Winter’s Moons: Why a Sidequel

The latest installment in the Five Moons Rising series takes a bit of a jog to the side. I’d originally envisioned the series as a pretty typical trilogy/quadrilogy. Then I needed to figure out what happened in Chicago during the six months that Malice and Ruri spent trapped in the land of the fae.

As I started outlining the events that were to have happened back in town in preparation for starting the sequel to Hunter’s Descent, I realized that I was doing a lot of work. For me, the most fun part of writing is in the planning stages. There’s so much potential. Everything is wide open and narrative choices on the page haven’t closed any doors in the story. There was a lot that needed to happen while Malice and Ruri were out of town, I decided to write a novella that would outline what was going on with Cassidy.

Things didn’t go as planned. First, a brand new character showed up. Snow was really interesting to me, and brought a point of view I hadn’t played with before (more about her in an upcoming post). I decided that I needed to see some of the story through her eyes also. Before I knew it, this little novella had taken on a life of its own, and Winter’s Moons became a full novel. In a twist which should surprise no one who knows me, there was so much story to tell that I had to break it up into two books. (Don’t worry, I’ve already finished the first draft to the sequel, so it won’t be years and years before the next one comes out.)

Once the length of the story I had to tell became apparent, I needed to switch some things up. I went back and did my best to make sure the Winter’s Moons could be read independently of the other books in Five Moons Rising (the series). Cassidy’s story may have started in the first book of the series, but she was very much a secondary character there. Since this is her and Snow’s story, I wanted to make sure that their two books would complete their own narrative, separate from, but related to what I started thinking of as the other half of the series. (I made a diagram to explain the series structure to my publisher. Why can’t I do simple projects?)

As far as where it stands in the series, even though it stands alone, it can definitely be read as a sequel to Five Moons Rising (the novel), and/or Hunter’s Descent. Both books will flesh out the world, but the plot sits well on its own.

I’m excited for readers to encounter this new branch of the series and to get to know Cassidy better, and to meet Snow. More to come while I break down character choices in upcoming posts.

Winter’s Moons can still be preordered, and will be out from Bella Books on December 20th.

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