I wrote - and published - three other books before I sucked up my courage and began to write a trilogy. I knew how to churn out a book, but worrying about laying groundwork for the next two, and interconnecting the myriad of secondary characters proved to be an interesting challenge. In fact, it was a heck of a lot of fun. World-building is one of my favorite things, so world-building times three kept me in perma-grin for a month while I worked it all out. And the book, Planning for Love (releasing August 1 - I'm super excited!), rolled out fairly quickly.
But then came book 2. Did I love the story? Yup. Love the characters and want to sleep with the hero? Well, don't tell my husband, but - yup. Have the entire thing plotted to the nth degree to make writing smooth and easy? Yup. And yet...it was...sticky. Like trying to mix oatmeal cookies by hand with nothing but my own weak biceps and a wooden spoon. To borrow a golf term, I think I had the yips. I'd never written a sequel before. Everybody said it would be hard. That it required a whole different level of talent. On top of that pressure, my publisher was expecting it to be AT LEAST as funny and fabulous as book 1. All these things swirled in my brain, like hot tar poured on my creative path.
Needless to say, I finished. The surprising point to this story is that now I've begun book 3. And it is a delight and a joy. Rolls out of my brain like the words are on a slip-n-slide. Which is surprising, because it is the most complex plot of all three books. Even requires quite a bit of actual research, which as a contemporary author, is pretty rare for me. Looks like I've gotten over that hump. Will it happen again on my next trilogy? Can't say. But for now, I'm going to enjoy the smooth and easy ride. Has anyone else gotten stuck in the middle of a series? How did you handle it?