First I want to start with a thank you. In no way was I expecting the vast response Whistle Blowing received. As an author with only one novella and a couple of shorts out there I thought maybe ten people would read it. 2,800 downloads later and I’m still in shock at the raw number of people who have read, reviewed (good and bad), and left ratings. So thank you all for that.
As for what happens next to our heroes I feel I should first give a little background into the story. Whistle Blowing was never meant to be what it became. I saw the prompt and the pretty picture and thought I could take three weeks off from my domestic romance novel, write 20 thousand words of hurt/comfort, and call it good. You would think that by my age I would know myself better than that.
The first thing that hit my word count was the first aid. My mother teaches first responder classes for the Red Cross and is a certified EMT. And even though she will never read my work I couldn’t get her voice out of my head enough to half ass the first aid. My first reader, who was once trampled by a horse, also stepped on any ideas of a rapid, miraculous, recovery.
The second problem I ran into came from the prompt itself.
“Said they’d kill him if they found him…”
My brain wanted to know who ‘they’ were, followed by why ‘they’ did what they did, and what was going to be done about it. So instead of focusing on kissing the pretty boy better Ian Fleming and Michael Bay went and had a strange, unholy, lovechild in the back on my mind. By the time three weeks turned into three months I just wanted the damn thing done. If you think the current ending was abrupt and a little unsatisfying the idea I had to just kill everyone on the last page would have really pissed you off. And that was one of the least bad of a lot of bad ideas. I ended it where I did because if I hadn’t it would have run twice as long and probably taken a solid year.
So, do I have any idea of what happens next? Yes, several. Daren will certainly face down his family. I have an image of a scene like Prince Hamlet returning after he was supposedly executed. Daren and Sebastian find Richard (not sure how). Richard will have a reunion with Daren’s mom (this scene in the clearest in my mind). Agent Kim is so out of a job but Daren is going to need a good in house auditor for a while. Members of Daren’s family will go to jail. And Daren and Sebastian will hit some rough spots as Daren has to dive back into the world that made him an awful little brat to begin with, a world Sebastian is completely unfamiliar with. There will be a positive ending however just because I’m that kind of writer.
Those are just the top level ideas but I do have a couple of problems before I begin. One big one is a research problem. I have no idea how international finance works or how a family like Daren’s would handle their money. I can treat shock and have set my own bones (you want me on your side with the zombie apocalypse hits), but I know nothing about how large businesses and old money works and wouldn’t begin to know where to start looking.
My second problem is one of time commitments. I have the first draft of a 120,000 word novel done, edited, and just waiting for me to start the second draft. I have several people asking for a follow up to my western novella and they are willing to pay for it. I have a strong point by point outline for a novel about a demisexual NSA agent that I really want to start working on. Plus ideas for various short stories. I really do want to write a sequel to Whistle Blowing because I am quite fond of the characters and there is a lot more exploring to be done with them but there is the question of where to put the project on my to do list.
I should also confess at this point that I currently have a life form growing in me. I’m told that when it claws its way from my abdomen later this year that it will be cute and I will love it but right now I’m more concerned about my five year plan to become a professional writer being put off by five years, finding a house in one of the least affordable housing markets in the developed world*, and the fact that on the scans the thing looks more like Predator and I’m wondering if I should be investing in a flamethrower.
So to sum up:
Yes I want to write a sequel to Whistle Blowing.
Yes I have a few ideas about what it should contain.
No I don’t have any idea when it’s going to happen, but if you want to tell yourself that Daren and Sebastian fight the good fight, have some ups and downs, and come out the other side stronger, better, and happy together go for it because that’s what I want to write.
And again, thank you all for your feedback and encouragement.
Ada Maria Soto
*Not kidding. If anyone knows a non-sleazy real estate agent in the greater Auckland area willing to work with a tight budget I’d love to be introduced.