The year started with good news. The future of the Mystic Rampage series seems promising. Responses from participants in the blog tour that concluded last November were positive and I appreciate everyone who took the time to read Made to Be Broken and share their thoughts. My publisher also said he is excited to continue being involved with the series and putting book 2 in stores. The bad news is the next one won’t be published until next year.
Initially, thinking about that lag time was frustrating. I feel like the second book is ready to go through the publishing process now. I finished a rough draft over a year ago, gave it to beta readers, and made major revisions based on their feedback. I’m anxious for responses as well because if readers liked the heroes in the first book, I’m confident they’ll love the villains in the second. One particularly psychotic character was especially fun to write. However, if there is a bright side to the long wait, it’s that I have more time to focus on part 3.
I started this story in 2013 and didn’t expect to be at it this long. I have ideas for other novels, and sometimes Mystic Rampage feels like a distraction. I was actually hesitant to make it into a trilogy. The end of book 2 leaves questions unanswered, but my target audience seems like the kind of people who would enjoy a little mystery. I don’t remember what pushed me to give a third installment a try, but it came out being a full length novel. Unfortunately, only about half of it works. The rest is so ridiculous I'm ashamed to have it on my flash drive.
Those results aren’t surprising. I didn’t spend a lot of time outlining the third book since I wasn't even sure I'd be writing it, and if I don’t start a project with a solid plan there’s pretty much no chance of it working out. However, there is enough workable material in my rough draft to keep going, so Mystic Rampage is going to be a trilogy. That’s going to mean putting all my other projects on the back-burner … again.
It might be for the best, since it will provide a reason to continue modifying the second book. Since I was leaving readers scratching their heads anyway, I figured I might as well make it as wacky as possible. The epilogue of book 2 included a floating shrunken head that communicated telepathically and a secret society developing a neurotoxin capable of taking away a Genie’s powers. Neither of those concepts has been easy to fit into the plot, so I stopped trying to work them into book 3 and took them out of book 2. There will probably be other things I’ll add or remove from both installments by the time I’m done. It will take a few more years, but at least I’ll know I had ample time to perfect both to the best of my ability. The main lesson of the publishing process seems to be in the value of patience; that, and setting aside as much time as possible for revising.