Writing the second book of a trilogy can be frustrating. I think I had an advantage when I began WOLFSBANE because I kept thinking of it as my “Empire Strikes Back” book. In the original STAR WARS trilogy Empire is the film where things go bad and even at the end of the film, things are still pretty bad. The movie also ends on a total cliffhanger – Lando and Chewie fly off in the Millennium Falcon and you’re left to hope they’ll find Han and get him out of that nasty carbonite.
Sounds pretty frustrating, right?
Despite the downward spiral and loose ends Empire remains my favorite of the STAR WARS films. It’s a brilliant story, tense and perfectly paced, with some of the best dialogue ever:
Han: “We don’t have time to discuss this with the committee.”
Leia: “I am not a committee!”
I don’t think anyone who has read NIGHTSHADE will be surprised for me to say that WOLFSBANE takes its characters to some dark places. Though not without hope, things get bad, very bad, before the possibility of getting better appears. And yes – it ends on a cliffhanger. Sorry.
Cliffhangers don’t bother me. In fact, I think they’re essential to power a story that takes place over the course of several books rather than a single volume. I knew Nightshade was a trilogy from the first page I wrote – I think of the series as 1,000 page book broken up into three parts. Still I know that some readers will want to throttle me when they reach the end of this book. But you have to go through the darkness to find the light.
A few book 2 facts:
1) I rewrote the first half of WOLFSBANE twice, throwing out most of the original version along the way.
2) WOLFSBANE originally ended at what is now the second chapter of BLOODROSE
3) In early drafts I toyed with the idea of changing POVs, but soon realized that the Nightshade series is Calla’s story; thus, she remains the narrator of all three books
4) WOLFSBANE may be my Empire Strikes back, but there are no Ewoks in BLOODROSE
Thanks so much Andrea for this Guest post it was great to hear from you. I am so stoked for the second book; Wolfsbane!