The One About Sequels (Pt. 2)
All of this sequel talk had an unforeseen consequence for me--it brought up more questions about whether or not Brightly Woven will ever have a sequel. To put it simply, probably not.
There are a couple of reasons for this, and none of them are that I'm bored or tired of the story/characters, or that I have no idea what the sequel would be about. When I sat down and wrote and rewrote and continue to rewrite and revise BW, I had, in the back of my mind, the plot for at least one more book that would have tied up loose ends.
I realize this confusion is all my fault--I'm the one that intentionally left the ending of BW partly open. The editor who worked on the book with me really tried to get me to wrap everything up with a neat bow and I resisted, both because I tend to hate endings like that, and because I wanted to leave the option to continue open in the future. But the truth is, I don't think my publisher was ever all that interested in a sequel, and I'm not sure they will ever be. BW did pretty well for itself, thanks mostly to enthusiasm from readers and bloggers, and I'm forever grateful for it. But the hard truth of the matter is that even though I get questions about it almost every day, there really just isn't a big enough demand for a sequel to go back and get everyone (including me) working on the project again. And I realize there's always the option to self-publish, but I'm a real believer in traditional publishing, and, well:
There's also the not-so-small fact that I'm under contract to write the two sequels to The Darkest Minds through next year. These are big books. They are long. I'm at 40,000 words on Sequel, and it's probably only a third of the way done. I work full time in publishing, which means my writing time is limited to whenever I get home from work, totally exhausted, and weekends. When I say I don't have time to write a sequel at the moment, I really mean it. Even if I sat right down and started working on it right this minute, you wouldn't see it until 2015.
And... well, the truth is, I feel very distanced from BW. I started writing it five years ago, and I'm not convinced it would be easy to just pick up right where I left off. The other day I was reading a blog review (!! The fact that it still gets reviewed, two years later, is incredible) and the blogger quoted a section of the book that I did not remember AT ALL. I know that's awful to admit, but my brain is truly elsewhere. It still loves Syd and North and thinks about them out in the desert trying to make cabbage grow, but my brain moved on even before I did emotionally because it had to. Brains are sort of pragmatic about this kind of stuff.
I've said this a few times before, but I think it's helpful to reiterate: the only part of the sequel I have written is the epilogue. I've always thought it would make for a good little charity/silent auction piece, and if time ever allows for it, I WILL offer up some kind of short story in their world. Eventually. One day.