Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Centernia: A One Year Retrospective

September 2nd holds significance to Centernia as it's the day Muse died and the same day first printed proof arrived in the mail.  It truly marks the beginning of Return to the Castle.

This has been a whirlwind, and I have learned so much and am so grateful.  We did a pre-order at RocCon in Rochester, NY in mid-September, and followed it with a full launch at New York Comic Con in October.  After which, the book was whisked to Detroit for Youmacon, Genericon in Troy, Anime Boston, Tora Con, Sci-Fi Valley Con.

I learned some rough lessons too.  The first edition was edited, but errors still snuck through and I put out an updated edition in February.

The hardest lesson I've learned is that writing a sequel is not as easy as I had anticipated.  My husband chides me, reminding me that the core story of Return to the Castle was the story I had written and re-written over a half dozen times before I froze it into its final printed form.  It's natural that this story will be harder to lock down.  My friend Jackie reminds me that readers who are already invested in the world will love it regardless, and hang on for subsequent books.  Everyone has a certain favorite book in a series, it may not be the first, second or even third.

Hooman, I has your notes and pen. You fail.
The sequel, the Crimson Mage, is written.  It's currently being edited, but this editing process is so much deeper.   First of all, the story has to flow from the first and be a bridge to the third.  It needs give new readers a proper introduction to the world in case they skip the first book.  It needs to be as compelling and interesting as Return to the Castle, but different.

As I'm caught in the mire of editing, I feel an enormous pressure.  Simply put, I want this story to not suck, and I appreciate the fans who kindly wait with words of encouragement.

3 comments:

  1. Hello Ms. Khan you may not remember me, but I picked up your book at Anime Boston and have since read your book. I really enjoyed it, had a few small irritations here and there due to personal taste, but it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. Especially since the world building is absolutely magnificent. The audience get the homely feeling of the real world, as well as the eerie and lively feeling from Centernia. Talk about the best of both worlds. I see you've had trouble writing the sequel. Fear not. As long as you were able to move the plot forward and improved on some things that didn't go so well in the first book, then the sequel should be fine. As my family always say, patients is a virtue, especially since you left us on a huge cliffhanger. Can't wait to see how that develops. Warm regards, Leny.

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