What do you do when two series decide to get friendly with each other?
One of the problems with spending January wrestling alligators instead of writing is that it left my muse free to plot in the shadows… and she has a nasty sense of humor.
A month ago everything was nice and straightforward. I was on the verge of releasing the sixth and last of the Applied Topology series. I had written the first two books of the Dragon Speech series and was well into the third. The Dragon Speech series is also set in a slightly weird Austin; it takes off after the events in A Revolution of Rubies, and Thalia from the Applied Topology series makes some cameo appearances in the first two books, but these books feature a different protagonist and a different type of magic (Dragon speech, of course. With that series title, what did you expect?)
Come February, I thought I was going to pick up and finish the third Dragon Speech book. But noooo. When I wasn’t looking, my muse was busy plotting a seventh Applied Topology book. And just to make matters more complicated, The Ransom (working title) takes place after the events in the first two Dragon Speech books.
Now I’m really not sure how to present these books. My best beta reader thinks I should treat them all as one series. She says, “As a new reader, how would I ever figure out that I should read Books 1-6 in Applied Topology, then Books 1-2 in Dragon Speech, then Book 7 in Applied Topology, then Book 3 in Dragon Speech?” Which is, okay, what you’d want to do if you’re bent on reading the books in strict chronological order. So she would call The Language of the Dragon Book 7, A Trail of Dragon Scales Book 8, The Ransom Book 9, and Like a Dragon Book 10, all in the Applied Topology series.
But I’m thinking, “If I’ve read Books 1-6 in Applied Topology and am ready for the next installment, I’m likely to be royally ticked off if I pick up something calling itself Book 7 of the series and it turns out to be all about a totally new character who is a linguist, not a mathematician, and who isn’t even aware of the shenanigans around the Center for Applied Topology.”
My best idea so far, and it’s not much of one, is to stick with the original series titles and numbering, but to put a subtitle on the Dragon Speech books indicating that they share the setting of the Applied Topology books.
It would be a better idea if I could think of just what that subtitle ought to be.
Suggestions for that or any other solution would be gratefully received.