The Challenges of a Sequel

Written By: Janna - Jun• 08•14

To keep my fingers busy during the lulls between getting chapters back from my editor for Grimm Memories, I’ve began the third and final installment in the Grimm Tales series.

While this project doesn’t have a title yet, I can share a few things. The last book in the series is a prequel. It is Andi’s grandmother (Cynthia’s) story. I struggled long and hard to make the decision to write this particular tale. On one hand, I feel like I’ve begun to know Cynthia a little, simply through Andi and how much she is mentioned in the first two books. We have a basic story from Jack, but second hand information is always missing details and inside knowledge. Really it boiled down to what was going through Cynthia’s head when she ran away from a handsome prince, a life of luxury, and went back to a world where she knew no one, where she would have to face the demons she had run from.

The downside to all this is the Cinderella story being an old one and has been told in every way possible. How could I possibly make mine different? Better?

But… the questions begged to be answered. I’m only 30,000 words into the manuscript, but am really excited about it.

As I’m writing, entire new sets of challenges are cropping up. Much of the setting and the bones of the story are the same, they have to be. There’s a young girl, a slave in her own home, a ball, a prince. We’ve explored a lot of this story already with Andi… how to make it different?

I image J.K. Rowling faced a similar problem with the Harry Potter series. Every year they go back to the same place, have the same teachers, same friends/enemies, and same classes. How to make it distinctive?

She of course did a masterful job. You bring in new characters, get rid of Quidditch one year, find new places at Hogwarts—and the kicker, in the last book, change the setting completely—no Hogwarts. I remember being disappointed as a reader at first. But the author made it work. We needed something new to keep us interested, and she provided.

So I’m trying to implement some of the same things into Grimm #3. New fairy tale creatures, different points of view, small details that bring an entire new dimension to the story, and hidden spots on the castle grounds all come into play.



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