All in all, I’ve been quite happy with the reception my latest release, Savage, has received. While people aren’t beating a path to the bookseller to buy it, those who have read it have, for the most part, loved the story. It’s epic in scope and readers are realizing (just as I’ve been saying all along) that it’s way more than just a zombie apocalypse novel. It’s instead a story about second chances, about finding one’s inner strength, about surviving when there’s nothing left to live for. And, thanks to the Savage blog tour hosted by The Rock Stars of Romance, I had people reviewing my book who’d never read my work before, so that was an added plus.
I’ve had several readers message me, though, asking if there’s a book two in the works…or even on the horizon. I’ll tell you what I told them–that there’s definitely room for another story, and there were loose ends, and a sequel is a possibility. Before I talk about the possibility, though, let me talk about why I chose to release a book that had a few loose ends.
First off, loose ends are a part of life. While it would be nice to have all my questions about life answered on a daily basis, it’s just not going to happen. For example, I will never understand why one of my coworkers despises me (mainly because, when I’ve had frank discussions with her about it, she claims to have no idea why I think that in the first place). There are a lot of things about this life that I will never understand or ever be privy to know, and I just have to accept it. Part of life is not having everything wrapped up in a nice, neat little package, complete with a red ribbon.
That said, I also realize that fiction is not usually that way. I’m just explaining why I myself am okay with leaving a few questions unanswered.
Second of all, those loose ends–while not unimportant–were not the main point of the story. [Right now I’m sounding the alarm–SPOILER ALERTS!] Yes, those of you who have read the book are likely wondering what happened to Larry. Where is he? Why did he kill Vera? I considered finding a way to answer that question in the book, but the solution would have been farfetched and hard to swallow, and you know how I like my realism. I felt that it was far more realistic for us to not know what happened to Larry than to have some deus ex machina-type moment where his fate was revealed. You’re also probably wondering about the fate of their kids and Nina’s parents. While those questions are good questions, important questions, and I understand why readers are uneasy not knowing, they weren’t part of the story. Nina’s growth–her rebirth, if you will; her renewed relationship with Kevin; her newfound strength and ability to survive: those were the elements of this story, and all those pieces were brought to a close at the end of the book. She and Kevin are together at the end and she has found wells of strength within her soul. She has found the will to live again. While the fate of her kids (and Kevin’s daughter too) would be nice to know, readers do know that she and Kevin are on their way to find them. Readers also wanted to know what happened later on as to the rebuilding of her community and the world in general. I’m sure you could tell that mine was pretty different from the usual zombie story–while things had fallen to shit, the world wasn’t destined to stay that way. Yes, the population is a lot smaller and there are still some issues, but humankind was cooperating so that life as we know it could be resumed. No, it wasn’t an easy task and, like Rome, their cities weren’t going to be rebuilt in a day, but I’m sure you could gather from the state of post-apocalyptic Winchester that they were on the right track.
This book was written from my heart and soul. This was one of those stories that came from deep within and had to be told, no matter the cost, and when I first started writing it, I didn’t plan on a sequel. This was meant to be a standalone, but I did have several readers ask, beg, and even threaten 🙂 that I need to write another book. The possibility is there, and I have many ideas of the whats, hows, and whys that would happen in a second book. So the question remains–will I write a sequel? Do I need to tie up those loose ends? Are readers okay not knowing all the answers?
I don’t know. Maybe you should tell me what you think. 🙂