Compelled to write sequels! by Lily Harlem
After chatting to the fabulously talented lady behind Erotica For All, Lucy Felthouse, about my fondness for writing sequels and continuing a series she very kindly asked me to share my thoughts with readers of EFA.
I’m certainly not the first author to jump on the wonderful train of pulling old characters into a new novel, it’s a timeless part of fiction and I won’t bore you with the obvious list. But for me, as a writer, re-connecting with old friends is a complete joy. They rattle around my head in-between books, chatting and plotting and carrying on with their lives. Getting their next story down is a relief!
In my HOT ICE series each book concentrates on a different member of The Vipers hockey team, they’re sequels in a loose sense, the time line is consistent as the characters from previous books pop in and out but the protagonist is new to the reader each time they open a new e-book. But the great thing for me is how much fun it is to drop an old character into, for example, a party or a hockey game and if the reader has delved into the previous book, he/she will be thinking ‘Oh, yeah, how are they doing and what are they up to now’ or ‘yes, that is so the sort of thing he would say’. As a reader myself it gives me a lovely intimate feeling to come across old characters in new books and know everything about them without having their personality/physical traits re-explained; they’re old friends, I’ve read XX,000 words about them. I’ve been in their head – in their bed!!
So some next books focus on the lives of secondary characters but some pick up where the story left off with the original cast. This was the case with SHARED.
SHARED was my debut novel at Ellora’s Cave and was written during a particularly wet and windy spring in Wales. I was longing for sunshine and excitement, I’d also been lusting after some beautiful apartments down in Cardiff Bay and when I saw an advert in the local paper – Room to Let, wanted girl to share – this got my naughty mind thinking. Mmm, what if there are two gorgeous hunks living there who literally want a girl to share. The idea grew, and grew, and grew and… Phew!
I was incredibly proud when SHARED was released. I was visiting the US at the time and even managed to share a toast with my wonderful editor over a glass of champagne in NYC. During the coming weeks reviews started to pour in. They were very complimentary. *blush*
You can read them in detail here – http://www.lilyharlem.com/lilys-books-reviewed.html
One which particularly stayed with me was from Miz Love Loves Books –
As well as being an entertaining story, Shared has the potential to make you sit and think. I suspect this is a trait of Ms. Harlem’s. She doesn’t just write a book. She writes “What Ifs” that prod the mind long after the book has ended.
What Ifs? Mmm, my brain whirred, despite having given the book a small denouement I visualized further down the road. How would Ariane, Liam and Quinn cope with their polygamous relationship? Would society accept a marriage with three people and what about the issue of children? I also began to think about how they would handle arguments. If two argued would the other get involved or would that be taking sides? It certainly got my mind ticking but it wasn’t until one day in the autumn when I sat and read through all the reviews that I thought – I have ‘got’ to write the rest of the Gilbert-Rosser’s story. It simply had to be done.
The few people I told that I was diving into SHARED TOO were very excited which spurred me on enormously, but like all novels there are times when your fingers ache, your brain is swamped and the house is a tip. When that happened I fell back on the reviews for SHARED.
The reviewers words were an inspiration in themselves, each gave me a leg up or a nudge when the going got tough – which it always does. They reminded me that my characters had connected with readers and that made me keep writing and writing and writing.
So, after all that hard work SHARED TOO has just hit the shelves and the first chapter is available for EFA readers to jump straight into. Be warned, it’s hot and heavy and there is no pre-amble, these guys know what they want and take it. They don’t have to meet, flirt or test the water, it is straight into the action…feet, or rather, cock first!
Here are the blurbs for both books.
Shared (Available from Ellora’s Cave)
Struggling artist Ariane Arlington flees the Welsh valleys after exposing her corrupt boss. But when the sun rises she finds herself jobless and homeless in Cardiff city with barely a penny to her name.
She responds to an advert in the local paper—Room to let, wanted, girl to share. What she doesn’t realize is that the two insanely gorgeous guys who live in the penthouse apartment really do want a girl to share, in every sense of the word. Fortunately for Ariane, rent is the last thing on their minds.
She discovers the men are bound together by a turbulent past. Liam, a computer whiz, keeps a painful secret hidden beneath his buff exterior, whilst Quinn, a pioneering neurosurgeon, wonders if he’ll ever meet a woman who can live with his controlling ways. They admit the one thing missing from their lives is a woman just like Ariane, who can handle them both in and out of the bedroom and who, together, they can keep satisfied, loved and most of all, safe.
Shared Too (Available from Ellora’s Cave)
Ten years on I’m still convinced I’m the luckiest woman on earth. Two devastatingly gorgeous husbands committed to my satisfaction—phew!—life doesn’t get much better or much sexier.
But as though the mere concept of a perfect existence was created to be shattered, one day Quinn turned to me and said, “Shared too. I want to be shared too.” Add in the monster that haunted my nightmares and I was struggling to keep a grip on my sanity.
I soon realized the path Quinn wanted us to travel would stretch not only his experience of giving and taking, but also mine and Liam’s. In a whirlwind of desperate emotions, dark desires and erotic fantasy, we were all so distant but also so sublimely close. Sharing had never been as sweet as it was bitter, or as depraved as it was heavenly.
Thanks so much for inviting me today, it’s been fun.
Winner of the 2009 Love Honey Award for Erotic Fiction