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I can’t sleep.
It’s this dang sequel dilemma. Remind me never to write another one! I’ve done a few print interviews now about Secrets She Left Behind, and they’ve been easy because I could carefully choose what I reveal about the story and what I don’t. But the speaking engagements and the TV and radio interviews will be coming up soon, and then I’ll have to address what feels like an elephant in the room. Do I talk about the facets of Secrets that give away important elements of the first book, Before the Storm, or do I play coy and keep them to myself so someone who hasn’t yet read Storm doesn’t have her reading experience marred by knowing the major twists in the story. For those of you who haven’t read either book, Before the Storm has a major who-dunnit in its pages. Secrets She Left Behind is, in part, about the person who-dunnit. And either book can stand perfectly well alone.
When I first started thinking about this dilemma, I decided I would simply talk about elements in Secrets that leave out the “spoilers.” That would be challenging, and would also make me sad, because the who-dunnit character has such a significant role in the story. (This approach is made even more difficult by the fact that that character’s identity is revealed on the back cover copy of Secrets, so anyone at a booksigning will know the answer as soon as he or she reads the back of the book).
But then I realized the real reason why I cannot talk about Secrets so cryptically. I can control what I say at a speaking engagement, but I can’t control what my audience says. The first question I get during a Q and A can be a spoiler, and the last thing I want to do is censor my readers.
So I’ve decided–I think–to talk about the story in all its gloriously messy form and let the chips fall where they may.
Some of you have now read both books. Some only one or the other. I’d love your input once again on this insomnia-inducing issue.
You’d think I’m talking about something that would alter the future of all mankind. Geesh. It’s just a book. I’ve got to get a grip!