Sequels by Guest Blogger Bettye Griffin
Bettye Griffin is the author of A New Kind of Bliss, Once Upon A Project, If These Walls Could Talk, Nothing But Trouble, and The People Next Door. A native of Yonkers, New York, she now lives in Southeast Wisconsin with her husband. She’s stops by today to discuss what many avid readers like–sequels.
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?
From the author of The People Next Door comes a smart, sexy new novel that peeks behind the curtains of one very complicated Florida cul-de-sac, where the neighbors are a little too close for comfort…
Suzanne and Brad Betancourt have a lot to be grateful for—their home, their children, and each other. They’ve even survived the fact that Brad’s ex-wife lives next door and Suzanne’s intrusive mother and siblings are just down the road. But Suzanne’s confidence unravels at Brad’s fiftieth birthday blowout, when young, voluptuous, neighbor Micheline brings a specially wrapped gift: herself. Suddenly, Suzanne feels like she’s the one having the midlife crisis…
Hoping to impress Brad, and ease family troubles that are already straining their relationship, Suzanne goes into business with a friend. But the endeavor stretches her too thin, leaving Brad hurt and alienated. Soon he begins to distance himself from her—moving right into the waiting arms of Micheline, who is all too ready to ditch her own husband.
Now, with marriages on the line across the neighborhood, Suzanne and Brad will have to question their notion of loyalty to one another—and to themselves.
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