We’re happy to have Jennifer Estep back with us. She’s been a favorite author of mine since I read her first book, Karma Girl, from her Bigtime series. She’s giving away a signed copy of Web of Lies to one lucky commenter. I’ll post the name of the winner in the comments tomorrow morning. Now, here’s Jennifer!
Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to the Magical Musings gals for having me back here on the blog. Thanks so much, ladies!
So I have a new book out this week – Web of Lies, the second book in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. My assassin heroine, Gin Blanco, and the rest of the gang are back for more fighting, bleeding, loving, and dying in the fictional southern metropolis of Ashland.
I’m going to share a secret with you guys here today about Web of Lies – I always like writing the second book in a series better than the first one.
Why? Well, I just think it’s easier. For me, the first book in a series is all about coming up with the world building – the magic, the rules, the types of creatures, where the story takes place, etc. That’s what Spider’s Bite, the first Elemental Assassin book, was all about. Creating the dirty, gritty city of Ashland, with its dwarves, giants, vampires, and elementals, or folks who can control one of the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.
Now, with Web of Lies, the second book, I can take all that groundwork and really just have fun with the world, the magic system, and the characters that I’ve created. Whenever I write a second book in a series, it just flows a little better, and the writing and revisions go much faster – at least, that’s how it seems to me.
Plus, I like to see my characters grow, and writing that second book really lets me explore more of their feelings, history, and how what happened in the first book affects them now. Not to mention that every villain gets progressively bigger and badder with each book. You always want to present your heroine with new and interesting challenges. 😉
I’m not saying that writing that second book is problem-free, though. Because not everyone who picks up Web of Lies will have read Spider’s Bite, and if I don’t do a good job of explaining the magic, rules, and everything that I’ve set up in book one, then readers will be completely lost in book two. To me, that’s the trickiest part of writing a series – laying out the rules for new readers in every book without having the world building and magic system seem like a big info dump for folks who have already read the other books in the series.
Writing is always a balancing act of one kind or another – and it’s a task that I’m happy to undertake each and every time I sit down and start a new book. In the end, the goal is always the same – to entertain readers, something that I hopefully achieve.
What about you guys? Which do you like better? Writing that first book or the other ones in a series? What about you readers? Is the first book always the best one in a series? Share in the comments.