Guest blogger Craig Lancaster is the award-winning author of several books, including 600 Hours of Edward, which introduced readers to the unforgettable Edward Stanton. Lancaster's new novel, Edward Adrift, came out yesterday.
Three novels into my career, I've learned to never say
"never." OK, that's not true: I'm reasonably certain I'll never write about
wereferrets. This isn't a snobbery thing. This is an I-don't-have-anything-to-add-to-the-conversation-if-in-fact-there-even-is-a-conversation
thing. But wereferrets aside, I'll never say never.
When I finished my first novel, 600 Hours of Edward, several years ago, I figured it for a one-off.
I'd explored a character, Edward Stanton, and I'd told the story I was
compelled to tell. When people asked if I was planning another book about
Edward, I'd scoff and say, "No chance."
So. Yeah. Meet Edward
Adrift, my third novel and the continuation of Edward's story. Apparently
there was a chance after all.
Look, my intentions were good. I think my aversion to second
installments can be traced to what happened to one of my favorite childhood
movies, Rocky. Yes, it was about a
boxer, a palooka of sorts, but it was so much more than that. It was a story of
rising above, of finding the best version of ourselves, of not settling.
Whether Rocky Balboa won or lost was hardly the point. Then came Rocky II (meh). And III (which I did enjoy). And IV
(which I did not). And V (which is best forgotten by everyone). Finally, with Rocky Balboa, the franchise was restored
to its original glory, but look at the damage done in between. I didn't want
that for Edward.
One thing I didn’t count on was how much Edward
would be loved by those who read the first book. I heard from these folks by
email, at book club gatherings,
at library talks. Inevitably, they'd ask: "What's Edward doing now?"
It became impossible for me to ignore that question, and once I started
thinking about it, the seedlings for a new story began sprouting. In time, I
was compelled back to my writing desk by the same impulses that sent me there
in the first place.
So now I'm eagerly awaiting responses to the new book and
preparing to answer another inevitable question: "Will there be a third
I have many possible answers at hand. I can tell people that
I don't know. That I can't imagine where his story goes from here (and right
now, at this short distance, I can't—just as I couldn't after the first book).
That I have no plans.
The only thing I can't say is never. I've learned my lesson.