prequels, postquels, quelquels

Nancy asks:

Have you thought about doing a “prequel” to Into the Wilderness (with the focus on Daniel and Cora–Nathaniel’s parents)?  

I’ve had quite a few readers suggest this idea. I appreciate and understand the interest, but the realities of publishing that I’ve talked about before apply here as well. The bottom line: I’m not sure I could write a prequel, but even if I desperately wanted to, Bantam might not be interested. The only way that another book could ever be written in the series would be if Book Six takes off like a rocket.

Bantam has put a lot of energy and support into this series, but unless sales pick up significantly, they will step away. They almost did step away after Queen of Swords. Book Six is actually a bit of a miracle. So there it is: you, the book buying public, are the ones who make such things possible.

Assuming for a moment that there is no more interest from Bantam in the series, this does not mean I’ll stop writing historicals. I am working on a proposal for a three-volume series set in the early 1700s in New England, with the hope that the proposal will be picked up early in the new year. When I finish with Book Six, I would start on the new series (which you can think of as 1723, as a temporary reference) immediately.

I also have an abbreviated outline for another contemporary, but again, whether or not that ever sees the light of day depends on how Pajama Girls takes off. 

Publishers live and die by the numbers. They also have pretty much abandoned any serious marketing for mid-list novels, which is why many authors (and I’m in this boat myself) have to spend time, energy and money on getting their work into the public eye.

Thus the Lambert Square and the Pajama Girls websites, the giveaways, upcoming pajama-related contests, and other marketing bits and pieces that I’ve invested in. 

Let me repeat: I am very fortunate in my readers, and I appreciate every one of you. When you write and tell me what you’d like to see next, I am pleased to know that you want more. But  what comes next is not up to me.