All things must come to an end, even those things that we’ve been having a blast with. The Irregulars is a joint writing effort with myself and seven other authors. Much like playing a campfire game we each write our section and then hand it over to the next person who picks up the story where it leaves off.
There are rules: you can’t kill your character or do something drastic to you or any other character without having a group discussion. There also has to be someone at the helm who has the final say of ‘this works’ or ‘this doesn’t work’ to keep the story at a quality that is worth reading. There is a contract of respect that you enter in a collaboration, it’s a community and your voice and view of the story is only one of them. It’s important to play fair and not everyone understands that. Finding a group who does is like finding refined gold and after a bit of sifting, that is what the group who worked on The Irregulars are!
We plan on going on to the sequel nearly as soon as The Irregulars is completed. We are in the last rounds of writing now and each character has their last adventures before I, as story coordinator will wrap up all the last bits and essentially write the epilogue.
The sequel takes place three years in the future. This is in a large part because writing from the perspective of a child is limiting. Our youngest character, Maddie, is only nine years old and blind. In the sequel she will be twelve and have developed significantly. Maddie isn’t alone in the world and she has a powerful gift of causing empathy through the use of her voice. A potent power but one that an adult writer must be able to write through the eyes of a young girl.
The Irregulars starts out with rejected children. Children with disabilities and all homeless due to varying circumstances they have come together as a family. Not everyone makes it to the sequel but the phenomenal amount of interest in this story has knocked my socks off. We haven’t even finished it and are already getting requests for pre-orders! I have also had so many writers ask to take part in the sequel that I’ve had to turn people towards other projects instead (we have several collaboratives going at any given time, if you are interested in being involved you can send a query letter and a brief bio to http://firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks to all the writers involved and to all the characters who have shared their voices with us. This promises to be magnificent!