Three Lessons I Learned From Publishing the Third Book in a Series

(Which is out right now, as I’m writing this—see more here.)

#1 Not all books are created equal.

I cannot stress this enough. The second book in my current series, which came out almost seven months ago, nearly killed me, and this one… I’m not gonna say it was a breeze because it has the most complex plot I’ve ever tried to write, and because writing it took a considerable amount of time, but somehow things just… clicked.

It was a pleasure to write, honestly, so much so that I coined the term ‘Mid-Series High’ for it. (Because I’ve already kinda plotted the next book in the series, which I’m writing for NaNoWriMo—next week!)

#2 Some covers are worth pure gold.

I have a hunch I’ve written about this effect before, but the thing is, every time my awesome cover artist sends me the new sketches, and, even more, the finalized version, I’m just… very, very grateful to be able to write stuff I really want to write, no matter how painfully weird it is. Seeing the girls, Lina and Karol, depicted like this, makes all of it worth my while.

On another note, since I read mostly romance and mystery, and since most of both that I read—in the subgenres I prefer—are currently heavily inclined towards photo manip/realistic covers, a writer gets to wonder, you know? As in, am I making a mistake with sticking to illustrated covers? Does it make my series even more weird? And then, every single time, I’m like nah, these covers—this awesome boost of inspiration for this humble writer—are the best thing ever to have happened to my series.

It’s no wonder I’m so happy to finally start book four—Girls Across Worlds—in a few short days. Who the hell could even guess what awesome stuff my artist will make when I send out the brief and chapters?

#3 Sometimes… series make stuff easier.

It’s a new feeling, for me, since this is the first series I’ve actually managed to get out there. (The other series I’ve been working on, Čopor Rački, is still stuck on editing book two, and I didn’t even dare tackle book three beyond the point I’ve left it at, pre-panini. (The point was, basically, that I have no idea how to write a proper villain. I mean, I am learning, but naah.

Writing book three, plotting book four and planning books five and six (I have a pretty good grasp on book five atm, but book six, the final book in the current series, is still a bit vague), I realized I’ve already familiar enough with my characters to be able to play around with them more than I was able to, in the past.

My series bible is coming along nicely, too, even though I truly should have started it right after book one, Johnny’s Girls (but I’m not sure I’d even heard of the concept at that time). Sure, I had forgotten one of my main supporting characters’ surname a few months ago, and I did accitentally change a few things here and there, but… all in all, I feel we’re in a good place, the series and I.

And, of course, I’m currently happily planning my next series—and not in a vagueish it-might-happen-one-day way, but in a pretty hands-on, down to earth way. It’s the same universe, which means I need to lay the groundwork right now for stuff I want to bring over into the next series, which is a whole other kind of challenge, one I’m really having fun with right now.

I do have a standalone in the worksplans, too, one my editor and partner in crime is rooting for, but it’s kind of on the backburner because—as mentioned—I’m riding the Mid-Series High.

I started out to write in series because that is, hands down, my absolute favourite content format as a reader.

I had no idea it would end up as something I enjoyed writing so much, too.

Hope you have a safe(r) late autumn and, if you’re fixing to write your next epic for NaNo, just as I am, good luck and godspeed!

If you’re looking for a NaNo buddy for 2021, get in touch!