As much as I’ve been wanting to get The Affix out to the world, I’ve been stuck on coming up with a better cover and my lack of artistic talent has me in a funk. I had to describe an object that doesn’t physically exist and therefore can’t be photographed, which closes a lot of doors. I’m trying a new 3D rendering in the hopes that I can pull something together for a better concept I’ve had in mind, but I think I’ll have to do it on a different computer lest mine melt.
In the meantime I’ve been pursuing, on and off, an idea I had for a sequel. It doesn’t follow the main characters from the first book, but one of the minor ones, and I would re-introduce a few of the other bit players who touched on the first story as well. The main interesting thing about the first story isn’t the specific character at the center of it all, but the object itself.
More or less inadvertently, when writing the original book I introduced not just the concept of a weird jewel, but that there was an entire world of paranormally charged objects (by which I do not mean haunted) with bizarre properties all their own, and that collectors and eccentrics were ensconced in a constant struggle to acquire or learn more about these objects. Very inadvertently, I introduced a second object into the same book that could have interesting properties of its own. The second book would continue in this vein, with the story of another artifact and how its oddities touch on the protagonist.
Coming up with that story is mostly the fun part; there are just two big complications. The first is that by taking the storyverse out of a highly fictionalized locale and into the wider world, it becomes necessary to do actual research. Making up locations is so much easier because it involves far less research and, most importantly, no travel. If my main character is even remotely a jet-setter, I’ve just made a ton of work for myself.
The other problem is that while I enjoy coming up with characters, I was hoping to recycle more of them. But the collection I want to draw from has been largely decimated by the events of the first book. That means pulling in a lot of fringe characters who were barely mentioned, along with completely new ones. Being able to explore some of the minor characters more is actually one of the things I most want to do. In all I want to drag back no fewer than six characters who had dialogue in the first book.
This is an idea I may not see through to completion. But it has enough tantalizing threads that I can’t resist pulling on them, drawing me deeper into the world. The trick is going to be sticking with a setting I can mangle into nonrecognition.