The Terror of Book Two

Tomorrow, September 13th, BODY ON THE BAYOU, the second book in my Cajun Country Mystery series, launches. I should be all…

But instead, I’m all…


When your debut novel gets published, you’re nervous, but it’s more of a giddy-nervous than an uh-oh-I-better-not-be-a-one-hit-wonder nervous. Everyone is excited for you. Family and friends buy your book just to show their support. There are contests specifically devoted to your rarefied group of publishing first-timers. You’re a shiny new book toy.

But if you’re writing a series, book two rolls around. Oh, there are still plenty of huzzahs from those who love you, but it’s time to go beyond Aunt Martha buying a copy for herself and the nurse who’s always so nice to her at the cardiologist’s office. To survive, authors must develop a readership that extends beyond their nearest and dearest. With that goal in mind, I’ve spent the last year blogging, newsletter-ing, signing, swagging, and mailing. I’ve commented, posted, and copy-and-pasted. I’ve networked endlessly with readers and authors, on and off line, and loved every single minute of it. Frankly, I’d like my Cajun Country Mysteries to go on forever. Donna Andrews has twenty books in her Meg Langslow series? Sounds good to me. But that’s why book two is important. It separates the Aunt Marthas from the wonderful strangers who somehow discovered your first book and, God bless ’em, eagerly await your second.

Yet as I write this, I realize that while I may suffer the Terror of Book Two, I will always have the Wonders of Book One. The terrific mystery friends I’ve made, the fantastic readers I’ve met and e-met, the super-duper publishers and booksellers, the informative and boozy conferences and conventions. Whatever the future brings, the past year has been one of the best of my life. And for that, I’m all..



Readers, writers – thoughts on book two in a series? Love to hear any and all musings!




23 thoughts on “The Terror of Book Two

  1. HUGE congrats on Book Two! That’s no easy feat (speaking from personal experience, I’m still trying to complete #2). I have no doubt it will be a great success! Isn’t it wonderful that the writing life can bring so much joy? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve published book one and am just entering the terror of book two in the series phase. I have to agree – the aftermath of my book one was fabulous too for all the reasons you mention. I had no idea there were so many wonderful people my book would introduce me to – including you. Best of luck with your newest book!!! Happy Birthday indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Ellen. If you’re terrorized bywriting book two, wait until book six when you realize you’ve already poisoned, clubbed, shot, knifed and powder-sugared someone to death. What’s left? Anyway with your creative imagination I hope your series goes on forever. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Ellen. Getting book 2 out there is exciting, as I found in February. It’s also worrying because one wonders if it REALLY matches up to the first. What surprised and delighted me the most, though, was being taken much more seriously as a crime writer by bookstores, libraries, reviewers, readers and peers. And, of course, family and friends who’d endured all those author uncertainties and sleepless nights. Hope book 3 is coming along nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

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