I have completed all but a few minor edits for the next book, the contract is all signed, and we are kicking around cover ideas. And yes, after more than a year I’m getting excited to see it come out.
The title of Book #2 is This Old World, a phrase that I borrowed from a song I grew up with:
This old world is full of sorrow, full of sickness, weak and sore —
If you love your neighbor truly, love will come to you the more.
The tune of this hymn, as I learned it anyway, is an old shape-note song that goes by the name of “Restoration,” which has had any number of verses put to it. I thought the song captured many of the themes I am trying to work into this book, not to mention the fact that the tune is haunting, and I wouldn’t mind if it stuck with readers for months!
The novel is indeed a sequel to the Slant of Light, but at the same time I was in a different mental place when I wrote it, and I think it will hit people differently. I’m working on the third book of the series now, and it too is very different. The thing about reading sequels (and I’m as prone to this as anyone) is that people approach them with the same expectation that they had with the previous book–and usually in the case of genre novels, this is a reasonable expectation. But in my case, I’m hoping that readers of the series will follow me through a set of books with widely varying themes, tones, and styles. Let’s hope that people don’t let sequel-expectations get in the way of an open experience of the new book.