'What's this?' you say. 'A post? An actual post?' Okay. Yes, an actual post. I guess you could call it that. But, personally, I'd say it's more of an update.
After eight months of perseverance and more than a little slogging, I've finished the first draft of the sequel to Deadly Remains. Finished it a few weeks ago, actually. And it's a bit on the long side. 165K+ words. Suffice it to say, the draft will need some serious editing. (I think Deadly Remains was around 130K, if I remember correctly, and I'll be the first to admit it could have used more pruning.)
At the moment, the sequel is being read by my initial test readers and I'm waiting to hear their feedback.
I'm biting my nails, though. You know all those authors who plan way ahead of time, from book one, how each subsequent installment will drive the story? Ahem. Yeah, I'm not them. When I set out to write the sequel, I had absolutely no idea where Lire's story was going to take me. Consequently, I didn't anticipate how things would turn out.
I'm definitely not a plotter. I fly by the seat of my pants. I'm a pantster. (For Lire's tale, anyway. The 7th Tear was different. For that one, I knew where it was going, from beginning to end.)
When I wrote Deadly Remains and, now, its sequel, I simply let Lire out to play and then followed along with her. She decided what to do next and took the story with her. And, now that the sequel's done, I can only hope the whole thing works. My husband thinks the story is terrific, but … not sure he's 100% objective about it. (Shocker, I know.) That said, I DO know he'd tell me if he thought I could do better, and he certainly wouldn't let me put something out in the world knowing it would be an embarrassment. Still, this is why I have test readers. I rely on them to tell me whether the plot works for them, if the characters act in ways that are realistic and expected (given their personalities), which parts bored them to tears or made them roll their eyes, etc.
Once I get a feel for how the story has played for them, I'll have a better idea how much editing will be required. As far as an ETA for publication, my best guess is the sequel will be ready no sooner than the end of the year, perhaps December of 2013. But don't be surprised if it goes into early 2014. There's a lot of work yet to do.
Just thought you guys might want to know. And, I'll warn you now … the next post I write will probably be the announcement of the sequel's publication. You know how I am about posting regularly. ;-)