the between (2nd revision)Concept art: THE BETWEEN
Artist: Jules Valera

The Between was my first published novel. I began to draft it in 2009 and after the usual process (draft, revisions, critique, edits, etc), it was published in January of 2012. I tend toward being a ‘serial monogamist’ in terms of my writing process, which is an elaborate way of saying I draft one story at a time. And I write a novel a year.

In 2013, I returned to the world I had created with The Between to craft its sequel. Knowing my typical writing life, that meant I had written three other novels in the intervening years. They were Future Tense, a contemporary urban fantasy/magical realism novel, an as yet unnamed YA ghost story, and Derelict, a science fiction novel.  These books represented three entirely distinct worlds and casts of characters, all different from The Between.

The sequel, Time and Tithe, represented the first sequel I had written. Eight stand-alone full length novels had come before it, so I knew what it would be to draft something new. However, since it would be based on a prior work, I came to the story knowing that it would present some new challenges.

What I didn’t know was how much of a challenge it would be.

Part of it was the fact that I hadn’t planned a larger series in advance. And I hadn’t created a ‘series bible’ which is like a stylesheet for a novel in which the writer tosses all the details she will need to jump back into the world and write a new story.

time and tithe_edits2Concept art: TIME AND TITHE
artist: Jules Valera

I needed to reacquaint myself with the characters from the first book and discover how they had grown and changed between the events of book one and book two. That was the easy part. In one way, a writer can look at the events of a previous book as backstory to the present novel.  Considering it this way was extremely helpful for me. However, unlike created backstory for a particular project, *this* backstory was a matter of record. Which meant I had to respect the rules and limitations I had created.

Which, had I consciously set out to create a series at the outset, would have been a whole lot easier.

Instead, I was continuously running into the constraints I had invented and had to figure my way around them, without violating continuity. (Which is important, unless you’re writing for Doctor Who. Then the entire concept of ‘cannon’ takes on a very different sort of meaning.)

What I have discovered in writing a sequel is that it needs to be the same, but different. If the writer retreads old ground, then the read becomes tedious. If the writer strays too far from the heart of the original story, then the read becomes confusing and unsatisfying.

What I hope I have accomplished with Time and Tithe, is creating a complete and satisfying story that honors its past and moves into new and interesting territory. If I did my job correctly, the two stories can actually be read in any order: one as sequel, or one as prequel.

Time and Tithe will be available in all ebook formats as well as a trade paperback in early February. The Between is available in all the usual places.

High school senior, Lydia Hawthorne, is less than grateful when Oberon has her snatched from the Mortal world and she finds out she’s actually Fae. And not just any Fae, but a trueborn with enough inherent magic to tip the balance between Oberon and Titania’s warring Bright and Shadow courts.

But that’s their game and she doesn’t want to play by their rules. Together with Clive Barrow, a Bright Court Fae with embarrassing family ties to the Mortal world, Lydia fights to regain her old life, fueling her magic with the very Human power of love and loss, challenging the essential nature of Faerie itself.

Only months after her victory over Oberon and Titania, everything Lydia thought she’d accomplished is unraveling:  Faerie is falling into decay, the Fae are restless, and Taylor, the baby sister she sacrificed everything for has grown up without her.

When Taylor tumbles out of the ordinary world and into Faerie, she discovers that Aeon, her imaginary childhood friend, is all too real. He is a powerful Fae, trapped in a maze of vengeance, memory, and madness. His unleashed power threatens to free Oberon and Titania and reignite the war Lydia ended.

The sisters, now nearly strangers to one another, must figure out how to keep Aeon from destroying Faerie while safeguarding the mortal world, all without sacrificing the Fae who was once friend to them both.

If you’d like to be notified when Time and Tithe is available, please sign up for my email newsletter.

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