A lot of books seem to suffer from “middle-book-syndrome”, and even in movies, people generally think the sequels just don’t live up to the original. I’ve written several series where I struggled with the sequel, because I had a third book in mind, and it was difficult to link book one and three together in the second book. The second book was more of a middle part than anything.
Not so for “The Angel of Death Series”. See, here I had the idea for the sequel first. “Demonic Pact” was outlined well before I started writing “The Soul Thief”. When I started outlining “Demonic Pact”, I knew it couldn’t be the first book in a series, though. The characters were fleshed out already, they had history together… No, the book needed a prequel of sorts. So after outlining “Demonic Pact”, I finally began working on the outline for “The Soul Thief”, which my most important goal to bring all the characters where they needed to be to start “Demonic Pact”.
The important part about writing sequels, from what I’ve learned, is that you need a completely new story. You can use the same characters, but they can’t even 100% be the same people. They need to evolve. The story needs to be fresh. You can’t just resolve outstanding plot-lines. You need something fresh to keep the reader engaged.
I would say there is more character development in “Demonic Pact” than in “The Soul Thief”. In “The Soul Thief”, we’re basically getting started and getting to know everyone. In “Demonic Pact”, the characters really get to grow—especially Riley, our protagonist.
Another important thing about writing sequels, is changing the stakes. In movies, you often get higher stakes in the sequel, and even higher stakes in the third. The stakes in “Demonic Pact” start out more or less the same as in “The Soul Thief”, but they quickly evolve and change, and suddenly there’s so much more at stake than in the first book.
I think that people who read “The Soul Thief” will be pleasantly surprised to see the direction the sequel takes. “Demonic Pact” leads to a darker route, but a very intriguing one, and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.
About the book: Sixteen-year-old Halfling Angel of Death Riley Scott is on a dangerous mission. To save her friend’s life, she must make a pact with the man who just tried to kill them both and break him out of the Celestial Prison, guarded by Angels of War—fearsome warriors who can squash her like a fly. If caught, she’ll be sentenced to eternity in that impenetrable prison. Riley will have to make deals with demons and her number one enemy, turn her back on her most loyal friends, and risk losing her family forever. Worst of all, her very existence is in the hands of her devious new allies.
Majanka Verstraete studies law and criminology by day and writes speculative fiction by night. All her books include monsters of some kind: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. She’s written several children’s picture books in the Valentina’s Spooky Adventure series, and six chapter books in the Weirdville series. She’s the author of the young adult horror series, Mirrorland, and of young adult paranormal series, The Angel of Death Series. When she’s not writing, she’s probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.