A number of people have written to me over the years, and now lately with this blog, asking if I’ve ever considered writing a sequel to any of my novels. They ask it about a book they particularly like, and I’m always pleased to hear they liked it.
I don’t know who said that ‘comparisons are odious’, and I’m not sure if they’re odious, but I somehow suspect that’s true. We all compare things, one restaurant to another, a movie we liked and then a follow up to it comes out. What has always convinced me not to do a sequel to any of my books is that it’s an invitation to comparison. And if they loved the first book, there’s a strong chance that they won’t like the sequel to it as much. (Just as people compare a movie to a book, and usually prefer the book if it came out first). I think it would be hard to please them as much with a sequel to a favorite book. I really don’t like the idea of competing with a first book, and I’d rather write a whole new book than try to recapture the mood of a past book and try and surpass it. I’m always afraid they won’t like the sequel as much, so I don’t write them.
Also, it gives the reader more room for their own imagination, wondering what happened to the characters in a book, once the story ends. I usually try to wrap up endings neatly, or at least get the characters to a safe place in their lives. But the question of the future and exactly what will happen remains unanswered. Many people have wanted a sequel to my book ‘The Gift’, wanting to know what happened to the young girl once she gave up the baby and left. Did she come back? Did she and the boy she fell in love with get married when they were older? (They were so young). I’d rather turn the book over to you, the reader, once I finish the book. After that, you can decide what happens to all of them in future. I don’t want to intrude with a sequel to the story that you may not like.
There are none of my books that I want to write a sequel to. Once I finish a story, it’s done for me, and I move on to the next, and I fall in love with that story and those people too. So it looks like there won’t be any sequels. It’s more fun to keep things fresh and new.