Good morning! I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for F.O.X.E.S, the third book in the S.T.A.G.S series by M. A. Bennett! I asked if she felt there was a difference in writing series compared to standalone novels, and if she had a preference, without further ado onto her response!
Writing A Series Vs A Standalone
When I wrote STAGS it was a standalone book. Luckily, and this is a total fluke, I’d ended it in such a way – and to avoid spoilers I’ll just say it was a single piece of punctuation – that it left the door open for another book. When Hot Key Books said they’d love a second story I was delighted – and then I realised that I had been subconsciously setting up a sequel all along! I’d already established a replica theatre in the grounds of the school, and that theatre became the central location for the follow-up, DOGS
I’ve written a standalone YA book as well – THE ISLAND – and I would say the main difference is that in a series you can develop the characters a lot more. My heroine Greer and her best friend Nel and boyfriend Shafeen appear in all the books so it is great to revisit them and learn a little more about them each time. There’s also the opportunity to introduce more characters – like Ty and the twins – and more settings, like London and Jaipur. And of course, possibly the most fun of all, teasing out the return of Henry de Warlencourt – the anti-hero who just wouldn’t die!
Thank you so much to M. A. Bennett for sharing that insight! I was really interested to discover that S.T.A.G.S was originally only intended to be a standalone! Maybe because D.O.G.S was already out when I first picked up S.T.A.G.S I’d always assumed this was supposed to be a full series from the start!
Author: M. A. Bennett
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 6th August 2020
About The Book…
Greer has just recovered from her terrifying experience during the STAGS play. Was she really put on trial by the sinister Dark Order of the Grand Stag? Or was it purely her overheated imagination? The imprint of an ‘M’ for murderer that has appeared on her thumb, though, is puzzling but incomplete evidence . . .
Meanwhile Ty is staying on at Longcross Manor and Greer, Nel and Shafeen are increasingly worried for her safety. When Ty sends a cryptic message directing them to Cumberland Place, the de Warlencourts’ palatial home in London, they decide to risk a visit. There they meet Henry’s grieving parents, Rollo and Caro. Rollo is arrogant, entitled and not overly grieving. Caro, however, while superficially charming, is clearly pushed to the brink of madness by Henry’s death, insisting that Henry is still alive. Which is clearly impossible . . . but Greer has her own troubling doubts about Henry’s death which make it hard to dismiss Caro completely . . .
Can Greer, Shafeen and Nel work out what Rollo de Warlencourt is planning for his deadly Boxing Day Hunt at Longcross in time to save Ty – who has now gone silent? Or will history horribly repeat itself?
A thrilling, richly complex instalment in the STAGS series
Thanks for stopping by SWB this Saturday! Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!