Werewolf Parallel: the challenges of writing a sequel
I started thinking about a sequel to Daemon Parallel a long time ago – perhaps surprisingly, given I was never entirely convinced my first novel would be finished and published! But it was clear from the start that the ideas I had would never fit into one narrative. Good characters have secrets and fears – there’s always something that informs their behaviour that the reader isn’t directly told. The longer I spent in their company, the more I learned. Their hidden histories all went into a separate document, and so the sequel grew.
At the close of Daemon Parallel, Cameron discovers his surviving family to be unavailable or untrustworthy. He gathers a new family of friends about him: Morgan, a charming but unreliable wolf-boy, and Eve, the precocious orphan he rescued from one of the daemons. It seemed to me this ramshackle trio could build a new life, taking over the dusty Edinburgh shop that belonged to Cameron’s grandmother: supposedly a retailer of crackly vinyl, but actually a front for an inter-world trade. Good times can’t last forever though. Cameron’s world would be torn apart for a second time...
I didn’t want Daemon Parallel to end with its main story uncompleted. I’m always frustrated by novel series that are really one large book cut in half. But that didn’t mean there couldn’t be any unanswered questions. I left a lingering hint that Cameron’s daring escape from the first novel’s Big Bad might turn in him into a werewolf. He would have four weeks to wait – until the next Fat Moon – to discover if it had taken hold. My first thought was the sequel would begin then, that those tense moments would spiral into days and weeks, as he waited to discover his fate.
As I worked on a chapter breakdown of my sequel, I began to wonder if I had chosen the right place to start my story. My main characters had just been through major traumas - was it believable they should fall immediately into another adventure? They’d been thrown together in Daemon Parallel – what might this strange group become after twelve months of interaction? And where did that leave the crucial werewolf question?
My big revelation whether Cameron is or isn’t a werewolf was not the greater story – after all, surely every reader was secretly hoping ‘yes’? The more interesting question was what sort of werewolf was he? How would his wolf-self relate to his human self? Would it be a furry avatar for Cameron’s hopes and dreams? Or would it be his wilder, darker incarnation, like a canine Mr Hyde? Was it a superpower to be wheeled out at moments of plot-based convenience or was it something more unpredictable? And how would he feel if this new identity was threatened? Would he fight to protect it and what might he sacrifice in that process? The story and themes of my new novel grew out of my desire to answer these questions.
In Spring 2014, Werewolf Parallel was unleashed. For those who know Daemon Parallel, I hope it will be an extension and a deepening of that adventure. For everyone else, there will be a new story to discover. On Blackford Hill, a young astronomer is watching a family of werewolves shape-shift. Deep in the daemon world, the malignant Mr Grey is gathering strength. Dark forces will converge on an old record shop, and Cameron’s life will change forever…
KelpiesTeen are giving away a signed copy and audiobook of Werewolf Parallel. To enter, tweet or blog about the book with the hashtag #WolfMonth. Entries will now be accepted until 5pm on Saturday 3 May.