I don't usually comment on reviews, but lately I've had a few where the primary complaint is something inherent of, and I feel pretty transparent to, my Spellspinners series: this is a serial. I understand that the format is extremely new in the world of young adult fantasy, which is both the challenge of and the delight of writing it. I love trying new things so I accepted the offer to write for this new brand of fiction. But it's a little hard to explain to readers raised on traditional young adult novels…what exactly it is I'm doing.
I'll do my best now.
Not unlike the Dickens serials that published biweekly in the local newspaper, my romantic adventure saga of feuding witches and warlocks is meant to be read in chunks.
Dickens sprang to fame with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered theserial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback.
Like Dickens, I listen to reader feedback. If you love a certain character—bad boy warlock Jude is a fan favorite, for instance—I try to expand their character for you. I've heard television writers do this, too, based on fan "shipping" or "ships" as long as it works within the overall plot arc of the series. In fact, my publisher, Coliloquy, coins these "active fiction" novellas "episodes." Akin to a serial drama like the CW's The Vampire Diaries or Star-Crossed, Witch's Brew is the "pilot" (and is the longest of the first three—the length of an average young adult novel) while subsequent "episodes" or novellas, are shorter, ending on cliffhangers—much like an episode of your favorite (and frustrating!) television drama.
My 9-book series is meant to be stretched out over the course of 9-books, so you will not receive all the answers to the questions right out the gate. I understand your frustration. I'm a fan of TV series and longer book series and it IS frustrating not to end satisfied, but I'm hoping it's also what keeps you enthralled.
If you're new to the series, I recommend reading curling up by the fire with your drink of choice and binging on the 3-book bundle. I promise Devil's Frost ends on a satisfying note in regards to Lily and Logan—this was very important to me— although it does open up a whole new can of magic beans in regards to our Daisy* and Iris. :)
Spellspinners 4 is as absolute delight to write (and I hope to read!) and you don't want to miss this very special "road trip" episode, which doesn't take place on the road at all. Bwahahaha!
I appreciate all your feedback.