It doesn’t seem like a complex question, whether or not to write sequels to stories already written, but the answer isn’t always clear at first look and it depends on several factors.
The first factor to consider is the original story. Was is strong enough to stand on its own or did it leave some questions to be answered after the final paragraph? Also, did it have strong enough supporting characters that perhaps their stories need to be written?
The second factor is the Muse. As an author, I call the creative energy that brings out the tales I write just “The Muse”. Some folks name them. My friend Silver James has named her Muse Iffy and she runs with scissors. If you’ve read Silver’s stories, it makes sense. If the Muse isn’t interested in a sequel, it won’t happen. I’ve had several requests for a continuation of Her Devoted Vampire, but so far, the Muse is mum on more.
The third factor is a more practical one. Readers love series. They want to know what happens to the characters after the sun comes up after they’ve ridden off into the sunset. Or at least to their family and friends. Series require more than one book, so sequels are needed. Hopefully the Muse agrees and spins tales like tapestries from a loom.
As for myself, I have two series going and the Muse has graciously told me storylines for most of the stories in them. My latest release is The Navy’s Ghost, a Menage a’SEALs tale and romantic suspense, and the first book in the Bad Boys of Beta Squad series. While I wrote that one, the Muse told me a storyline for a prequel for one of the squad members and she’s been hot to finish this bad boy. That should be out in a couple of months. And I have story ideas for Book 2 and Book 3, plus Books 3 and 4 for my Cloudburst Colorado series.
So for me, right now with the Muse’s blessing, the answer is yes, I’m writing sequels. If you’re a reader, that means there’s plenty to look forward to. What’s your favorite type of reading? Stand alone tales or series?