More! More! More!

One of the earlier contemporary novels of women's fiction that featured black characters was Terry McMillan's Waiting To Exhale. As everyone knows, this book became phenomally successful, becoming a bestseller and being optioned (and actually made) for a film adaptation, which was also quite successful. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 16 years since my nose was buried in that book.

Terry's next book, Getting To Happy, will re-visit the women of Waiting To Exhale in the present day. I don't know when it'll be published, but I'm pretty sure that any manuscript Ms. McMillan turns in will have a short lead time to publication.

Another book I read and was captivated by was Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, around the mid-1990s. The authors have written a sequel, Gotta Keep On Tryin', that features heroines Pat and Gayle 10 years later, that will hit stores next week.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not much for sequels, but with such a long time between stories, it'll be interesting to see what the 35-ish women of Exhale are up to as 50-year-olds, and what's happening with Pat, Gayle, and Marcus, friends from childhood who witnessed a tragedy as youngsters. I also like the way the titles tie in to the original novels.

I promised readers years ago that I would do a sequel to my 2002 romance From This Day Forward, featuring the much-younger sisters of the heroine, who were mere teenagers at the time and would now be in their early to mid-20s. I haven't forgotten. I just never liked the idea of moving in dog years, if you will . . . having characters age 10 years in 2 because it's convenient. I'm working on a storyline, but it needs more oomph.

I'm feeling a little more confident about a proposal I recently completed for a sequel to The People Next Door, which many readers have also asked me for, with action occurring 5 years after the original left off. I'll keep you posted.

I guess I like my sequels delayed.


Gwyneth Bolton said...

I have to say, I often like sequels. And it would be interesting to see what those characters are up to after all these years. Of course I might have to re-read the books to remember what they used to be like. LOL.


Shelia said...

I like sequels...but I don't like the long period of time having to wait for the sequel :). Once I start liking the characters, its like a soap opera, you want to know what's going to happen next. I hope you do write a sequel for The People Next Door because you made the characters so that you could probably get a few other books out of them. I just hate I have to wait so long :)

bettye griffin said...

LOL, Gwyneth! I had to think for a minute to remember the plot of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, but after a minute or two I think I remember the basics. Waiting to Exhale is easier for me to remember, probably because of the movie. Since my upcoming book is about 50-year-olds, I'm delighted that Terry has written about older characters.

I know I'm in the minority when it comes to series and sequels.

Shelia, I'll share this with you (and with anyone else reading this). As I completed my proposal for a sequel to The People Next Door, which contains a strong subplot involving the teens - now in their early 20s - I thought to myself that in another five years I'll probably want to do another sequel that follows their lives as they approach 30 because there's enough drama and history to support it! I'm just a real time gal, and I like to give the characters some time to grow. So any sequel to Once Upon A Project won't be coming before 2017, when the gals are turning 60!

Patricia W. said...

I like sequels too but like Sheila, not the wait time. Also, do we know for sure that the characters will have aged a similar amount of time? Or, will the authors simply pick up where they left off, or some period in between?

DeBerry & Grant said...

Thanks for the shout out! We hope you'll enjoy Gotta Keep on Tryin'!