Ahhh, the second book syndrome.
First of all, to all the many Heir of Nostalgia fans out there, thank you so much for making my book such a success. I can’t thank you enough for picking it up and passing it along. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know.
It seems like only yesterday that my book, Heir of Nostalgia, was released, (October 2011 to be exact), first as an eBook, now as a Trade Paperback, and yet, so much has happened since that fateful date. First and foremost, the book has been edited, something it desperately needed. (If I have one piece of advice to pass along, find a good editor or group of editors, to go over your work and tidy it up. Nothing can distract a reader more than poor grammar.) To Diane, Janet, Connie, Christina, and all the other ‘beta’ test readers out there who stepped up to the challenge early on, I want to say a great big ‘I appreciate you so much’ a million times over and then some. Phillip’s story could not have been told without you.
Heir of Nostalgia began with a single thought and paragraph- ‘November 17th, just seven weeks shy of Christmas. On this night, a night like any other, Theo Valerian would meet his youngest son for the very first time and never even realize it.’ As you can see, it has grown so very much since that time, and now, has spilled over into not one, but two and possibly even three, more books.
Originally, I had intended Heir of Nostalgia to be a single book, nothing more- I’d wrap Theo’s story up in three hundred or so pages. It wasn’t until I was over halfway through the first book, that I realized there was so much more I wanted to say, about Phillip, about his story, and about his family. There was no way I could possibly wrap it up in a single volume of work.
Now for some explanation- Second books are notoriously difficult to write. I discovered this by chatting with other authors, and finding out the hard way, by doing it myself. The first time around I had all the time in the world to finish book one, no one was watching or expecting much from me. I could go back over the story any number of times and add to the storyline, polish up the dialogue, make corrections and changes to the characters… in other words; I had all the time in the world to get everything just right. Not so much with the second book. Second books are written under a deadline. Fans have expectations and questions from the first book they want answered. Ideas are formed and storylines change as the story and its characters grow. There is an incredible amount of pressure to get everything just right. None of these scenarios existed the first time around. (My inner writing child got to be a child. Publishing my first book caused that child to want to grow up)
Now don’t get me wrong, pressure is also a good thing, (especially since I’m a procrastinator, perhaps the world’s biggest procrastinator, just ask Janet,) so having a deadline out in front of me is a good thing, however, and this is a big however, I feel a much bigger responsibility to get the story ‘right’ the first time around.
Then there is the question of the storyline… Heir of Nostalgia has grown far beyond the borders of anything I might have imagined. As readers, you have taken my little creation and given it so much more life, expanded and imagined its characters, explored its storylines. Because of this, Nostalgia has taken on a life of its own, if only in your imaginations, which is why I want it to ‘be right’ when the second book comes out. I want to make sure you get the very best I have to offer, when it comes to telling Phillip and Theo and Kaelynn’s story.
Initially, I had intended to release the second book, Heir of Nostalgia- Absentia, September 2012. However, I feel I cannot deliver a ‘proper tale’ in such a short time. (Again, years to write the first book, months to write the second) So I am going to push out the release of book two for at least a couple more months. I hope this doesn’t upset everybody, though I feel it will probably upset a few. Again, I apologize.
Because of Heir’s initial success (and it could always use more) I find myself scheduling a couple of book signings this year, as well as attempting to keep up a website associated with the storyline, (https://phillipsjournal.wordpress.com/) Maybe I’ll see you around, maybe you’ll see me around. Either way, it has been a privilege to entertain you with my words.
In closing all I can promise is this, book two, Heir of Nostalgia- Absentia, will definitely be worth the wait. There are so many new places I want to take you, and Phillip’s story has grown so far beyond all ‘familiar’ borders. All I ask is for a little more patience from all you crazy ‘Valerian’ fans out there. In the meantime, keep on putting the word out; introduce the book to as many friends and family you can. Also, if you have read it, whether you liked it or not, please make sure you go back to Amazon, or wherever you purchased the book, and write a review or rate it, as every little bit helps. Also, feel free to drop me a line or two if you want to, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till we meet again on the road to Nostalgia…