I am writing, right now (relatively speaking), a prequel to my Winter Seedlings book series.
The main reason I am doing this is because I want to offer a permanently free novella (e-book only) to introduce the Winter Seedlings characters and get new readers familiar with my writing.
My second reason for writing a prequel is to give Allie her own voice. If you are familiar with Winter Seedlings, you know Allie is the best friend and love interest of my main character. She makes a lot of mistakes and they are not little mistakes. Allie makes huge, irreversible mistakes. But most readers have pointed out that even though these things happen, they understand why Allie does what she does. So, I don’t know that Allie *needs* her own book.
But then, yes, she does. In Winter Seedlings, Jute tells the reader what Allie is like. The reader witnesses Allie doing exactly what Jute predicts she will do. But does Jute know all there is to know about Allie? No, she doesn’t.
So, my readers are pretty excited to read from Allie’s POV and I am excited to write it. Actually, I already have. In a single week I cranked out over 20,000 words (it’s a novella, remember). I have only the finishing touches to filling in some scenes and a ton of editing before it’s ready to publish.
The tricky thing, though, which I realize as I edit, is how to satisfy my readers who are wanting “more Winter Seedlings” and avoid spoilers for new readers. Much of what is revealed about Allie in Winter Seedlings happens over time in the book and it wouldn’t be the same if the reader is already aware of the specifics of her life. But those specifics exist and I can’t pretend they don’t.
Jute thinks Allie is desperate for men’s approval. We see Allie play out this role again and again. But maybe there is a twist which will not negate Jute’s POV. Maybe Jute is right about what Allie wants, but wrong about her reasons for wanting it.
Keeping this balance is a real challenge. But I love challenges and I love these characters. So, look for this novella to be out before the end of summer. If you want to know more about Jute and Allie before then, you can always read Winter Seedlings in the meantime.