The second book in any series is of crucial importance. The reader has just gotten through your first book, and, if they liked it enough, chances are they are going to go out and buy your second book. But if your second book disappoints, it's all over from there! This was the conviction that weighed on me when I set out to write book 2 of The Gateway Chronicles, The Oracle. I have been waylaid by many a poor sequel, and I determined that my sequel would not disappoint. If anything, I wanted it to be a much stronger installment to the series - something to keep people coming back for more. I feel I accomplished that with The Oracle.
When I finished book 1, I didn't honestly have a clear vision of what book 2 was going to be about. I've always known the overall story arc, but the second installment is kind of a stinker. It's still early in the story so you can't have too much take place, but it must progress the series along and also stand alone as its own compelling story. I had no idea what the plot of book 2 was going to be . . . until I started getting feedback from book 1. Yahto Veli, it turned out, was everyone's favorite character, and I decided, therefore, to make him a major focus of book 2. Once I had Yahto Veli in place, I knew I had to have something BIG happen to him in the climax of the story. Teaching my 8th grade history class one day, reading The Histories by Herodotus, I took them through a section of the text that covers one of the many mentions of the Oracle at Delphi. I've always been fascinated by Greek mythology, and anything having to do with the Oracle at Delphi always captured my imagination. The idea behind the oracles and Greek tragic irony is so clever, and as I was currently brainstorming for book 2 as I was reminded of my fascination with this, the two just came together in my mind. Why not have an Oracle in Alitheia? I could play around with writing riddles (which is dastardly difficult!) and flesh out my fantasy with another villain, as well as introduce layers of more mystery to the overall plot - something I'd wanted to do anyway. One thing led to another, and the story of The Oracle just fell into place. And I won't reveal what BIG thing I have happen to Yahto Veli, so as not to spoil, but it's one of my favorite plot elements so far. I love when my two passions come together, and being inspired by history in writing my fantasy was very fulfilling. If you are a fan of mythology of any sort, you should find this installment in The Gateway Chronicles fulfilling, too! I hope you pick up a copy and continue your journey through Alitheia.