March of the Sequels: Élan Marché and Christopher Warman

2 Mar 2023

The Author/s

Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

Élan Marché & Christopher Warman live in Los Angeles, California. They are passionate about storytelling, cooking, film, and books.

The Interview

First of all, tell me a little about your series and introduce us to the sequel
Our series is called The Eighth Chant Series. The first book in the series was Seasons of Albadone, which was released in 2020. It’s made of four short parts taking place over four seasons. It’s highly inspired by Grimm fairy tales and old folk stories.
The sequel, entitled A Contract in Sol Forne, came out in February of 2023. Instead of being made up of separate vignettes that intersect, it’s more of a standard novel. Though it’s the second entry in the series, it can also be read as a standalone book, though there are some returning elements from Seasons of Albadone that might be more fun to read with knowledge of the first book.
The series will span 5 books: 2 intro books (Seasons of Albadone, A Contract in Sol Forne) followed by a trilogy.


Do you find that most of your readers continue to read the whole series? Why do you think that is?  
Most readers of book 2 so far have been people that enjoyed book 1. It’s only been a month, but I’ve only seen a few people read book 2 without picking up book 1. We’ve also seen a huge spike of people picking up book 1 for the first time this month. We think people are excited about the prospect of reading an ongoing series. We predict that even more people will pick up the series once it’s concluded.

How difficult is it to add new characters in a sequel into already established relationships? 
Thankfully we didn’t have any difficulty here since book 2 is standalone. We simply wrote a new story with new characters set in the same world as book 1. With the upcoming book 3, this will be a bigger challenge since many more characters will be returning.

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? 
In book 2 we switched locations from Albadone to Sol Forne. It was harder to start from scratch with a whole new location and culture, but worldbuilding is one of the most fun parts of writing fantasy. In book 3 it will probably be harder to juggle the worldbuilding since we will be adding new locations and re-visiting old ones, and seeing how everything changes across time.

As we can see, Seasons of Albadone was really different to A Contract in Sol Forne. Why did this happen?
We wanted to try something new. We already took the short story route. For book 2 we wanted to try writing a bigger story with even more characters and more magic. We think a lot of people expected more action and magic from book 1, so we wanted to give our readers more of that this time around.

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? 
The magic system was very ambiguous in book 1. We needed to really define it and flesh it out in order for book 2 to make sense. We consider book 2 to be the “intro to the magic system” book of the series for this reason. 
Besides that, we didn’t encounter many issues due to the changing of characters and location. Most of the worldbuilding and world history is already decided and pre-written so hopefully we won’t encounter any issues with moving forward with the series.

Would you say your craft has improved with the subsequent books?
Absolutely! It was much easier to co-write the second book. Our process is much more defined and streamlined. In reviews, we’ve received many compliments about our writing for book 2. We just hope we continue to improve and impress our readers!

Do you have all the timeline planned for the full series?
Oh yeah! As we’ve mentioned, it will encompass 5 books. 2 intro books and 3 more books as part of a trilogy. We know exactly how each book will start and end. Book 3 is already outlined and in the process of writing the first draft. The other 2 books are not outlined, but we’re confident we know where the story will go and how it will end. We hope it will be a satisfying journey.

Do you have any marketing tips for sequels? 
Spend most of your time interacting with your readers and learning about their reading habits. It’s important to cultivate friendships and following in the self-published world. Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are all great places to cultivate an audience.
When it comes to spending money, do so wisely. Don’t do any paid advertising while your book is in pre-order. Focus your ads on that first month, it will be the most important.
Look into getting ARC readers. Those early reviews are the most important of all!