I'm excited to share that The Sentient will officially be part of a trilogy! My publisher, Flame Tree Press, has acquired the two sequels I've always planned for The Sentient. I'm thrilled, and have been hard at work on the sequel since the early winter. Watch this space for more specific details - the official publication dates, the cover reveals, and more!
I've known early on how I want Amira's story to end for a while. The final scenes in Book Three have been playing in my mind for years, from those first weeks when the story started to take shape. But before I can get there, the story continues in Book Two (I have a working title, but will share when it becomes an official title). Sequels have their challenges and benefits. I love being able to revisit all of these characters that I know so well, and to spend more time in Westport, Aldwych and the wider world of The Sentient. In that sense, drafting the sequel has been a lot easier than the first book - I know the plot, the world building is highly developed, and I know exactly where I need things to go. The story has just... flowed. It's great.
But there are challenges with sequels, and they come up in the editing process. Ensuring continuity from The Sentient - keeping the details consistent, from character eye colors to the train lines through Westport, is important. There's also a tricky balance to be struck between recalling the events from Book One and not dwelling too long on them - readers need to reminded of the past, but the plot must also move forward. Little details matter. MINOR SPOILER AHEAD in the next paragraph....
- Remember how Amira got her ear bitten off? I better mention that at some point early in Book Two, or it'll appear as though that traumatic detail has been forgotten. That's just one of many examples that require me to be a little more meticulous than a standalone novel might require.
And now that I've finished the first draft of the sequel... some minor teasers!
I can't wait to share more information about the sequels as they move further toward publication! Until then, it's back to work.