Do You Like Sequels?
What about if, instead of one book, there was
THE PIANO PLAYER’S SON X TWO?
A number of readers have said to me recently that they’d like a sequel. They want to know what happened to this character or that after the end of the novel. Or they fell in love with a particular character, and want to read more about them. Or they hated a character and want to see them get their comeuppance! But usually it’s because they enjoyed the novel and want to read more of the story.
And, interestingly, readers made similar comments about UNRAVELLING. ‘I need to know,’ they said. ‘You have to write another.
It’s lovely to know that people have enjoyed the story or the characters so much that they want more of both. And I’m intrigued by the request, mainly because, inevitably, I start to think about where I might take the characters next. By the time a novel is finished, I’m so immersed in the characters’ lives that it would be interesting (and probably easier than starting from scratch) to spend more time with them.
But I’m not sure it’s something I would be tempted to do. I usually plan the story, so that I get the characters to a plateau in their lives. It’s not always a particularly happy plateau (some readers find my novels dark or serious), but they are at a place where all the turmoil that has made up the events of the novel has eased. Things have been resolved for the moment.
But what will happen next is unclear. There is no ‘and they all lived happily ever after’. Why? Because I want readers to decide what happens to the characters, based on the knowledge and understanding they’ve gained during the novel. I want readers to be free to use their imaginations without my imposing events on them.
So, tempting thought the idea might be, I doubt I would write a sequel to any of my novels. I love my characters, but once I finish a story, I’m ready to move on to a new set of characters. To work out new situations, dream up new goals for them, present them with fresh challenges, and in doing so, challenge myself.
What do you think? Where do you stand on sequels?Tags: sequels