First off, wow! I’m so happy with the response to Stalking Dreams! I am thrilled that so many people read the story and enjoyed the offering. I’m happy, especially, with the generosity of readers and the enthusiasm with which they greeted the story. I’m even happier that so many folks are looking forward to the novel set in the same universe and I absolutely can’t wait to get in the trenches to finish it. So, thank you, readers! You made this girl happy!
Now, regarding the novels that will be set in this universe. I wanted to take this opportunity set clear expectations because, as was evident with Stalking Dreams, when readers are expecting one thing and are delivered something else, there is an element of possible dissatisfaction. (Side note: I definitely learned a lot about readers’ expectations for this event, which will be good should I choose to participate next year.)
In the comments for Stalking Dreams, some people mentioned that they believed it to be the first few chapters of the novel that I couldn’t finish in time to submit to the event. In actuality, the first novel is set before Stalking Dreams and will cover the beginning of River & Shane’s relationship, the trauma of being stalked, and learning to trust someone again. It will also explore the mystery of River’s stalker’s identity and there will be an in-novel resolution to many of the initial problems.
The second book in this universe will, indeed, as speculated, cover the events of Reed’s wedding and will resolve the issue of River’s stalker’s identity once and for all. Stalking Dreams fits smack in the middle of these two novels and was intended to stand alone there. There’s no doubt that the presentation of these stories, in terms of order, is problematic, but, as I mentioned elsewhere, given my responsibilities (full-time day job, motherhood, wifeliness, friendships) in addition to my writing, there was simply no way to have the first novel completed by the LHNB deadline.
In addition, several people mentioned wanting to see Kelly Maybedog’s (yay, Kelly! so grateful for you, lady!) written prompt play out exactly as it was written. I cannot promise this. I do intend to employ the prompt to the best of my ability, but hopefully readers will be generous (as they were with Stalking Dreams) and give the muse a little leeway in terms of how the actual beginning of River & Shane’s relationship takes place.
All in all, I’m incredibly in love with this universe, and I’m hopeful that when the time comes, some of you readers will fall in love with it, too. Thank you again for your generosity, your time, and your confidence in me. May this year bring me much writing time. May I write like the wind. May the books pour forth without too much wrangling. And may the force be with me.
Thank you all! You’re the best!