I am excited to share this blog because Lexi Rees is not only my guest as ‘Chindi Author of the Week’, but today, she’s celebrating the launch of her new novel, Wild Sky, sequel to Eternal Seas.
This leads us on to the topic that Lexi is discussing today. ‘Writing a Sequel.’ Without further ado, it’s over to Lexi Rees.
Hi Patricia, thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog today to chat about Wild Sky, the second book in children’s fantasy adventure series, The Relic Hunters, as it publishes TODAY!!
Writing a sequel
If you read many author blogs, you’ll probably have heard them discuss whether they are a “planner” or a “pantser”. The planner has every detailed of the plot sorted before they start writing whilst the pantser lets the writing evolve organically. Now, given I’m very organised usually, I was quite surprised when one of my editors described me as a pantser. “But I have a plan,” I protested. “No, you have an ending and a set of characters and some events,’ she insisted. I had to admit, that was probably fairly accurate. After all, one of my lead characters, Pippin, had just changed gender and name, and was regularly writing herself into and out of scenes at a whim.
When I started writing The Relic Hunters, I had in mind a series of challenges for Finn and Aria to overcome, like in Beast Quest or Percy Jackson. Although I started writing the sequel, Wild Sky before the first book was published, I was still only about halfway through by the time book one was released. Eternal Seas was getting great reviews and young readers were clamouring for the sequel – I needed to write faster. You’d think writing book two would be easier, after all the world and the characters are built but one thing I’ve learned is, it’s really hard when you’re a pantser because there are certain events and discussions that are now set in stone and cannot be changed! As a result, I quickly realised I need to be much more structured in my planning.
I’d heard lots of authors sing the praises of some writing software, a tool called Scrivener. It works a bit like a corkboard, or a wall covered in multi-coloured post-it notes, which makes it really easy to plan at a high level then add layers of detail, and to move chunks around. It’s been a life-saver. I’m not sure I would ever have managed to get all the threads sorted if I hadn’t had a system and my poor editors would have been pulling their hair out!
The other revelation to me from having a plan and using Scrivener is it has actually helped speed my writing up, in particular, I’ve discovered I no longer need to write in a linear form – I can dip in and out of scenes as the mood takes me. That appeals to my rebellious pantser tendencies, whilst still ticking the planning requirements. I’m a planning convert!
Anyway, the final instalment of the trilogy is carefully planned and the writing is underway. Watch this space! In the meantime, I hope you and your young readers enjoy Wild Sky as much as I enjoyed both planning and writing it!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog.
It was a pleasure to have you back again, Lexi and thank you for such an informative blog. I must try and get the hang of Scrivener. May I take the opportunity on behalf of my readers and myself to wish you the best of luck with Wild Sky.
Readers you will be pleased to hear that Lexi is running a Giveaway Competition to celebrate Wild Sky’s publication. But you need to enter to get the chance to win a copy of ‘The Relic Hunters series.’
After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.
But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.
Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?
Not everyone is who they appear to be
And time is running out …
And look at these fabulous reviews:
‘This action-packed blend of magical fantasy with classic kids adventuring is a swashbuckling read for 8+ year-olds, peppered with soft line-drawings and propelled by a strong sense of urgency.’ (LoveReading4Kids)
‘Non-stop adventure with an exciting blend of magic and dystopia. Sinister villains, strange magic and thrilling adventure. I loved it!’ (Claire Fayers, author of The Accidental Pirates series, Mirror Magic and Storm Hound)
‘Raging seas, snowy lands, fortresses and monasteries – the quest for the relics continues at an exhilarating pace. You won’t put it down!’ (Jude Lennon, author of the Hal series and other books)
Click on the following links to purchase Lexi’s books.
About Lexi Rees
Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures and workbooks for children.
The Relic Hunters #1, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently long-listed for a Chanticleer award. The sequel, Wild Sky, is out on the 28th November.
She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.
In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.
Links to find Lexi on Social Media and her website.
Great article. I have to admit, I too was a bit of a pantser when I wrote my first novel, even though I had my whole series planned but as the series developed, certain storylines had to change. Congratulations for getting a new book out and happy publication day.
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Thanks so much for inviting me to join you! I’m a nervous wreck today waiting for those critical first reviews to come in!
I’m sure the reviews will be amazing, Lexi.
Lovely interview, Lexi and Patricia. Wishing Lexi the best of luck for publication of The Relic Hunters. Hope the 5* reviews come flooding in.
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Thank you, Maddie and thank you for taking the time to read and comment.