On Writing a Sequel
I’m often asked whether it was easier or harder to write the second book in my series, and my honest answer is – it was both! I’ve grown so much as a writer in the time between the first book and second that, from a craft standpoint, it was easier. I’ve learned to recognize my own bad habits and correct them. I know the places where the plot might be dragging and I can add tension before my editor hits the scene with a red pen. I’m able to dive deeper into character development, and I’m willing to take more risks, knowing that if something doesn’t work, I’ll have the time and opportunity to fix it. With writing the second book, I had confidence in the process.
On the other hand, my first book, HORIZON, received some prestigious awards including the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published Fiction in 2016. While it was gratifying to win that award, I definitely felt like I had a lot to live up to, and I felt the stress of it when writing INFINITY. But even without the award, I’d left the first book with an ending that promised a sequel. My newfound readers and fans had an expectation that the story would continue, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. When the early reviews for INFINITY started coming in, and they were actually better than HORIZON’s, I was filled with relief!
As I begin writing the third installment in the series, I’m still working to improve. I’m writing some short fiction, which I find helps hone my skill at creating tension and crafting tight, crisp scenes. I’m guest blogging and writing material for my own web site, because any kind of writing helps keep my creative energy flowing. And I’m reading a lot. My goal as a writer is first and foremost to tell a good story. But I also hope that each book I write will be better than the last!
Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island, a few towns away from where she grew up. She is married, has four great kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable black lab. The house is noisy and the dinner table full! She holds a degree in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and taught Latin for years at an independent Waldorf school where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Her debut novel, HORIZON, won the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published fiction in 2016, and was named a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Awards. The sequel, INFINITY, was released in June 2017. She also has short fiction published and soon-to-be published by World Weaver Press, Grimbold Books, and Belanger Books.
You can visit her author blog where she hosts guest bloggers and discusses favorite topics including parenting and writing craft, and check her out on Book Club Babble where, as a senior writer, she posts author interviews, reviews, and more. Follow Tabitha on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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