Before I start today, I wanted to thank Press Pause, Fast Forward for reading and reviewing Seconds Before Sunrise, which you can read by clicking here. We’re getting closer – only 23 days left – which, by the way, The Timely Death Trilogy broke a new record last month, hence the photo on the right. The photo was taken in the front yard of the house I was living in the time of writing the trilogy, and the quote at the bottom right is also a reader’s favorite.
Also, I will be combining February’s websites into March’s Website Wonders near the end of the month, so it’s coming. I promise.
I think the second novel has a bad rep – it’s mainly known for being the book to transition the awesome beginning into the epic climax of the ending. The second book, more or less, is the “take a break” book compared to the other two. And you know what? I find it to be true. Most of the time. Mainly because it’s REALLY hard to compete with a new world (the first novel) and the ultimate climax (the last novel.) Even if you add a crazy amount of drama, the first and third books are more likely to be remembered. It’s the reader’s nature, and I’m no exception.
I remember more of Delirium and Requiem than… Pandemonium, right? I even read Twilight at one point, but I can mainly recall the first and the last book – not the middle ones. Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the same way. Wait. Let me think. Yes, it is.
As a reader, this isn’t really a big deal. It happens. But as a writer, it’s a lot more nerve-racking. We want our second book to be as entertaining as the other two. We want the second book to be remembered, not overshadowed by the beginning and end. We want you to mention it in that book club you’re in after you all decided to read the trilogy. We really strive for the entire series to be great – not just one or two of the books to be.
But it’s hard because it seems inevitable.
Believe it or not, there is actually something called “Middle Book Syndrome” and “Second Novel Syndrome.” While they are a little different, I would like to use the “middle child syndrome” as a metaphor because people are familiar with it. The older sibling gets a HUGE amount of attention, including careful parenting and a gigantic, never-ending photo album (that includes the child as a baby wearing a hat, a baby in a hat, a baby wearing a hat in a hat, and so on). The youngest sibling stereotypically gets spoiled – often getting relaxed rules and a lot more toys than the others. But the middle child? Eh. I’m not sure what the middle child exactly gets until I looked it up – which is this by the way:
1. “Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted.” - Today.com
2. “Middles are considered the most envious, least bold and least talkative of all the birth orders.” – Psychology Today
Trilogies have the same problem as the middle child.
This would mean Seconds Before Sunrise is that middle child.
As the author, I love all three books equally, but I had to face this issue at one point. I had to ask myself how to make the second book memorable and how I was going to challenge the belief that the second book is a transitional book.
So I made decisions.
Yes, the second book revolves around humans in a paranormal world, but there is still plenty of action and struggling romance. In fact, the book takes place from August to December, and if you read Minutes Before Sunset, then you know what that means – Eric’s 18th birthday is in this book. And not everyone is going to survive. There will be sacrifices, challenges, and more questionable circumstances revealed. You will get to know more of the characters on a deeper level, especially some that I’ve noticed readers mentioned in reviews. You will also notice one more thing – the life lessons get more controversial the longer the series holds out. While book one deals with teenage issues, book two will challenge more adult-like issues, and book three will top those. This was done on purpose to represent how “coming of age” works. That same reasoning went into the overall focus of each book, so that means you can expect this:
book 1 = the Dark (preteen issues, not very controversial)
book 2 = being human (teenage issues, mild controversy)
book 3 = the Light, so you will learn a lot more about them. (adult issues, very controversial, and yes, I’m nervous about this controversy.)
It is in my hopes that these two ranges will allow each novel to stand out as an important part of the trilogy. Someone has to be the middle child, but we don’t have to follow the stereotypes by neglecting them. We can build them up in order to demand an importance. If you’re a writer, we might even have to give it some extra attention to let it know it is not forgotten. If you’re a reader, don’t automatically give into the stereotype of the second book being a transition.
The second book deserves the same amount of attention as the first and last book. Love it like the others.
If you would like to help me, I am accepting reviewers of the second book – Seconds Before Sunrise. I would be very grateful to hear from you via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can even supply you with the first novel if you haven’t read that one yet. Or you are more than welcome to buy it by clicking the photo below. I share all reviews on my all of my websites. I am also open for interviews.