Working on a sequel means delicately spooning in details that explain what happened in the previous story while keeping the present plot rolling. Somehow I am reminded of the year we spent owning and operating a bakery in Costa Rica. We had to keep the daily favorites for the locals while coming out with new goodies to keep them coming back for a second treat. Fresh, new ideas and the comforting standards at the same time. It was fun, but a lot of work.
Luckily, I was recently approached by a friend of a friend who wants to exchange critiquing. As she hadn't read the first Emily novel, Red Nectar, her questions about what was going on in the first chapter told me what I need to address right away--without bogging down the story! Feels like reworking a jigsaw puzzle with added pieces.
While working on the sequel to Red Nectar, I am also working on the companion book to Hey Little Baby, this one will be named Toddler Season. That has been in the works for two years. (Somehow writing a story in less than 200 words is far more difficult than a novel, at least for me. But that is another story.) I have been attempting to capture the magic of HLB like fairy dust, and sprinkle it onto the words needed to bring TS to life--but a life of it's own.
My personal hope and goal for this next story, is that my writing skills are improving from having a first y/a book undertaken and conquered. I just wish the whole sequel aspect of it were a little easier.