Can a book trilogy be lucky?
A couple years back I wrote a contemporary fantasy novel called Lucky Sevens that was well-received by most readers and critics. The only drawback that seemed to resound from reviews was the magic element needed to be hyped more. I always listen to reviews that carry constructive criticism but I don't always act on them. Then, I got a spark of an idea to continue stories in this world I've built.
Authors always say that choosing a favorite out of the books they've written is like choosing a favorite child. Well, I play favorites and Lucky Sevens has always been numero uno. Despite the harsh imagery, it's a love letter to my hometown of Las Vegas. I tired of the cheesy movies and music depicting the city as a candy-colored playground of debauchery and nothing more. My intent, as I always do in my writing, was to showcase realistic characters. Vegas has many characters, both flamboyant and just as average as any small town. So, my journey brought me back to the City of Sin and my fictional brand called Saints & Sinners Casino to have new characters romp all over the Strip. But if I was going to make this a trilogy, I would have to pump up Lucky Sevens as well.
This is where I went back to the reviews and added in more layers of dark magic. It made the antagonist Christopher King even more diabolical. And then he became my anchor point for the sequel. Vegas Valkyries kicks off with King running from the new batch of protagonists: a mighty trio of Valkyries acting as bounty hunters.
The idea for Vegas Valkyries came from remnants of story that spawned my first superhero series instead. Couple that with a love of women warriors and I did a mash-up of stories. To help guide me on this endeavor, I just happened to be playing the game Assassin's Creed: Valhalla at the time. The game is flush with history and language that helped guide the creation of the Valkyries. I also gained alot of influence from other powerful trios like Charlies Angels, Charmed, Blue Crush, and Cleopatra 2525.
I knew following up Lucky Sevens would be difficult, and though Vegas Valkyries started out rough, the girls grew on me and I wound up having alot of fun writing it. Which led me into the final book and another idea I'd been playing with. The title Sin City Assassin just sounded cool and it fit right in with my desire to write about ninjas.
Who's to say Las Vegas isn't really crawling with supernatural elements?
The blood-thirsty vampires in Sin City Assassin were homage to a story my late brother Charlie had been toying with. In his tale they were strippers, for me they became a demonic Mafia entity trying to rule both coasts through business deals rather than blood. That is, until an awakening by my lead Nico sets off a chain of events that brings the hammer down on the source of all evil.
So, can a book trilogy bring good luck? It depends who you're asking. If you ask me I'd say it was worth the gamble rolling the bones on breathing new life into a story I wrote almost a decade ago. Even though I chose not to revisit the characters, the landscape is there...it has to be. Las Vegas is ingrained in every fiber of my being. Only a native Las Vegan can tell you the rich history of the city. Only a deviant mind like mine can take that history and twist it up with magic and mayhem.
I got quite a few nice reviews from all three books. If I'm appeasing readers, I'd say I'm damn lucky indeed!
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Cynthia Vespia writes urban fantasy vigilantes and heroic adventure fantasy. Her fantasy crime fighters come in the form of superheroes, vigilantes, and bounty hunters with an edge. Cyn is also a freelance content writer and former fitness competitor.