Paul P. Mealing

Check out my book, ELVENE. Available as e-book and as paperback (print on demand, POD). 2 Reviews: here. Also this promotional Q&A on-line.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Sequel to ELVENE

People who have read ELVENE invariably ask: where’s the next one? Considering Elvene was first published in 2006, it’s been a long time coming. Firstly, I was aware that I couldn’t possibly live up to expectations – sequels rarely do – and I also knew that I would probably never write a book as good as Elvene again.

There are many tensions inherent in storytelling but none are more challenging than the contradictory goals of realising readers’ expectations and providing surprises. Both are necessary for a satisfactory rendition of a story and often have to be achieved simultaneously.

So the sequel to ELVENE both opens and closes with surprises, yet the journey’s end is rarely in doubt. I was often tempted to abandon this exercise and let people imagine their own outcome from the previous novel. That would have been the safe thing to do. But as I progressed, especially in the second half, I was motivated by the opposite desire: to write a sequel so that no one else would write it.

For most writers, the feeling is that the story already exists, like the statue trapped in the marble, and, as the writer, I’m simply the first person to read it. For much of the exercise I wrote it as a serial to myself, not knowing what was going to happen next. This is an approach many writers take – it provides the spontaneity that makes our art come alive – even if I already knew how it was going to end (actually I didn't).

Footnote: I should point out that you don't need to have read ELVENE to read the sequel - it works as a standalone story. All the backstory you need is incorporated into the opening scenes.


Kay Hart said...

Really pleased to hear that the sequel is happening. Look forward to reading it eventually. All the best. KH

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Kay,

Thanks for dropping in. I have to confess it's quite a different book to ELVENE, so I'm not sure how people will find it.

Regards, Paul.