March of the Sequels: Jarod Meyer
Jarod Meyer was born in 1987 in Eastern Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State University Jarod began his career in retail management and eventually made his way to the financial industry via Wells Fargo. His career in finance has backed his dream of becoming a published author, and in October of 2015 he released his first science fiction/fantasy novel "William of Archonia: Redemption" which can be purchased on Amazon.
First of all, tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel(s).
My protagonist’s mortal lives come to a sudden and brutal end. They are ushered to another dimension which feels to them like some sort of heavenly paradise as described in the many religions and mythologies found on earth. The series is their journey in this world which the inhabitants call Archonia. Both William and Angelica feel totally lost in this afterlife and struggle to rediscover their purpose. Both take different paths and explore the wondrous impossibilities of this world which seems to have new rules in terms of physics. All the while there is an overarching threat from the evils that dwell in Archonia’s neighboring land called Dichonia.
The first book sets up a lot of threads and leaves the readers wondering while the sequels keep adding to the world. The first book is mostly about Archonia (heaven), The second one Dichonia (hell) and the third we even head back to the spirit world which exists between earth and Archonia called Valchonia. The fourth and final is the culmination of William and Angelica’s action packed and adventurous story that left the readers who finished it in awe.
Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?
I have found that perhaps half the people try the first one and don’t always continue. I think that it is likely due to the fact that I touch on some subjects that people feel uncomfortable with regarding religious themes. It could also be because this was my first full-length novel and I had definitely not found my legs as a writer yet.
However, those that continued the series completed all four every time. I’ve heard many folks say the second book is their favorite.
How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships?
I didn’t find it difficult at all. In my mind, these characters existed all along and it’s just a matter of my protagonists running into them.
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?
I’m obsessed with world-building. I have made at least four completely fictional worlds for my Dungeons & Dragons group alone. Archonia is so vast that I simply added places when and where I needed to. There is so much I couldn’t fit into the books either. It leaves a lot of room for prequels and sequels.
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?
Sort of. The first book Redemption is on its third edition and there have been loads of revisions throughout the years. As I mentioned before it was my first crack at a full-length project and as a rule authors usually are told to throw those out entirely. There was some retconning done for sure. I think it is just part of the process.
Would you say your craft has improved with the subsequent books?
Do you have all the timelines planned for the full series?
Yes. The four part series is complete and I even published a prequel book. No waiting for all the George Martin fans.
Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
I worked extremely hard writing, editing, commissioning cover art, typesetting, and publishing these works. It is really disheartening that I also have to market them. I do a great job of selling them in person because people can see how excited I am about them. They are also very cohesive and the artwork is fantastic which helps. But I honestly don’t know how to market them to the masses nor do I really wish to. I have a financial career which allows me to live how I want to. I’ll keep showing up to events here and there and maybe they will catch fire. I mostly just want to nerd out and talk about them with people. I enjoyed writing them so much I really just want folks to enjoy them.