A funny thing happened on the way to a sequel

A couple of weeks ago, I sent my latest draft of Hidden to Death to a friend, so he could critique what I’d written so far. I’d told him already that I was having trouble writing this one. The first two books, Cited to Death and Hoarded to Death, flowed out of me in an unending stream of words. I could barely get it down on paper (well, in Word) fast enough. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a scene and have to write it down so I could go back to sleep.

Hidden to Death wasn’t working like that. Some scenes still flowed, but it was much harder to write. It felt like work. And I was having issues with the story – the crime storyline vs. the relationship storyline. It was almost like I was writing two different books.

And when Dustin got back to me, that’s exactly what he said. “You’re writing two different books.”

I was writing Hidden to Death using two different voices – one being Jamie, of course, and the other being Tim Garcia, Kevin’s partner in LAPD. And what Dustin said, basically, was that it wasn’t working.

So he made a suggestion. Since it felt like I was writing two books, let’s make it two books.

Pete and Jamie’s relationship has to progress as planned. So the relationship storyline is being kept, but a different “crime” storyline is being woven around it. One that impacts the relationship much more.

The new book based on the relationship storyline will be the third book in the series now, called Remembered to Death. There is no crime – this time, the death is a suicide. One of Pete’s childhood friends.

Hidden to Death will still happen, because the crime is a good one. But it will come later in the series. When it does, it will probably be told completely from Tim’s POV.

Writing is a funny thing. Sometimes you have to change storylines in the middle of the stream, because that’s what the characters are telling you to do.

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