Introducing Author M. Todd Gallowglas

Issues of Writing a Series

The series: Possibly the most successful business model in publishing, especially these days. It’s not enough to write a bunch of books. Now days, publishers and the reading public want trilogies at the very least, an on-going series at best. Publishers want this because it leads (almost all of the time) to greater sales than writers who do one-shot, stand-alone books. Readers want them because they fall in love with characters and aren’t ready to give them up after one book. I’ve heard mixed reviews from my fellow writers. I think we’re in the middle. We want the extra money that a series can deliver, but was also fall in love with our characters, likely more deeply than our readers (unless you happen to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) ever could. In my case, my creative brain thinks in EPIC terms, so epic that I couldn’t fit some of my stories into a single book.

Right now, I’m finalizing work on the third book of my Tears of Rage sequence (which is my fancy way of saying “series”.) The first two books have gotten mixed reactions from my reviews on Amazon, though, thankfully it’s mostly positive. Also, my readers and critics believe that book two, Once We Were Like Wolves, is superior to book one, First Chosen. While working on book two, I remember having this little voice going off in the back of my head, “You better up your game, ‘cause the sharks are out there waiting for you to drop the ball.” Now, while working on book three, I’ve got that same little voice saying, “You’re on a roll, don’t #*$@ this up.” AND sometimes, that voice isn’t so little any more. It’s gotten to me a couple of time to the point where I’m paralyzed by fear to the point I can’t really work.

I know exactly where that little voice is coming from. Not only do I write fantasy, I’m an avid fantasy reader. I’ve been following some fantasy series for years and years, and several have let me down while others continue to amaze and just get better and better. Since I like to try and think on the positive, I’ll mention the three series that I love that just keep getting better and better: The Black Company by Glen Cook, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Changes being one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time, but only because it has the rest of the series building up to it), and The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson.

What does this have to do with the voice in the back of my head that keeps poking me while I’m writing?

Well, on the other side of the coin, I’ve read several series, which I’ll not name, but they are pretty popular around the world, that have really lagged in the middle and disappointed the majority of their fan base. The last thing I want, and I’m pretty sure any writer wants, is to let their readers down as they’re rounding third and heading for home… or worse… they’ve realized that they are rounding third, and discover that they’ve got to get to fourth, fifth, and sixth, before they can even think about home plate… Oh, but wait… isn’t that seventh and eighth out there in the outfield? Maybe we can go check those out before we finish? Oh, and stopping by the concessions stand could be a good idea, our characters gotta eat after all.

So, here I am, fantasy writer and reader, with the daunting task of keeping every single book in my series at least as equal in all ways to the one that came before it, and I have these stellar and not-so-stellar examples of writers I admire who have come before me. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have these feeling of excitement, dread, apprehension, and worry. Well, I finally managed to overcome all that stuff going on in my head, and not only have I gained incredible momentum on book three, I’m really excited about book four. I’m also looking forward to attacking the second book in my fantasy/steampunk adventure series, Halloween Jack and the Curse of Frost, the follow up to last fall’s bestselling Halloween Jack and the Devil’s Gate. Will I succeed as I hope in making these books better than those that came before? Maybe, maybe not. Really, it’s not for me to decide, it’s up to my readers. I just gotta do the best I can, put out the best story I know how, and hope that as I write more books, I learn more about the craft of writing engaging and entertaining fiction.

If you decide to dive into my books and take the journey with me, I’d love to hear some feedback from you. Jump onto my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter and let me know what you think, and of course, leave a review on Amazon!

First Chosen:
Once We Were Like Wolves:
Halloween Jack and the Devil’s Gate:

Apryl Baker

No comments:

Post a Comment