I loved Sharon's last post because it brought to mind all the wonderful fictional worlds in which I have been privileged to spend time with fascinating characters. It's a wonderful thing for an author to create something so real that people want to linger there long after the story is over. Sort of like picking at the bones of a Thanksgiving dinner, sitting with glazed eyes nursing a cup of coffee, relishing the sense of connectedness. Taking time to appreciate all the hard work and preparation that went into the planning and the purchasing and the mixing and the baking of it. It's so much more gratifying to a writer when, instead of inhaling the story and moving on, readers comment about how much they enjoyed spending time with the characters and didn't want to let them go.
We're all familiar with book and movie sequels and how rare it is for a sequel to surpass the original in quality. Sequels often lack the punch and surprise of meeting the characters for the first time and journeying down unknown roads alongside them. But for die-hard fans, any sequel is better than none because it allows them to return to the world they love and stay awhile. In response to Sharon's last post, I commented that Anne Shirley's world at Green Gables was memorable and as rich and diverse as any fantasy world. People couldn't get enough, so a TV series aired with stories about orphan Sarah Stanley's adventures which involved characters from the Green Gables books. It was a weekly fix for fans, and even though Anne wasn't featured, it was still her story world. Now a prequel is out, titled Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson, which offers fans a chance to reconnect with favorite characters and a familiar setting.
I checked out other prequels and wasn't at all surprised to find that a majority were connected to science fiction, such as Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov, and the Dune and Star Wars books. Star Trek took us to strange new worlds, but the latest movie is a prequel to the show where it all began. Also well represented were fantasy worlds such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon and Narnia in The Magician's Nephew. I had forgotten that C.S. Lewis's book was a prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Wardrobe was written first, but it was necessary to write Nephew to explain a few things, such as why there was a lampost in Narnia, and other pertinent info that would tie things up in the end. And before we assume that an author's intentions for writing a prequel or sequel were entirely mercenary, we should consider that they might simply be missing some very old and dear friends.
Do you have a favorite story that you wish had a prequel or sequel so that you could revisit the characters and the setting? Share it with us and you'll be entering a chance to win Bonnie Grove's new release, Talking to the Dead.