When I started writing the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy, I had a clear-cut plan. I wanted to write three YA books following three sisters. The books had to be different from anything else available…not conforming to any particular paranormal or fantasy trends, but falling enough within the fantasy genre for readers to enjoy and connect with them.
And, of course, they would include romance and happy endings. (You know me by now, right?).
That was as far as my plans went at the time. Write the books, make sure they could each stand alone, then publish them. By the end of July of this year, those goals were achieved.
Since then, the response to the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy has been overwhelming. I’m both thrilled and deeply humbled when readers reach out to me via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail to tell me how much they enjoyed the books. And it was the resounding response to the first trilogy that cemented the idea of continuing the stories of the Estilorians.
By the time the first review came in for Becoming, I had begun the outline for book one of the upcoming Firstborn trilogy. I had so enjoyed writing about the Estilorians that I definitely wanted to continue the series. Once the positive reviews came in, I knew it was the right path to take.
Books take time to write, however. I was now not only working full-time as a wedding planner and trying to balance that with my family time, but I was promoting my books during every possible free moment. Writing the next trilogy would take some doing.
How would I keep my readers engaged?
It was my husband who suggested writing an Estilorian short story. In truth, I have no idea where the thought came from, as he hasn’t read a short story since it was required of him in high school. Nevertheless, it struck me as brilliant, and (more importantly) very doable.
So I got to work. Fortunately, I had the foresight to ask fans of the Estilorian novels what characters they liked and what story lines they would enjoy seeing expanded upon in future books. The most common response was that readers wanted to know the story of Saraqael and Kate, the couple who really started it all.
I couldn’t think of a better topic for a short story. Thus, as soon as I finished the first draft of book one of the Firstborn trilogy, I went to work on a short story that features part of the tale of Saraqael and Kate. Titled The Prophecy, the short story serves as a narrative bridge between the Daughters of Saraqael and Firstborn trilogies.
For more insights on The Prophecy, please visit these wonderful blogs featuring interviews about the short story launch: The Book Hookup and Sarah’s Books & Life Blog (which, ahem, also features a giveaway for a signed copy of Becoming!).
Thanks again to all of you for your support, and I hope you enjoy the first Estilorian short story!