This isn't the first follow-up book in a series I've written, but it's the first book I've written when I hadn't intended initially for it to be a series when I wrote the first book. Writing in a series is different...
First of all there is the continuity issues. I totally forgot the name of one of my minor characters and had to cheat and look it up... then, I changed the scent of Piper's shampoo to strawberry. Luckily, I caught the shampoo thing and fixed it to apple. It's a little thing, but it's not... Gris has associated the scent with her for months.
I'm also trying to remember their dialogue quirks that I've established. For example: Gris never uses the word "though" and he uses the word "because" and "leastways." Piper uses the word "though" and drops the first of "because" and says "cause" and she sometimes slips in a "fixin' to." There are anybody vs. anyone quirks and folks vs. people to remember. Yikes... that's even before you get to their body language. With established characters with a regional dialect... it's a heap of yikes whenever I sit down to write. Their voices have to be consistent... and some of that is just going to have to be fixed in the rewrite.
Then, there is the stakes. In the first book, there was a murder mystery and the constant threat of violence hanging over their head. It's expected that there would be some escalation of what is at stake in a second book. I've escalated the emotional impact of everything because Piper and Gris are now an established couple and I've killed a slew of chickens; I'm about to do some grave-robbing; finally, we've messed around in the occult (thanks to some help from friends on Twitter.) Is it enough?
I just don't know.
Will I have to murder someone?
Last week I went to a book signing with my sister. Jayne Ann Krentz had a new book come out under her Amanda Quick pseudonym. My mom is a huge fan and so I grew up reading her books. For those who don't know much about her, she is a very prolific and established writer. (Her complete book list) She has several series of books set in established worlds with interconnected story lines. I simply can't imagine this. Several people there were HUGE fans and one of them had brought a little list of suggestions for her. Several had comments about her use of characters called "dust bunnies." It was interesting to watch her field questions about her "worlds" and know that writers who write series have that to look forward to. The thought of having to keep track of all that she does... makes my brain explode. Too many balls to juggle.
(BTW, my trip to Seattle did also provide the opportunity to try a Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. (Piper's Special) It was really good. I've conned several people on Twitter into trying one should Sarah sell my book.)
Anyway, so books in a series... are different. Really. And I really should be writing things down. (One of the few things relating to writing that I can't stand... it feels too much like work.)
So, my plans for this week are to continue working on Promises of Light and Dark and hopefully get some house-cleaning done. My kids have been very complicated lately so the house has suffered in a major way. They've made my brain melt. I swear, they have. This week has got to be better than the last two... right? RIGHT?