It could all be in my head, but I have this worry about the second of anything in a series… When the first of something (movie, book, slice of pizza) is good, what happens when the second one comes around?
I’m writing about this because in two weeks I’ll be releasing the second book in my vampire reverse harem, Midnight’s Crown. I adored writing it. And even when I re-read it, as long as I’m in the right state of mind, I think to myself, “Not bad.”
**GET READY FOR A DIGRESSION!**
An author’s opinion about their writing changes on the day they read it. Nay! It changes based on the hour! What you love one moment, you can hate the next. This is why editors are so important. Their objectivity keeps the book on track and the author from deleting what might not actually be crap.
Anyway… I worry about the second of series because of this list: The Godfather Part 2, Back to the Future Part 2, Jaws 2, Terminator 2, Bridget Jones Diary 2. There’s a lot of pressure to make the second, and it can go one of two ways. An author/director can say to themselves, “I got this…” And then you end up with Back to the Future Part 2 (decidedly the absolute worst, I don’t care if they had a hover board—seeing Marty McFly’s mom end up with Biff Tanner was AWFUL).
Or you can work extra extra hard so you don’t do end up with Fredo in a canoe saying a Hail Mary (Godfather reference). I fall into the category of fingers-crossed/please, dear Editor, be especially harsh/don’t hold back/rip it apart.
Now that editing is finished, and it’s just waiting to be uploaded to Amazon, I’m waking up in the middle of the night with panic. “Did I remember to consistently call Briar by the right nickname?” There’s no logic at three am, there’s only a pencil and notepad and hastily scratched questions to be double-checked the next day.
But, with a series, you gotta release the second part. And the third. I’m trying to remember if the same is true for the third of a series, as the second. Thirds… Return of the Jedi (that was good!)… but… Godfather Part 3… Jurassic Park Part 3…