March of the Sequels: K.R.R. Lockhaven

The Author/s

K.R.R. Lockhaven

K.R.R. Lockhaven

K.R.R. (Kyle Robert Redundant) Lockhaven writes humorous, fun fantasy books with a pinch of social satire.

He lives with his wife and two sons. Together they conjured a bearded dragon who rules over a hoard of sand and devours crickets by the dozens.

When not writing or raising kids, he works as a firefighter/paramedic.  

The Interview

First of all tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel(s).
My series is called the Azure Archipelago. It’s a pirate adventure with complicated family relationships, fun, humor, and plenty of cozy moments. The first book, The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon, is centered around a daughter, Azure, and her father. The two of them have a very tumultuous relationship, which is really put to the test when her father joins a voyage across the archipelago for the new governor’s inauguration. When she learns the entire voyage is in danger, she and her shit-talking bird companion set out to save him. Along the way, they meet a reanimated skeleton with confidence issues, a group of pirates who just want to sing and have adventures, and a dragon.
The sequel, The Foundling, the Heist, and the Volcano, deals with life on the islands after the crooked governor is jailed. Azure and her crew, the Marauders, are tasked with finding a buried treasure on an island with an active volcano. Instead, they find a young girl from another world. They find out that in order to get her home, they’ll need a magical artifact which is kept in a display case inside the island’s most secure casino. But the dragon, Zoth-Avarex, is hiding something about the young girl’s home world that may put them all in danger.
The third book is being written as we speak. It will deal with the ultimate fate of the islands, the origins of magic in their world, and Azure’s new family.


Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?  
I think/hope they do! I only have a few people who I know for sure will buy and read the entire series, but those people seem to really enjoy it. They love the coziness, the humor, and the “wholesome horniness” (a term the Fiction Fans Podcast created to describe parts of my series).

How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships? 
It can be tricky, but it’s also pretty fun and interesting. I particularly like seeing how the Marauders integrate new characters. They’re such a great crew and I would love to know them in real life. I have a character I’m going to introduce in book 3 who might be my favorite character I’ve ever written. Writing his dialogue is really fun. He’s got a very Pratchett vibe!

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? 
The only difficult part I’ve found is being consistent. Other than that, I love continuing to make the world richer. In book 2, I introduced tiddly dragons, these cute little flying salamanders that I love. In book 3, I’m really going to expand and explain the world, so I’m looking forward to all of that.

Could you tell us a little about your new Mrs. Covington project?
It’s a cozy fantasy I’m launching on Kickstarter. The launch date is March 14th, and it will run for 30 days. It’s set in the same world as my trilogy, but it’s a stand-alone story set decades before the trilogy starts. The story is about a guy named Jacob who quite unexpectedly finds himself the owner of a failing, capybara-themed pub. He quickly figures out that he’s going to have to make new friends and innovate if the pub is going to succeed. But when he learns that a neighboring Faun food restaurant, run by his kindhearted new friend, might have to close its doors, his priorities change. He and his new friends learn about a treasure that was buried by a wealthy woman who used to live on the island. Together, they set out to find it in an attempt to save her restaurant. But they aren’t the only people seeking it.
For a while now, I’ve found my writing being pulled in a cozier direction. I love stories with a focus on kindness, empathy, and found family. My trilogy has all of those elements, but I wanted this project to go all-in on them.


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? 
Yes! There’s one in particular that I can’t really talk about because it would be too much of a spoiler. But another thing I have found difficult is the magic system. I always had a magic system in mind, but in the first book, it isn’t thoroughly explained. We’re seeing the story through the main character’s eyes, so we only know as much as she knows. But as the series goes on, it becomes more important to understand magic in this world. I’ve had to be very careful to make sure everything makes sense and fits with things that happened in book 1.

Would you say your craft has improved with the subsequent books?
I sure hope so! I have been told that my books are improving as they go, so that’s always reassuring. I think the main thing I’ve learned from experience is how to write well-rounded characters. When I started, I think I was too focused on the story—how do I get from point A to point B kind of thing. But as I’ve read more and reflected on my own writing, I’ve come to find that characters and their relationships are the things that really resonate with me, and I believe most readers are the same. I think writers also gain a sense of what flows well and what just works the more they write. I can go back and look at things I wrote years ago and I cringe a bit. Nothing too bad, but certain aspects of sentences and dialog flow are things I’ve definitely improved upon.

Do you have all the timeline planned for the full series?
Yes. Although I didn’t at first. I always knew this story would be a trilogy, but I wrote book 1 as something that could stand alone. I hoped that the world and the characters would be enough to pull people into the rest of the series. I did leave the end of book 2 with some major cliffhangers, though. And book 3 is completely mapped out to the end. I am a total planner when it comes to writing. For me, one of the best parts is planning out how the story will go. Those moments are pure imagination and joy.

Do you have any marketing tips for sequels?
No. But I’m willing to take any that anyone else has! I’ve found it to be pretty tough. There’s this thing where I feel like I can’t market the sequel as I did for the first book because the only people who would read the sequel are people who have already read the first book. I think my marketing job mostly consists of trying to get people to try the first book, then hope they like it enough to continue the series.

Thank you very much for including me in this!