Husband Auditions came out in August, and readers are asking for a sequel. I thought maybe I could satisfy their appetites by writing a short story based on beloved roommate, Gemma. (To read her romance in this month’s edition of Spark Magazine, Falling in Love, click here.) But then my editor asked me to pitch them a series based off Husband Auditions, and now I’m looking at writing a full-length novel for both Gemma and Charlie. Most importantly, I want to give readers what they want, so I’d love your feedback!
If you haven’t read Husband Auditions, basically there are three roommates who met at a Bible study in film school. Kai is the cinematographer, Gemma the playwright, and Charlie directs documentaries. They live in Portland, Oregon, which is a city in the Pacific Northwest that prides itself on being weird, but it also offers everything outdoorsy from mountains to forest to beach. The story explores heart issues that destroy relationships because we’ve all got them.
I’ve been brainstorming with my writing group as well as with the Sierra Valley Writing Retreat. Here’s what we’ve come up with…
Hero Rehearsals: Gemma signs up for citizen’s police academy for research for her next screenplay… and to get to know Officer Angry Eyes a little better even though he’s made it very clear he doesn’t fall for damsels in distress.
Fiancé Finale: Charlie hires Nicole’s advertising firm to promote his latest movie, so now it’s her job to work with the man who left her for his career.
Your turn. What would you want to see in this series (even if you haven’t started it)? Would you care more about the new hero/heroine in each book, or would you care more about continuing on with Kai and Meri’s story? Is there a theme/message you’ve been wanting to see in a novel? Do you have an experience with police work or advertising that would be fun to include? Do you know something about the setting I could work in?
This is my favorite part of writing, you guys. There are no wrong answers. The more bonkers we get, the better. You give me the ideas, I’ll write you a sequel.
Mary Preston says
I wouldn’t know where to begin saying. Just surprise me. I like stories to be unpredictable.
Angela Ruth Strong says
I like surprises too. <3
Hmm, relationship challenges, existing characters, PNW setting. I think the first is the only one for which I have anything to contribute.
How do I mess up my relationships, let me count the ways…
Ok, maybe a little overly dramatic, BUT the thing that constantly trips me up is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of failure, fear of being condemned for being imperfect, fear of being inadequate, fear of someone seeing the real me. The list could probably go on but I’m sure you get the drift. I know in my head that I’m not supposed to be fearful but I’ll tell you what, it has taken my heart a long time to learn the lessons. It can still be a rare thing for it to get the memo.
So, maybe a theme of overcoming fear and learning about unconditional love. It certainly has been weird in my experience. :-)
Angela Strong says
I’ve been there, and I really tried to address fear in Husband Auditions. That was Meri’s heart issue.
Jessica B. says
As long as there are some updates on the other characters in a series, I don’t mind each book focusing on a different couple.
Angela Strong says
Oh yes! I’m having fun with this. ❤
Alicia Haney says
Hi, I love to read what happens to the characters so I love book sequels. Have a great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family
Angela Strong says
Absolutely! Thank you.
I like to know what happens to couples from previous books. However, I don’t like having their entire story rehashed in later books! Just pick up where they left off before, and bring in new stuff. Since they’re all friends, they should keep coming back in to the next books, but each book needs to have it’s own hero and heroine, and their HEA.
Angela Strong says
This is great! I’m having so much fun with the characters.
Becky Lewis says
Would like to see both Gemma and Charlie’s separate stories, with Kai and Meri and Gemma and Charlie all being included to some degree in each book. That just gives me warm fuzzies and makes the books more connected. Old friends reappear, cuz they should still be involved in their friends’ lives, n’est-ce-pas?!!
Angela Strong says
I so wanna do this. ❤
Marylin Furumasu says
OH! I’m so excited that you are considering writing more books with Kai and Meri and Gemma. Please do and sign me up for your launch team!!
Angela Strong says
For sure! I’m excited too.
Shannon Taylor Vannatter says
Hey Angela. I like a new couple in each book. I’ve read a few where it’s all based on one couple and the author usually seems to run out of story if they stay with one couple too long.
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
Surprise me. I have no idea.
I look forward to surprising you!
Jennifer Kopald says
I was just at an event at a stadium. There was a city police officer standing, looking at the field from above. His name was *actually* Sergeant Prince. Ha! I came up behind him announcing my approach so I wouldn’t scare him into pulling his weapon. I told him how thankful I was that he was there, and that people who serve for my safety are superheroes. He was very touched. Then I asked if I could take a selfie with him. So I did, and then asked if he wanted me to text it to him. He did, so I did. We shook hands and went different directions. A short while later, I got a text from him saying how kind I am and how thankful he is that I’m doing so well (it was a breast cancer charity walk). Then he was next to me. My sister had just entered the stadium and offered to take our picture. Super cute. If only he was single… Ha! You’re welcome!
Someday your Prince will come. 😉 What a super cute story.
Pam K. says
I like the idea of stories where Gemma and Charlie are the leads but I hope Meri and Kai will still be featured. It would be great to see what happens next with them. I really enjoyed Husband Auditions. I thought it might be light and fluffy (just judging by the title) but it had some real depth and wisdom as well as being fun.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And I’m really excited to intertwine all the stories.
I believe the artistic license is in your court for this story.
Portland is famous for the Voodoo Donuts, among other things.
Perhaps you could have some kind of donut fiasco.
LOL Yes! I’ve been to Voodoo Donuts. Do you live in that area?
Debra J Pruss says
I am sorry that I have not read your book. Do you have any animals in the book? There could be a police dog. It sounds like any way you go it would be a fun book. I do not know much about the area or advertising. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.
I love the police dog idea! Thank you.
Amy Perrault says
I’d like a younger couple be in the book & have a surprise baby in it to go with different series you have
Ooh… A surprise baby! I’ll see if I can make it work.
Sylvain P says
I would like a surprise in the book like a wedding & child who has a magical paper like a wizard even
I’ve never written a wizard before, but I like the surprise idea.
Sounds like a fun series. for Hero Rehearsals: could they have maybe a day training or even overnight and the rolls reverse when Officer Angry Eyes has an accident or something happens where he needs Gemma and the rest of the recruits to use the skills he taught them to get him to help. (ps. No cell phones on the course to make it even more interesting). It would show she wanted to learn and isn’t a damsel.
I like series where previous characters are included in the new book even if they are not featured but to hear what they are doing.
The role reversal idea is super fun! And you will definitely see more of Kai and Meri.
Oh I want to see Gemma & Charlie get center stage but still be able to have glimpes of Meri & Kai! I SO enjoyed Husband Auditions and was hoping to know more about Gemma :-)
I think one of the most fun things for me while reading it was where you set it at….especially when Meri & Kai took a trip to Seaside. That’s where I live & I think you nailed all the details, including them eating lunch at Mo’s! Every place you mentioned it was as if you knew exactly where everything was. I was so impressed!
Aww… I’m so glad. I love Seaside. Did you know I went to high school in McMinnville? I’m excited to get to know the side characters from Husband Auditions better.
I loved Husband Auditions! I was hoping Gemma would get her own story too. I think I’d like to see new main characters in the series, but have a few scenes featuring previous characters sprinkled in there too. I’d love to see how Kai and Meri are doing. One theme I’d kind of like explored is how we can plan so much of our life, work so hard towards a goal, and end up missing out on all that God has for us because we won’t slow down long enough to see all the blessings and good. I love your books Angela!
That is a great message. And I like your suggestions. So glad you enjoyed Husband Auditions.
Natalya Lakhno says
Do something out of the box ;) surprise us all!
That’s my favorite thing to do. I’ll try my best!