By the time this post goes up, it will be two days after my forty-second birthday. Forty-two…that’s supposed to be the answer to the “big question”, but somehow I doubt everything is going to fall into place, not after the off-kilter year I’ve been having, running the gamut from minor victories to tragic losses.
Another big question I’ve been facing is: “how long is your Fervor series going to run?” That runs into the whole notion that I had never intended Fervor to be anything other than one-off science fantasy dystopian novel in the beginning. I expanded it in response to readers and publisher’s requests – because no matter how much of a final ending there is to a story, unless all of the characters involved are dead and the planet blasted to smithereens (like the Arthur Dent incident…which wasn’t the end to the story their either because the characters were still alive) the story can keep going. A book doesn’t encompass everything that ever was or ever will be, so there is almost always room for sequels – or at least prequels, even if the characters were all dead and the planet destroyed in that case.
But there is a set story to the Fervor series, and I did leave plenty of loose ends in the first book that could use tidying. I also recognized that there was no way I could shore up those ends in just a second or even third book. First I had to find my refugees a place where they could stop running long enough to work at a solution. Now I’m having to give them three books to gather ammunition for the public battle versus the Scholars. And the last three books will involve the final clash and fallout. So I’ve settled on nine…a number I seem to favour in life much more than forty-two.
Compare that to my other series, Masters and Renegades, and you’ll find the two are altogether different – beyond world-setting and plotlines. M & R is not one continuous story like Fervor. It has recurring characters, a common world and magic systems, but aside from one two-part storyline, each book involves a separate event with a variety of characters. Unlike Fervor, nobody has ever asked me how long M& R will run because each book is a story unto itself. It has limitless potential, with eight books written, the third of which is soon to be published, and a ninth and tenth in planning.
So there you have it. The way through a series is not always a single continuous line. Rather, I have two completely different approaches to writing a series, both offering alternate ways of introducing new faces while exposing the nature of the world involved and how life functions there…
…Two different paths to life, the universe, and everything.