What's the sequel to Invisible about?
I said I wouldn't do it. I said Invisible was a 'stand alone' story. I said I couldn't see Jazmine doing much more.
But as many readers now now know, I've changed my mind. Invisible is getting a sequel. There will be more Jazmine, Liam and Gabby.
You're happy, right?
Here's the thing. You might not be! Happy, that is. Writing a sequel is a scary, scary process. Writing the first book was really just a ginormous experiment for me. If it worked, it worked. If it didn't, well, I'd pack up and go and get a more boring job. And it's true. Some people hated the book. But for others, it spoke to their soul.
And now I feel responsible for delivering a second book that you're going to love just as much. Aaagh. (Maybe that's the reason it's coming out so slowly.)
What's it about? Well, in book one Jazmine basically goes from zero to hero. She has nothing at the beginning but by the end she has friends, she has discovered talents and she a way to express herself, in her garden and her journal. But what happens next in stories like this has always intrigued me.
Books and movies often end with everything worked out, all the baddies defeated and the hero at the top of his/her game.
My cynical pleasure is to try and imagine 'how are they going to feel when they wake up tomorrow?' What happens to Oscar winners the day after the awards ceremony? To athletes who win the gold medals? How do they continue on in life?
If they've climbed a mountain and reached the summit, how do they then go down the other side?
In Invisible, Jazmine has her success largely given to her by Miss Fraser. She has to work for it of course, and she has to decide to succeed, but she's still got someone there rooting for her when things are hard.
I want to see what she does when the mentoring stops, when the friendships turn out to be not quite as solid as they first seemed, and when major upheavals happen at home. I also want to take her back to see some of her relatives whom she hasn't seen in the four years since her dad died.
Invincible features a plum blossom tree, a school yard fight, a storm on a mountain top and this: 'A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.'
Will she be able stay true to who she is, without having to please everyone around her? Will she be able to find more friends if something happens to Gabby and Liam? And can she keep telling the truth, even when it breaks relationships?