I have a policy about reviews. That policy is: don’t speak to the people who have reviewed one of my books unless they speak to me first.
It’s a good policy, and one which I employ in many walks of life in many different ways, because I’m somewhat introverted and the odds are good even if we met before I won’t talk unless you talk first.
The review policy is important, because living a full life on the Internet means much more direct access to my readers, and vice versa, so it’s critical that people feel comfortable writing an honest opinion without fear that I or someone purporting to speak for me comes after them. I appreciate that from the outside-in this sounds a touch crazy, except there are many MANY instances of authors doing just this, including one who hunted down an anonymous Goodreads reviewer in order to club her over the head with a wine bottle.
I don’t have this problem, because I don’t take negative reviews personally; I’m not criminally psychotic; and the reviews I’ve been getting for The Spaceship Next Door have been amazingly positive.
This is the unfortunate part about not speaking to reviewers: I can’t reach out to the people who liked the book either, not unless they reach out to me first.
So here is a blanket response to everyone who’s taken the time to talk about how much they loved The Spaceship Next Door: I do read the reviews, I am overwhelmed by how much you’ve all enjoyed it, and I love you all.
A common theme in both the bits of fan mail I’ve received and in a number of those reviews is: can there please be a sequel?
The answer is: I don’t know.
Here’s the thing—I don’t know what I’m doing.
I mean it, I’m making up this whole writing thing as I go. When I sat down last summer to write The Spaceship Next Door the only thing I knew right away was that the ship wasn’t going to do anything for a while and it was going to land in Massachusetts. That was all. I didn’t know Annie Collins or Ed Somerville or any of the other characters until I started writing, and I definitely didn’t know what was going to happen until it started happening.
(Aside: if you want to write books where the unexpected happens, I’m about 90% convinced this is the only way to do it.)
What this means is, I wrote Spaceship with no plans for a second book or a third—trilogies are a thing, I’ve heard—because I wrote the book with no plans for a first book.
Right now, I am very much satisfied with the way Annie’s story ends, but like you readers, I would also love to visit with her again. But if I ever do, it’s going to be because I have a reason to, and I don’t have that at the moment.
This doesn’t mean I will never have a reason to, just that one hasn’t occurred to me yet. It may not ever, but it might.
Until then—if it happens—I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave you all wanting more.