After I finished A Moveable Marfa, my brother, Carl, also a published writer who played a key editing role in the book, asked me, “Are you ready for a sequel?” He said the characters in A Moveable Marfa were rich and well-developed, and there was more story there.
My response? “No! It’s finished!” I honestly thought I was done with Steve and what I thought was a colorful cast of characters on both sides of the Atlantic. I missed those characters and the interactions they had with each other and their distinctive worlds, but I just wasn’t feeling like I needed to say more. I just didn’t want to write a sequel for the sake of a sequel.
I thought it was settled. It was time to go enjoy a sunset or something…
Then a few other readers reached out to me and spoke. They asked me when was the next book coming out? With those readers I knew personally, I challenged them with a “why do you ask?” The response was that they wanted to know what happens next. I thought it was settled. They felt otherwise. They felt there were numerous unresolved issues and the characters needed to tell us more about themselves and their worlds.
Maybe my readers were right. Certainly, there’d be curves in the road ahead for Steve. What was around the corner? Would things work out?
On a lark, I sat down in the spring of 2020, to just play around, see if I was feeling it. Maybe the readers were just being kind. I wasn’t convinced.
Then a funny thing happened.
I was shocked when the follow-on story almost started writing itself. The text I’d written almost literally handed me the title, The Sommières Sun, and I was all in. I called my brother and told him something that brothers are sometimes loath to do. I told him he was right.
Meanwhile he had begun writing a book: Paradoxes of Power. Knowing my passion for nature, he asked me to co-author a chapter with him on our society’s dysfunctional relationship with nature. I agreed, so for a while, I was working on both books at the same time.
Meanwhile, Carl was occasionally reviewing the text of my sequel and saw a passage he wanted to quote in a chapter on which he was collaborating with other authors on the dysfunction of power relationships concerning race in America. Consequently, there is an excerpt in Chapter 4 in Paradoxes of Power from The Sommières Sun, even before it is published. In the excerpt, a friend of Steve’s is laying into him about how our nation often takes for granted the contributions of non-white Americans and those who desire to join the ranks of US citizens.
When I started writing The Sommières Sun, I quickly realized Steve had many mysteries and challenges on his horizon. While the end of A Moveable Marfa signaled to the reader a possible outcome, Steve’s fate was far from sealed. Further, he still had a lot of growing to do to become the person and writer he wanted to be.
I am hopeful and modestly confident that The Sommières Sun won’t disappoint the reader. Many surprises and some intriguing new characters await Steve and their readers as we continue on this life journey with them, which, in some respects, is really universal to all of us.
The projected publication of The Sommières Sun is spring of 2021.
Paradoxes of Power was published last month and available now. All, I ask is, please finish A Moveable Marfa before you read the lengthy except in Chapter 4 of Paradoxes of Power. I wouldn’t want the ending of a A Moveable Marfa to be spoiled for you!