Often, when I'm writing a story, if I have a feeling that I might want to write a sequel, and that readers might want one, too, I leave the ending somewhat open. That is to say, I try to write an ending that resolves the main story conflict and ties up the loose ends, but at the same time leaves room for more adventures to take place with the same hero and perhaps some of the same characters.
When I wrote Lust, Money & Murder, however, I had no plans for a sequel, nor did I think that readers would want one. Boy, was I ever wrong about that! I was flabbergasted when the book first came out and I began to receive a steady stream of emails and tweets and Facebook posts from readers saying, "We want more Elaine and Nick! When will more Lust, Money & Murder books be out?"
I think most of you already know that I highly value the wants and needs of readers. I did leave the ending of Lust, Money & Murder "slightly" open--if you've read the trilogy, you remember the Epilogue: it says that even though Elaine Brogan did away with Giorgio Cattoretti, his body has never been found. But the main reason I did that was to show how strong and resilient he was as a villain. To use his own words, "The Cat always lands on his feet."
The problem is, the Epilogue also states that Elaine and Nick marry and have two kids together. Which means that in any sequel, Elaine Brogan, Special Agent in the Secret Service, is a wife and a mother. This is a big change for a secret agent-type character. Think about it. What would happen to the famous Ian Fleming stories if our beloved "Bond, James Bond" were suddenly married? And had a couple of kids and became a Daddy to boot?
Despite this, dear reader, never fear: I do believe I've found an effective solution to this problem, a solution that not only preserves the Elaine Brogan we know and love, but makes her even more interesting and three-dimensional. I wouldn't think of spoiling a potential new book for you, but here's a hint: just because Elaine and Nick got married doesn't necessarily mean they're happily married, does it? You know as well as I do that a heady new love affair is one thing, but when "the bloom is off the rose," it can be quite another.