Ronda wondered when we were going to write a follow-up story to One Bride for Seven Brothers. She wasn't the first person to ask, I'm happy to say, but her request was apparently one too many. The tipping point, so to speak. Because Glynn looked up from the computer screen and asked, "Why haven't we written a sequel to One Bride?"
As if he didn't know. When we wrote the novella, we kind of felt it was complete in and of itself. It was only the readers who thought there was more to be shared.
Since Glynn already knew this, I didn't go into the conversation again. Instead, I simply reminded him, "We're currently working on something else. Our novel."
We weren't just writing the novel, we were fully engaged in the process. We'd just finished the book's latest chapter the day before. The. Day. Before. At 30,000 words in, we were officially halfway done.
"It could be fun to write a sequel," he said. "Our first ever. Another tale in Flora's saga."
"What saga? When did we ever talk about writing a saga? Besides, the new novel is a sequel, kind of."
"It's a long sequel, with weeks and weeks to go before we're finished. Another novella would be a short sequel. It would take us a month, tops. Even if we did one brother at a time, we'd be done will the entire clan by the end of summer."
I believed what he was saying, too, which only goes to show that ignorance truly is bliss. A homemade cranberry muffin later, I agreed to set aside our work in progress (sorry, Quincy), and start working on the plot. And then....
If you've glanced outside a window lately, you've probably noticed that summer is fading. I've noticed that we're far from done with this "short" project. Somehow, we've ended up spending more time on this novella than we had on half a novel. As the days flew past, the story began to grow in size and is now almost twice as long as we'd anticipated. It's markedly longer than the original.
Not complaining, just explaining.
How did this happen? I don't know; I've never written a sequel before. It's been a joy, returning to Flora and the Victorian era, but we were foolish to think everything would go smoothly. I should have known better. Even when we're in the groove, Glynn and I create pages slowly. My writer friend, Sue, once told me she'd completed 8,000+ pretty, polished words over a long weekend. I pretended not to hear her.
But I heard you, Sue. Oh, yes, I did.
The terrific news is, One Bride for Seven Brothers: The Sixth Brother is finished, complete, done, and we're happy with it. We like it as much as the original and we believe it can be read as a complete story all by itself. (Not that anyone will, but still.) For the next three months, it's an Amazon exclusive but it will escape into the rest of the world in time. We already have someone working on converting the tale into other formats.
First sequel done, five brothers to go. This is on you, Ronda.