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Risky Business


The lovely Shannon Hale has an extremely interesting post up on her blog about why she writes what she does, why the next book won't necessarily be the one you want, and why that's the way it has to be. I've long been fascinated with how writers answer the question: what do I write next? How does one go about balancing the pressures of following up one success with another hit, the mounting desires of clamoring readers, and one's own inclinations? Shannon has some valuable insights into where she falls on the issue.

Robin McKinley addresses the subject (with her signature style and vigor) in this post on her blog entitled "There is no sequel to SUNSHINE." And as much as it pains me to hear there won't be sequels to some of my favorite books, there's no way in Hades I would want any of my favorite authors to go against their nature (or the demands of the Story Council) merely to satisfy fans. I want the next story they have in them. I don't care if it's a sequel, a prequel, or an entirely unrelated treatise on the life of the fruit fly. If Robin McKinley writes it, I'll read it. Period.

At the same time, as a reader, I really do appreciate it when authors address this question. If just so I can reorient myself in the whole author-book-reader spectrum. I know my place, I appreciate theirs. It's one more link in that ever-evolving, weird, and awesome relationship that exists between authors and readers, particularly in the age of the internet. One of my more recently acquired favorite writers, Moira J. Moore, recently outlined the many projects she's currently working on/mulling over and put it to her LJ readers to see which they thought she should proceed with and which should perhaps go on the back burner for awhile. It was great to get a glimpse of her process and (FWIW) give my inconsequential input.

So what do you think? Readers, do you ever find yourselves wondering why your favorite authors don't just churn out sequel after sequel? Authors, is this an issue that plagues you?

Comments

  1. That Robin McKinley post bums me out too! No sequel to Sunshine.. sighh.

    Most of the authors I read can produce sequels but a few just don't work that way. In a way I don't mind, because I'm in the middle of SO MANY series right now, it's killing me keeping things separate in my mind. Standalones are OK for this reason. On the other hand, if I LOVE something it is hard for it to be just that one book. Sunshine is probably the best example.

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  2. I need to read Sunshine. It bums me that I have not. I do enjoy stand alones. Sometimes they are a breath of fresh air in a world of urban fantasy cliffhangers.

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  3. I find the author process fascinating. And I like standalone books. That being said, I haven't read anything by Shannon Hale nor have I read Sunshine. Clearly I should get right on this.

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  4. The one book that immediately sprang to my mind when I think of sequels I would love to see is Sharon Shinn's "Summers at Castle Auburn" - I would *love* a sequel, just so I could read more about what happens next. On the other hand, it ended on a perfect note, so actually, I'm satisfied.

    Maybe if there's still a story that's worth telling, then yes, sequel by all means. In fact, please. But if there's no story, then really, there's no point. My two pennies worth :-)

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  5. Janicu...I know. Although I do think SUNSHINE has the perfect ending, I would love a sequel. So very much.

    Princess Allie, I agree. It really can be refreshing to get the whole thing in one awesome package.

    Shannon, you won't get any argument from me! Grab a copy of SUNSHINE and for Hale start with THE GOOSE GIRL.

    Li, I was so delightfully surprised by SaCA. And I would eat up more of Corie's story with a spoon.

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  6. I totally agree with you on Robin McKinley! Too bad about SunShine 2, but I'll take whatever she writes!

    I nominated your blog for an award-you can see it at http://sunshine-gardeninmypocket.blogspot.com/
    Have an awesome day!

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