Saturday, November 30, 2013

Adventures in the Writing of Unplanned Sequels

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?

I daresay that this new Agent 007 would be a drastically different character than the one we have grown accustomed to.

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.

Stay tuned!


  1. Mike,
    No!! Please, don't break Elaine and Nick apart. Let them work on it but not split. Nick was shot while trying to rescue her. Now that's love for you.
    Have them work together as a team of agents who are married. Let them capture Giorgio together. That's what makes me want to read more.


  2. You never know what will happen. My trilogy started off as a short story. :)

  3. good to hear that you are making another book with elaine and nick loved the first part and look forward to hearing what u have planned for the follow up,

  4. good to hear that you are making another book with Elaine and Nick look forward to reading it.. but pls dont split them up, sometimes we need to believe that love can fix all things..wither in fiction or life... but winning is half the battle staying together is the other half, so have a think it......

  5. I initially thought there would be a new villain for Elaine and Nick to fight in any subsequent books you were going to write but now it seems possible with Giorgio's body not being found that this may not be the case and Giorgio may resurface in any future subplots. If this is the case we all know how utterly ruthless he is and its likely he will attempt to completely eliminate Elaine as he has with anyone who has ever betrayed him! You mentioned tensions between Elaine and Nick in any future storyline - it will be interesting to see how you manage this because from the first 3 books they seem really well suited to each other and its difficult to see Nick who is pretty much Mr Nice Guy having any major tensions with Elaine that would split them apart. Ever marriage has its ups and downs and I am sure Elaine and Nicks will be similar but ultimately I think they will end up together in the end, they also have kids which is another reason. One possible reason for the tensions in their relationship and also Giorgio not eliminating Elaine and what would also be a nice twist - is having Giorgio being the father of Elaine's eldest child !!!