A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
The Phoenix Rising books represent the first time I have been given a two book deal. On one hand it was the most amazing feeling – I had a guarantee. My publisher had bought a book (the second book) sight unseen. They were committed to buying it, no matter what. On the other hand, it was daunting. After all, they were committed to buying it no matter what!
I have read a number of trilogies where the second book has been, very obviously, nothing more than filler, a repeat of the themes and actions of the first book, nothing more than a bridge from book one to three.
I was very keen to make sure that book two of Phoenix Rising, Phoenix Burning, was a book in its own right, a second rollicking adventure completely different from the first, although with the same characters and following an overarching story arc that would take us through to the ending of the third planned book in a sensible manner. I wanted to feel as if my editor would have published this book even if they weren’t committed to it already.
There was one problem with this ambition – time restrictions.
As any author will tell you, the first un-contracted book has its own problems, but time is not one of them. You can take all the time in the world to write that first book, and then sell it. Book two has deadlines.
I now understand why so many ‘book twos’ are rewrites of book one – because having only three or four months to come up with a story and write it, sticking with what you know works is the safe option.
I will not play it safe.
The advantage of writing a book two in a series, is that the world building and character development is already done, you can start writing with all of that behind you and get moving much more quickly into the story.
I have now written Phoenix Burning and am in the process of editing it. I hope I have managed to write a book that is a clear sequel to Phoenix Rising, but different to it, which grips the audience in a different way and tells them different things about my world.
Now I am encountering the other strange thing about writing a book two. It’s written before book one comes out. Phoenix Rising is published on the 1st June. I’m now a whole book away from it, yet I will soon have to turn my mind backwards, for a blog tour, interviews, school visits and events.
Let’s hope I don’t get the two confused!
Bryony Pearce lives in a village on the edge of the Peak District and is a full time mum to her two small children, husband and cat. She is vegetarian and loves chocolate, wine and writing. People are often surprised at how dark her writing is and since the publication, by Egmont, of the award-winning Angel’s Fury, have started looking at her as though worried she might start serial killing in her spare time.
She enjoys doing school visits, festivals and events, when the children let her out of the house. Her new book The Weight of Souls is published by Strange Chemistry on 1st August 2013.
For more information on Bryony, please visit her website www.bryonypearce.co.uk follow her on Twitter @BryonyPearce or like her FaceBook author page BryonyPearceAuthor.