This is how I generally feel when trying to explain anything about the publishing industry to someone.
My second novel, Misfit, came out in October of 2011. More than two years later, I still get asked on a weekly basis, mostly though my website contact form, if/when there will be a sequel. About a year and a half ago, I did my best to answer the question in a serious and professional way. But anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am generally neither serious nor professional. So it wasn’t the full answer. I was attempting to tow the party line. And mostly failing.
The truth is, I really wanted to write a Misfit sequel. Really really REALLY badly. So badly that I wrote the first 8 chapters on spec (for free) with the hope that I could convince the publisher to keep going with the series. And they didn’t go for it. They never said why, but I suspect the reason was the same one that applies most of the time a series is not continued. Because it didn’t sell as well as they’d wanted and rather than take more chances and keep putting money into it, they cut their loses. That’s normal. That’s business. And it completely and utterly broke my heart.
Many of the readers who contact me about a Misfit sequel think that I don’t care or that I’ve abandoned them. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I care a great deal about Jael’s story, and it means so much to me that I continue to hear from readers who are as passionate as I am.
I wish I could just write it, regardless of a publishing contract. But sadly, as a single parent just trying to make ends meet, I can’t afford to do that. Who knows. Maybe some day I’ll be successful enough to call the shots and tell a publisher what I want to write and they’ll just agree to it because I’m me. But until then, Jael is going to have to wait. I won’t say “never”, because as a wise friend once said to me, “Life is long, and you never know”.
One good thing to come out of all this is that I’ve learned my lesson. Which is why the sequel to Man Made Boy was included in the contract right from the beginning. So no matter what, that will happen. And sometime in the next couple months I should be able to tell you more about it.