I conceived of the adventures of Doc, Wren, and Brian Wilde as a series, starting with Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom. That was the plan. As a writer, I decided, I am in the Doc Wilde business.
Putnam also saw the Wildes as a potential series, but largely avoided talking about that. They are, after all, a business. Profits must be made, books must be balanced. So they understandably played it close to the vest, waiting to see how Frogs of Doom did, both critically and commercially.
I kept with my plan, continuing to work on Wilde stuff, figuring that even if Putnam ultimately didn’t opt to publish more, I’d find some way to get these adventures out there.
As anyone who’s been following the reviews of the book knows, the Wildes have been extremely well received by the critics. I literally had one sort of negative review, and even it largely praised the book, though it wasn’t the writer’s cup of tea. Even Kirkus Reviews, which is notoriously tough, had only good things to say (Novelist Kimberly Derting commented “I’m awed, you’ve cracked the Kirkus code!”)
As for sales…
They have apparently been solid, even in this bad economy, because a few weeks ago my editor contacted my agent and told her they were ready to buy more Doc Wilde. Not only that, they were ready to contract for the next two books.
So that’s what we did. It’s now official: the adventures of Doc Wilde and his kids are a series. An actual, real, genuine, more-than-one-book series.
The way that it has timed out, though, puts me on a pretty tight schedule. The earliest we can get the book out is May 2011 (two years after the first book), and in order to do that, I’ve agreed to get the first draft onto my editor’s desk by the end of November. Then, the entire revision process needs to be done by April. And we’re gonna pull it off, because two years is already longer than I’d hoped (the third book will be out a year later, though I’d love it to come out in Fall 2011 to keep things moving, after which we’ll be on a yearly schedule, assuming things go well).
I had three Wilde books in varying states of progress, and had intended the second in the series to be Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness, so most of the work had gone into it. Unfortunately, DoD is a complex tale with lots of moving parts, and I wasn’t sure I could finish it properly, the way I want it to be, in the existing time frame. So one of the other stories leaped heroically forward:
Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull
But I also have a secret project underway, and there may well be some extra adventure coming along to entertain you while you wait.