THE WHAT-IFS AND THE MAYBES.

A little while ago, my good friend P decided to become one of my beta readers. Recently, I received her questionnaire back and she mentioned that she could see a sequel happening.

I’ve always said to myself and to others that Back To Reality is a standalone piece; throughout this process, I’d never once entertained the thought of adding to Samantha’s story. However, since P mentioned this (and how lovely of her, also), the thought has been popping up in my mind ever since.

Today, I’ve thought about it non-stop. As per, music has been at the forefront, where I have listened to a piece that has eased me into thinking about my characters. Today’s track was taken from Troy Baker’s Sitting in the Fire album, a purely instrumental piece called Intermission.

I’d never listened to his music before and thought I’d give it a try (gamers, you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about). As soon as I began listening to the calming melodies, I thought of Samantha and Nick.

I won’t go into the plot and such, but it did get me thinking of their journey throughout Back To Reality and what could occur in a potential sequel. I began to think of the end, as I usually do, first. Backwards, I know, yet my first question is always what is the end goal? Where do I want these characters to be 300/400 pages down the line?

I meandered through my brain earlier, travelling through the maze of an unweaved tale. Do I have something I could use? Potentially. I haven’t written anything down on paper as of yet; I feel as though this is my next port of call after posting this. Even if these ideas never see the light of day, it makes me smile to know that these characters that I’ve poured my heart and soul into over the years, are still living and breathing somewhere inside my skull. I simply haven’t paid them a visit yet.

My first roadblocks would be to try to ascertain what the conflicts would be. It was heavily apparent in book one, yet would these characters fall into the same parallels as those in the City Streets saga? Obviously, my job is to make sure that that doesn’t happen. I guess subconsciously, I would love to revisit those novels and rewrite them some day.

With my submission journey due to begin, I would assume it’s a good thing that Paula has not only enjoyed the book, yet planted a seed within me that I could turn around to a potential agent and, when asked, inform them that there is a possibility of this book having a sibling if there is a market for it. However, I do believe that it would suit without one either way. Yet it’s nice to know that somewhere in my mind, Samantha has reminded me that she is still there and to still keep in touch.

In other news, I have recently made the grave error in ordering more (yes, more) books to read. I’ve recently just finished Kevin Kwan’s fantastic Crazy Rich Asians and am flying through China Rich Girlfriend, part two of his trilogy. (Also, if you haven’t already, watch the movie  – it’s bloody glorious!).

As I’ve gone through some submission guidelines, a couple have asked to include where I think my manuscript could sit in a bookshop, who could my novel rub shoulders with on a shelf?

I honestly felt flummoxed with that question. Especially as some would like an easy comparison such as “It’s the lovechild of Joe Bloggs and Jane Doe”. Let’s keep it ambiguous, here.

The novels ordered have all been within the same genre as mine, all in hope to get a grasp of who I could sit amongst. All the while of me trying to find my own voice, be authentic within my own style and come up with content that may branch away from the norm, I can’t help but think if I’ve shot myself in the foot with it all.

Reading predominately Thrillers is something I not only enjoy, yet it helps me write my genre style as they are polar opposites. I write contemporary romance novels, and therefore my reading about a serial killer on the loose, or a psycho ex mother in law acting on a blood thirsty rampage, typically wouldn’t cross over into my manuscript.

I do need to read these to understand the market more and what other best-selling authors in the genre are getting right. I just simply hope that an agent sees something in my fiction that is unique enough to take the plunge in the near by future.

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