Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guest Blog: Bettye Griffin

It's always a fun change-of-pace to welcome guest bloggers to the keyboard, and today we welcome Bettye Griffin. Her new title, Trouble Down the Road, will be released from Kensington/Dafina on April 27th. Without further ado:

One of the most challenging aspects of writing for today’s audience is that readers don’t want “The End” to really mean, well, the end. Even with a story that ties up all loose ends (and in my opinion a good story should, unless another installment is going to follow in a month or two), the question is almost inevitable: When will the sequel be out?

I received many such requests following the publication of my debut work of women’s fiction, The People Next Door, in 2005. I resisted the idea at first—I wanted to move on to other storylines and characters—but then an idea began to form, and before I knew it I had an entire storyline to update readers on what those initial characters are doing now. That story is being published under the title Trouble Down the Road and will be available to consumers on April 27th.

Readers have been emailing me as they’ve learned that my new book features characters from The People Next Door as well as my sophomore women’s fiction effort, Nothing But Trouble. It’s really a compliment to a writer when readers ask for a sequel, for it shows that they’ve made a connection with the characters the writer created and want to know, and then what happened? But, just as Trouble Down The Road was written five years after the publication of The People Next Door, the action also takes place five years later. That’s the type of sequel that works best for me…one that allows both myself and the characters to grow. The long time lapse also means it’s not a requirement for readers to pick up copies of The People Next Door (although I wouldn’t mind it, of course). The actions of the past are touched on sufficiently to bring new readers up to speed about what they need to know about the characters’ pasts.

How do you like your sequels?


Leanne said...

I currently working on the second book in my Maynely A Mystery series and much like yourself I wanted to give my characters some time to grow.
As well, as an author and as a reader, I prefer sequels that are stand alone. So that I don't have to be going back over book one to help me catch up with what is happening in book two.
Good luck with your book. I hope it does very well.

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, Leanne!