We’re pleased to welcome Lynn Hardy, author of Prophecy of the Flame, who shares some thoughts on companion novels.
Companion Novels – Lynn Hardy
I’ve been walking the road of self-publishing for quite a few years. Occasionally I will get an invite to attend as a panellist so that I can share what I’ve learned with others. I always keep a pen handy because you never know what you can pick up.
At the LTUE conference in Salt Lake City, UT earlier this year, I came across a new term. It sounded so sweet: companion novel. But what was it? I never heard that term before. A companion novel is a book that is only complete when it is paired with another book in a series. They are never meant to be read by themselves.
Another unique attribute of companion novels is the size. The official term is “novel.” However, their word count is usually between 14,000 and 25,000 words. This length of book is typically called a novella. I suppose if we can call Pluto a planet, we can call these companion “novels.”
You can easily identify a companion novel by their numbering within the series. Most are labelled with a .5 or ½. (i.e. 2.5 or Three and a half) I’ve heard other authors publish them to keep readers entertained between major books in a series. I quickly decided to take advantage of this new piece of information by releasing a companion novel of my own, although not for the typical reasons.
Prophecy of the Flame: Two and a Half – Love’s Reward was created because Book Three in the series was becoming too long. I had several chapters that were flashbacks. A companion novel would be perfect!
It has been 2 years since I released Book Two in the series – that is a long stretch. I hope my fans are still out there. I promise to be timelier with my books in the future: I got distracted with the screenplay for Book One. But, now, the screenplay is complete. Book Three will finally be released this winter.
Love’s Reward is a typical companion novel: A collection of short stories – only 21,000 words. It could never stand on its own. However, it will give more insight into some of the characters from Book Two as well as setting the stage for some of the new characters in Book Three, soon to be released.
If you would like to know more about the movie based on Book One or the storyline for the books, there is of tons information at my official blog.