I made a swerve
Releasing my first book at the start of a global pandemic was not what I envisioned for birthing this series that has lived in my mind for so many years. However, like you, 'I rolled with it' to pivot and adjust. And you know what? I still enjoyed the process and am so grateful for the readers uptake of Hidden Truth & Secrets (Hidden, #1).
So when I sat down to write the next book in the series, I had another choice of whether I was going to adjust or not. The writing and the story kept taking me to "...this part of the story needs to be next..." which I resisted as it wasn't fully what I had planned for. But it persisted "...yes, it isn't a plot continuation of book 1, however this part needs to come next...".
Rather than be stubborn and continue to resist (which really was counterproductive for trying to get any words on the page!), I relaxed and swerved. And Hidden Carnage is a 3-part prequel and which predates the story from where Hidden Truth & Secrets starts.
This is where the writing and the story took me. Even though I know that it isn’t a direct line continuation of the plot from Hidden Truth & Secrets, it was a part of the story that demanded to be told - I’m merely the vessel for the writing this story, I’m clearly not the boss of these characters!
Early readers have shared that they love this and how they were able to really connect with a number of characters in the story and understand them and their motivations better. And for those of you who are big Tag fans - don't you worry! Tag and Team Alpha are in Hidden Carnage.
The thing I love most is that it sets up for some key events in Hidden Betrayal (which I’m hard at work on ). It also demonstrates - I hope - that Severyn (aka Ryn) is the hero of her journey and not a damsel in distress that some hunky hot fella swoops in to save. Ryn is her own hero who is capable, and happy to, kick some a$$.
Hidden Carnage is fully released November 23rd (and psst! There's a Pre-Order Ebook Special right now. Click here)