Sail. Salvage. Survive. Toby's father is a wanted man. For as long as Toby can remember, they've been on the run. The Phoenix has become their home, their backyard the junk-filled seas surrounding it. The crew of the Banshee lives for hunting down the Phoenix and now they're closing in. Ayla has spent her whole life fighting - preparing for the moment when the Banshee will face its ultimate enemy. But Toby doesn't want to run any more and Ayla is his only hope. Can he turn an old feud into a new alliance? The future is in their hands.
Phoenix Rising was published by Stripes on June 1st in the UK and promises to be another great book from Bryony Pearce.
Many thanks to Bryony for the guest post and I hope you enjoy reading it!
by Bryony Pearce
My last published novel, The Weight of Souls, ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger. It was a one book deal, so should have been a standalone, but when I finished writing it, both my editor and I agreed that if book one sold well, we wanted to publish the next part of the story (which would have been, by the way, a smack down between Anubis and Horus). So I changed things to leave it a bit more open ended.
Then the publisher shut down.
I felt bad about this, partly because so many readers were asking me when the sequel was coming out.
This was the closest I have come to writing series fiction, until now.
I don’t need to imagine the frustration that readers of an unfulfilled series must feel – I’ve been in the position of reading books and discovering that the rest of the series isn’t going to publication (Kim Curran’s Shift series is one of them – although Delete has now been published through a different publisher). I was one of the original George RR Martin readers, who gave up after waiting almost a decade for the next book in the series.
So I know the risks of series writing, the potential to frustrate and therefore alienate readers if it doesn’t come off, the risk of writing a second book that doesn’t meet the expectations of book one.
It’s scary to contemplate.
However, I know that the sequel to Phoenix Rising is going to be published. This is as cast iron a guarantee as it is possible to have in an ever changing world.
The sequel has in fact been written. As you read this, I am probably editing it (or perhaps doing the school pick up, or eating lunch, or even asleep and dreaming of it, depending on your timings and location in the world).
While writing Phoenix Rising, I had to keep in mind the whole way through, the over-arching storyline of the series, not just the single book. I had to plant seeds for Phoenix Burning and research and plan things that were never going to happen in Phoenix Rising, but were likely to take place later on. I had to make sure that I didn’t contradict myself, or accidentally write in or out something I intended to be important much, much later.
Writing a series is like writing a single very long novel.
And yet, I wanted to make sure that Phoenix Burning can, if necessary stand separate to Phoenix Rising. It is its own story, as well as a sequel. In Phoenix Burning I didn’t just want to rewrite Phoenix Rising, it had to have its own feel and its own central coherent story that would become part of the whole.
And so back to Phoenix Rising and the strangeness of having a ‘new novel’ which is now, to me, already a whole novel old.
Characters which, in my mind are already older, have already developed into more jaded, more complex people, are characters that you are meeting for the first time as fairly naïve children. You are just setting out on Toby’s exciting adventures, while I am working on finishing them off.
It is strange to me to be so far ahead of the reader.
I can’t wait for you to join me here.
To find out more about Bryony Pearce and her writing, please visit her website www.bryonypearce.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @BryonyPearce
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