Sunday, 13 June 2010
The curse of the sequel
But also research for Stravaganza: City of Swords in Lucca and David in Carrara and Settignano. Tax deductible, as always.
Anyway, one of my pre-leaving jobs is always "answer fanmail" and TWO people had written on the same date, from different countries to ask if I would write a sequel to The Falconer's Knot.
Now, I am very fond of The Falconer's Knot. It was my first "proper" historical novel, commissioned by Bloomsbury, shortlisted for the Guardian Prize, winner of the French Prix Polar Jeunesse and now shortlisted for another French prize (it is called "Rouge Crime" in France).
But it is complete in itself. There are, if I remember rightly, five murders, the culprit(s) revealed and two couples get together (OK three if you are being technical). What could a sequel possibly be about?
It's OK when a book has been conceived as a trilogy or longer sequence but tacking on "book two" as an afterthought is something that happens far too often, IMO. Same with films: did we really need Back to the Future 2 and 3, when the original film had a well-crafted plot and satisfactory ending?
And I'm QUITE sure we don't need Avatar 2, even though we are going to get it. Fans and sometimes publishers are very keen on sequels but they sell less well, get fewer foreign editions, are not so often shortlisted for prizes and certainly get fewer reviews than their originals.
So, no guys, I am NOT planning a sequel to The Falconer's Knot!
Back after the holidays