March of the Sequels: Ceril N Domance
Ceril N Domance
Ceril N Domace is an accountant, the owner of a cat with more zooms than brain cells, and a dedicated dungeon master.
As a lover of fiction works great and small, Ceril has been reading age-inappropriate stories since her father failed to pull The Silmarillion from her grubby little fingers at age five. As a grown-up accountant, her spreadsheet compiling gives her plenty of time to make plans for a fantastic world that isn't plagued by balance sheets . . . and also has dragons.
On the rare occasions she manages to free herself from an ever-growing and complex web of TTRPG, Ceril enjoys taking walks and griping that all her hobbies are work in disguise.
First of all, tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel(s).
The Fae Queen’s Court is the story of a man struggling to keep his family safe from anti-fae extremists after his wife is killed while transforming into a gryphon. Avalon, the sequel, picks up almost a year after the end of Haven and follows the main character while he struggles to repair his relationship with his family after being unwillingly recruited to run a rescue mission.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
I’ve had about half my readers continue on to Avalon after reading Haven, at least according to my review percentages. I’m taking it as a good sign that I set Avalon up well and that readers are eager to see more of the world now that most of the major worldbuilding is out of the way.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
It can be difficult, but I’ve found that by establishing whether a relationship was built between books or by hinting where the new character could’ve been during the previous story that I can avoid most of the awkward bits. The important thing to remember is that your POV character won’t be the only one with opinions on the new characters and that other people’s opinions might color how we see those characters too.
Is it difficult to continue with worldbuilding for a world you have already built in book 1? Do you find it easier to switch locations for the sequel and start again with worldbuilding?
Going from Haven to Avalon, I was actually lucky in that I didn’t have to do much worldbuilding. I mostly stayed in Tearmann and the worldbuilding I had to do was mostly around organizational or political stuff that my POV character was going through. In my other works (including the two series I started while avoiding editing the final book in the FQC series) I do end up in new places and situations, but I’ve found that it’s easier to find my groove once I’ve done the heavy lifting in book one.
The first book in the saga got to the finals of BBNYA 2022, what did you feel during the contest?
Excitement! I was thrilled that Haven got that far and I loved finding more out about the other competitors. Based on the reviews spotlights I’ve seen so far, it was a tough contest all around and I’m very happy with how I placed considering the competition.
I hope the reviewers that enjoyed it have just as much(and hopefully more) fun reading Avalon. After all, Hiraeth isn’t too far away and it certainly closes out the series with a bang!
Have you ever been stymied by a worldbuilding or plot detail from book 1 that is very inconvenient to deal with or write your way around in subsequent books?
Definitely! Mostly, why in the world the fae would bring a wanted criminal with them on away missions and let him interact with the world. Owen got the “Marvel superhero lying low” treatment for sure. That being said, his notoriety did lend itself to some fun details later on that I had fun playing around with.
Would you say your craft has improved with the subsequent books?
Without a doubt. I’m a better plotter and writer now that I have experience. The mistakes I made with Haven helped teach me how to edit and spot potential problem areas long before they actually acted up and I’m grateful for everything I learned along the way.
Do you have all the timeline planned for the full series?
Yep! The last book in the initial series is coming out in May of 2023, the prequel is coming out in later 2024, and the sequel duology will be along in 2025 and 2026!
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
Not as such. The ones I have mostly portain to my specific work, such as commissioning art of all my species and characters. I’ve got a fun line of ads that show the main cast when they were human and after they became fae, which definitely intrigues people.
I will say that it’s important to find your niche. People who enjoyed your first book are more likely to pick up your second so you need to get your second book in front of them.