Some of you may already know that I wrote a sort-of sequel to When the Sea is Rising Red. (And if you didn’t, you do now.) I say sort-of sequel because the two books are intended to be stand-alone novels within a greater universe of stories. Some reviewers disagree, and feel the two books go hand in hand, calling them “a solid duet”.
I wrote House of Sand and Secrets because although I was happy to see Felicita’s growth from the spoiled, naive girl who believes in her family’s superiority, I wasn’t happy enough. I wanted to see what happened to her when she had no family or friends to support her, in a strange, hostile city, caught up in a marriage of convenience. I wanted her to show me how she was going to rise above all of that, find her own power, and perhaps most importantly, how she was going to deal with her guilt.
This was not going to be a YA book, which made things a bit awkward (apparently publishers don’t like it when you jump marketing categories 😉 .) In the end, it became the flagship book for Folded Wherry (where you can get various DRM-free ebook versions. It’s also available at Weightless Books, for those who hate buying through Amazon), because working with someone who totally understands your vision for your world is YAY!
I found that working without the constraints of YA expectations also gave me a certain amount of freedom to play with things I could only hint at in When the Sea is Rising Red, and I feel it’s a stronger book for that. (So do others.) At the end of House of Sand and Secrets, we’ve included the opening chapters of the next book, Bones like Bridges. For those of you who remember Hob an Lam, they are one and the same, and I can’t wait for people to read Jek and Sel’s story, and to see Felicita’s world in the future. I’ve also got some short stories planned out, so there should be plenty of Hobverse coming out in the next few years.