessarily have to have read 'No Matter What', I still think it's a book that will work best if somebody has read 'No Matter What'.  Just because it'll give people a much better sense of the characters and the situations in which they find themselves in at the beginning of 'Illusions of Love'.

If you have actually read, and enjoyed, 'No Matter What' then you'll be pleased to know that 'Illusions of Love' is written pretty much in the same vein, but, it's mercifully shorter! Whereas 'No Matter What' was an 800+ page epic of a romance, spanning two decades in the lives of these characters, 'Illusions of Love' is running at around 390 pages, subject to editing, of course.  But it's going to end up half the size of 'No Matter What' because this book covers just a couple of months, rather than decades.

Las Vegas - the main setting for 'Illusions of Love'

For the most part, 'Illusions of Love' is set in Las Vegas, but also partly in Los Angeles, and the story takes place over the course of a movie being shot on location there in "Sin City". So, it isn't quite the epic that 'No Matter What' turned out to be, but it is a continuation of the story. And I hope that those who enjoyed 'No Matter What' will enjoy seeing how some of the characters from that book might have changed, how others are still coping with what went on in 'No Mattter What', and I hope people enjoy the new character of Dominic MacDonald - you have no idea how many hours of tireless "research" I had to endure to get him just right but, needless to say, Bradley Cooper was a huge help... a HUGE help... ;-)

Bradley Cooper - helped me, albeit unwittingly, a great deal in the creation of new character Dominic MacDonald.

So, in a few weeks' time, 'Illusions of Love' will be ready to release, and I'm quite nervous about it, to be honest.  On the whole, so far, I've had a lot of positive feedback about 'No Matter What', despite its somewhat epic length, but the character of India was someone who caused a bit of a reaction from some people, and I can understand why - now.  But, when I was writing her, and when I was writing the book, I certainly didn't set out to write her as a selfish, self-absorbed person, but that's how some people saw her.  That's, apparently, how she came across.  So, it's strange how characters change and evolve in the writing process, sometimes without you, the writer, even noticing.  They kind of take on a life of their own.  But that's good, in a way.  You let them take their own paths, make their own decisions, and India certainly made a lot of questionable decisions in 'No Matter What', no doubt about that, but, has she learnt any lessons when we join her in 'Illusions of Love'?  Well, you'll just have to wait and see.

Let the countdown to the follow-up begin!

So, if I can try and ignore the fact that I'd much rather be sat outside, down by the river in the beautiful city of Durham, sipping a glass of cold white wine and watching the world go by, and get my "I've got work to do" head on instead, I should have 'Illusions of Love' ready within a matter of weeks.  The editing process is well under way and I, personally, am happy with the way the book's turned out.  I'm happy with the direction these characters have taken.  But I'm sad to say goodbye to them, all the same.  For good?  Who knows.  Maybe there's still room for more continuation, more stories, more new characters and a whole new set of complications!  We'll see. :-)

Anyway, if you haven't yet read 'No Matter What', and you fancy checking it out, why not read an excerpt from the book here?  No Matter What - excerpt.

And I also did a post a little while back, which was a lot of fun to do, where I imagined - should 'No Matter What' ever be made into a movie, pure fantasy here you understand - who I'd love to have playing the various characters in the book.  See who I think would be perfect for the roles of India, Kenny, Michael, etc. here - No Matter What - My Ultimate Fantasy Cast List.

OK.  I'm off to grab a bit of fresh air out in the sunshine (while we've got it - this is Britain, it won't last!), but I promise that, when I get back, I will focus, start concentrating, and get back to that editing!


  1. I don't see India as selfish


    I see India as confused at times, very depressed at times and trying to cope with what life throws at her. I not surprised others see her as selfish but if they'd been through similar situations would they call her a survivor instead

  2. That's very true, Pam. India is definitely a survivor in some respects. And I guess it was the pressure of certain circumstances that made her react the way she did and make the decisions she chose to make. But she's still one of my favourite characters, and you'll just have to wait and see if she's learnt any lessons from the past when we meet her and the gang all over again in Illusions of Love... :)