The whispered voices and unsettling dreams were puzzling enough, but when the visions began, disquiet crept into Sarah Richards’ heart.
Living a joyless and unfulfilled existence, Sarah’s life, however, is ordered and routine. But one autumn morning she sees a figure waving to her, the figure of a man more ghostly than real
Several times he appears, but is the spectre harmless, or are his intentions malevolent? Disturbed and intrigued, Sarah endeavours to understand the mystery, to identify her unknown stalker.
But with each visitation, she becomes ever more bewildered, and as her ordered life begins to unravel, she questions the reality of all that she knows, and with mounting horror, even her own sanity.
Writing a sequel.
Though this guest post is a stop on the blog tour for Song of the Robin, my first novel, I thought it of interest to mention sequels.
There seems to be a collective thirst for them. Think of blockbuster films such as Star Wars, which has sequels and prequels. Indiana Jones, Bridget Jones, The Twilight Saga and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Most sequels appear to be from the action genre but there are exceptions. Within the world of books, we have many successful book series, many of them crime thrillers but with notable fantasy or dystopian trilogies.
But why do sequels attract? I guess that depends on the central characters or the plot and how well they elicit an emotional response from the viewer or reader.
My thoughts are that when we read a well-written book, we often build up an empathy for the main protagonist, we identify with them or the location; we experience their emotion… we develop a relationship with them. This means when we reach the last page we often want more… we’re not done. This could be a similar connection whether we’re talking about Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen or Vera Stanhope.
When I first read Lord of the Rings more years ago than I care to remember, I devoured everything I could lay my hands on related to Middle Earth and Tolkien’s creation. J.R.R hooked me utterly because his writing drew me into a world full of tragedy, honour, friendships and joy. His descriptive skill washed over me and I was there, in the tale.
I began Song of the Robin with no intention of continuing with a sequel. In fact, other than a story outline, I had no plan of how to reach its end. I had the outcome in my head, but not the journey.
When I was writing the final paragraphs, I wondered if it were possible to carry on, as I had enjoyed writing it so much and even I as the author wasn’t done with Sarah, my main protagonist. As the latter stages developed, an idea occurred to me and I injected a mysterious element at the very end. Problem was, what should I write in a sequel? Song of the Robin is a standalone story but as it developed so did the spin offs, the parallel story lines… and references to a history. But how to continue.
I didn’t write Song of the Robin to market; I had no wish to do that, so I wrote about what motivated or moved me simply to satisfy my own needs. I have more than a passing interest in holistic healing and while relaxing on holiday when I had time to empty my head and think about the subtle elements of my first novel… those elements involving destiny and family, the first sentences of the sequel were born. This was simply a six line rhyme sent in a letter to my heroine from persons unknown.
Gone are the days of your mediocre ways.
Inspired you will be if you find me.
Resist those who fight to diminish your sight.
Variscite is calm and will keep you from harm.
Angelite will suit you, for it will transmute you.
Now all is clear, you will suffer no fear.
I returned home with just these few words, but it wasn’t long before the end game developed, what I needed to happen to my lead characters, and a title came straightaway… Reunion.
Many sequels are standalone stories and both Song of the Robin and Reunion fall in to this category. However, the way Song of the Robin ended meant I was able to write the timeline for Reunion to begin five days later, creating one story over two novels. The story continues, but it develops more of the history of the lead character and expands on the spiritual subtleties.
Like many others, I enjoy reading a sequel or a series. They give us a chance to continue living with our favourite characters once again and maybe once more. If you purchase and enjoy Song of the Robin, I hope it draws you towards Reunion.
Thank you, R V Biggs and Random Things Tours.
About the author
R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie, and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and six grandchildren.
Walking with the dog is a favorite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings.
Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health NHS trust. It was during the period between these roles that the concept for Song of the Robin was born.
Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequel Reunion, novels with central themes of fate, love and the strength of family. His writing however is not fantasy but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives.