November 8th, 2011


Almost every day–I mean, really, literally, almost every day–I get an email or a comment or an FB post from a reader asking me to please write a sequel to EPIC FAIL.  I’ve gotten requests for sequels to most of my other novels, but never to this extent.  

I’m flattered.  Obviously if readers want MORE, that’s a good thing for a writer.  But I’m also curious about what people look for in a sequel.

Some authors deliberately write books that can be continued.  Sometimes they start out knowing their book will be a trilogy or even longer and even if some part of the story gets wrapped up at the end of the first novel, there are threads deliberately left unfinished.  Sometimes they don’t even bother to wrap up any part of the story, just leave it as a cliffhanger (which drives me and my kids crazy because you often have to wait a year for the next book to be published and that’s just too long to see how a story comes out).  And sometimes there’s an episodic feeling to an author’s books–mysteries are a lot like that, where there are always new cases to be solved.

But my books aren’t like that.  They’re usually pretty neatly resolved.  There’s always a romance and no matter what goes wrong during the course of the book, the right people end up together.  Which makes me uncertain how to approach a sequel: do you split those people up again so they have to find their way back?  (Isn’t that annoying, though?)  Or do they realize they’re NOT right for each other and find other people?  (Isn’t that even more annoying?)  Or do they just have adventures together?

What do you think?  Do you like sequels to books, even if the characters are in a good place when the first one ends?  And, if so, what do you like to see happen in them?

(PS: there’s a tiny difference between the cover in this photo and the actual published cover.  Can you spot it?  It’s very subtle . . .)

  • Katherine says:

    I spot pink nails.

  • Claire says:

    good eyes, Katherine!

  • rachelhamm says:

    Are there any minor characters whose story you can expand upon for a sequel?

  • Claire says:

    Interesting, Rachel. I guess one of the sisters could grow up a little . . .

  • Claire says:

    I’m very impressed you guys noticed the nails. I had to decide at the very end of the process whether I wanted her to have painted nails or not. I went with natural–felt more Elise like.

  • Kristina says:

    Wellll . . . I think something should happen to Webster. -_- That just made me mad. And I didn’t like Elise’s younger sister. The 14 year-old. Her parents should do something about her,too.

  • Kristina says:

    Wellll . . . I think something should happen to Webster. -_- That just made me mad. And I didn’t like Elise’s younger sister. The 14 year-old. Her parents should do something about her,too.

  • Claudia says:

    I ordered the book and it arrived but I have not read it yet. Did you or the publisher ask for the nails not to be painted?

    Sequels scare me and I am not certain why. I guess it’s the fear that if I loved a book, a sequel might ruin my love of the original book. The only sequel I can recall going to see is “Godfather II.” When “Godfather III” was not good, I remember feeling so sad, but of course it did not ruin either of the other Godfather films.

    Good books make us wonder “What became of so and so?” But I think we want to muse about that question in our heads.

    When a reader writes to an author and asks for a sequel, I think the reader is truly saying, “Write more books for me.”

    But maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I have been rereading “Sense and Sensibility” and I think that much of what Jane Austen writes has such powerful similarities but I love the way the characters are different people, not the same people. I love detecting what is different and what is the same in her characters. So that is to say I like the “almost a sequel” best. I love authors who write in the same genre and explore similar material but look at that material in a new, deeper way. I love Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Virginia Woolf and Austen and other writers who explore very similar characters and themes.

  • Claire says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Claudia. I think you’re right: when we finish a book we love, we don’t want it to end so we think, “If there were a sequel, I could keep reading this book.” But another book that captivates us equally would also make us happy.

  • Ellie says:

    I would love a sequel that just explored there relationship more because it just started and maybe George (become friends with Layla to make layla come down to earth?) idk but I would really enjoy it and more of the infamous Webster

  • Julie says:

    I think that, since in Epic Fail Derek, Juliana, and Chase were seniors,(if you were to make a sequel) you could have Elise skip a year, and have her go to the college that Derek, Juliana, and Chase go to if they all go to the same college. And Chelsea would do everything to try to break up Derek and Elise. Meanwhile, Webster could be hanging out with Layla after ditching Campbell. Thanks! I loved Epic Fail!

  • Heather says:

    I’m interested in Derek & Elise’s continued relationship as well. It would seem more natural for the Seriors to go off to college, but then it would be harder to keep the main characters together. I’d like for Webster to get his butt kicked or something. I think Derek’s sister Georgia is interesting.

  • Claire says:

    Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys! It’s certainly fun to think about . . .

  • Tina G says:

    I’m actually a huge fan of sequel, specially if you have honestly good characters you want to spend more time with.
    I thought this book was so adorable. I really loved Elisa and Derek and I think you’ve given them some good ground work.
    Derek is going off to college…how does a long distance relationship work and how fun will it be to see Derek finally use his family’s titles to impress his girlfriend? The idea’s are endless. And I’m hoping that you do consider doing a sequel. I’d love to be able to read more of Derek and Elisa and even Chase and Juliana:)


  • Nina says:

    I think you should continue Derek and Elisa romance but also Chase and Juiliana and some dorkiness from Elisa I love that about her but do not split them up!!!! I love Derek and Elisa and I do want a sequal just do not make them split just make it about how Derek and Chase and Juiliana are all going to college and stuff. Also the fact that Elisa kinda doesnt feel she made a good impression on derek’s mom just continue it there but DO NOT BREAK THEM UP! Oh and what about the cook out Elisa’s mom wanted to invite Derek’s parents too and Layla! She can always stir trouble just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE THAT SEQUAL!

    Ps.Pink Nails

  • Claire says:

    Thanks for all your thoughts! I love your enthusiasm.

  • Christine says:

    I spot pink nails! 😛

  • Lauiren says:

    In the sequel it woukd be nice to see mor eof Chase and Julianna’s relationship and a continueing relatioship between Derek and Elise.
    Loved the book, read it in 3 hours. Please continue to write!

  • Salem Ortiz says:

    Well first of all I absolutely loved Epic Fail just because everything ended so perfect! However, I would really appreciate it if there was a sequel just to see the characters (like Elise, Derek, Juliana, and Chase) go through adventures together and becoming closer. Thank you for a book that will remain on my shelf as one of my favorites!

  • Anonymous says:

    I loved Epic Fail just finished it today actually and I really think you should write a sequal! But you can’t break up Elise and Derek! The can have a rough patch or something but in the end they can’t break up, like when Derek, Juliana, and Chase go to college or something.

  • Claire says:

    I agree–they belong together! You’ll like this Valentine’s Day scene I wrote . . . Will post as soon as it appears.

  • Emily says:

    I so so so want you to write a sequel to Epic Fail it do far is my favorite book and I’m 15 so it totally relates to life as a teenager and I woul love the sequel to be about the rest of Derek and Elise’s story I absolutely love their dynamic as a couple. So please write a sequel.

  • Amanda says:

    I would personally really like to see a sequel to Epic Fail, and not just for the simple reason that I hate when books end, but because books always end when the conflict gets resolved. But what happens next? It’s always up to the reader to imagine that, but Epic Fail is one of the few books in which I would love to see Elise and Derek’s relationship continue, along with Chase and Juliana’s! Elise and Derek’s relationship is so new and I don’t get the immediate vibe that they’re ‘soulmates,’ even though I want them to be together always, but I’d just really like to see the relationships develop, especially with all of them going off to college except for Elise! In addition, there is one loose end that was not really wrapped up that bothers me and that would be WEBSTER! I want justice to be served! I’m also really curious to see how Derek’s mom truly views Elise, how Elise’s senior year will go and who will she hang out with once Derek, Chase, and Juliana head off to college, how Layla grows up and turns out, and so much more! I would just absolutely love a sequel to Epic Fail and I hope you sincerely consider making one, I know I don’t speak for just myself when I say I would be so excited and so happy to read it!

  • Claire says:

    Thanks, Amanda, for all those thoughts. You will get a glimpse into Elise and Derek’s future with this post I’ve written for Valentine’s Day, I promise! But you’re right: there’s still a lot of story to explore here! Thanks for writing.

  • Julia says:

    It would be awesome for them to have another adventure together. I get really fed up whenever they break up or there is an issue… Can’t they just be together and help each other solve a problem?? Didn’t some of the sequels to Pride and Prejudice (not the ones written by Jane Austen) they got married and had kids and solved problems?

  • Shandra says:

    When a book i love ends i always want a sequel but i wouls want them to stay together but mayne a little splash if drama. Something that happens when he is at chollege and she is not perhaps? Or her mother having to become principal of another school and forcing her to move?

  • Sofia says:

    I read Epic Fail then recommended it to a few friends and we all came to an agreement on the fact that we needed a sequal! I think that you ended it with just enough of a cliffhanger that you could go back if you wanted. When it comes to a teen life everything could happen; break-ups, betrayels and revenge are an option. Drama, love or “Happily ever afters” are expected and welcomed. Although it would be cool to see branch-offs, I think IF you make a sequal it should follow Derek, Elise, Chase and Juiliana. You could even make it from Dereks point of view! ( Wouldnt it be awsome to see what Derek likes about Elise, we know what Elise likes about him.) All of it sounds cool, my friends and I – I am sure everyone else,too- are hungry for more.
    Thanks for hearing my ideas.
    – Sofia

  • joh says:

    I loved this book! I think you should continue the story with them going to college together!!!! kind of like the movie series “the prince and me”

  • Sophie says:

    Out of all the books I’ve read this by far my favourite. I would love to see sequel, about Elise and Derek have a rough patch while they’re separated due to college. I also want to see their relationship put to the test. And see maybe how Derek is around other girls and all. And love to see more of Juliana and Chase. I want it to be super romantic not that epic fail wasn’t. I totally loved it please write a sequel

  • Danielle says:

    I think for the sequel you should. Have Elise in college. And say that the year that Elise was still in high school they broke up all something. But when Elise is in college they both realise they still have strong feelings for each other. And I also want to see more of dereks sister Georgiana and want to know what Derek’s mum thinks of Elise.

  • Claire says:

    I will seriously consider all these suggestions! Thank you for caring so deeply about the characters!

  • Annie says:

    I have an idea. If you don’t want to write a whole sequel, maybe thinking about writing extra chapters every week or so

  • faye says:

    Its October 2012. I certainly hope for a sequel and MOVIE! 🙂
    really loved and can’t get over it.
    hope you’ll continue Elise and Derek’s story.

  • Sarah says:

    There were a few things I wanted to see more of when I finished the book. I really wanted to see if Webster ever gets caught and what happens to Derek’s sister. I also wanted to see more of Elise and Derek’s story as well as what happens to Layla and her issues. Please, please, please write us a sequel!

  • Holly says:

    I loved the book, loved everything about it. I hope you decide to continues Elise and Derek’s story. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER

  • leighann says:

    My first thoughts on a sequel were keeping them together and Elise trying to fit into his world with famous parents and parties. Also, something has to be done about Webster, which could also incorporate Cambell into the story a little more. And I’m definately interested in Georgia, I’d love to see her gain strength and help in the fight against Webster.
    Just some of my thoughts, I would definately be interested inva sequel though.


  • Kyla says:

    Maybe, since Derek is in college and Elise is still in high school, you could get a new guy who likes Elise and befriends her and they start hanging out, therefore making Derek jealous. Webster may then be out for revenge or something. Also do an epilogue of Elise in college with the idea i mentioned before..
    This is late. However, I love the story. Good job!

  • Anonymous says:

    I absolutely loved this book, please write a sequel

  • Anonymous says:

    I LOVED the book, and I enjoyed the chapter you recently wrote… but what happens on the dinner date???

  • Ashley culgan says:

    Omg epic fail is da best book ive ever read there is so.mich conflict anger and surprise and confusion youbhave tovdo a sequel claire u have too! I dont care wat its about as long as derek and elise sttay together maybe kaitlyn starts going biserk and layla has a very pushing sexual type boyfriend i dont care it will be amazing anyway but please makw a sequel im 13 and this is like my life


  • Cora says:

    I think they should just have adventures together. I don’t think they should break up their cute together. I would LOVE to see a sequel. I hope you can make one, one day. Her nails are pink in the photo above. In the published one they are not. Maybe Kaitlyn grows up and her sisters help her get through boy trouble. :/

    • Claire says:

      You are very perceptive! I must have accidentally used an early draft of the cover–I didn’t like the pink nails for the character so we got rid of them for the final version. 🙂

  • Gabby says:

    I think i would like to see what happens after Derek goes to college. I have read the Valentine’s chapter and it was great! What other adventures would they go on? Sequel maybe?

    Oh and i love sequels:)

  • Gabby says:

    Oh and Another guy could like Elise and Derek finds out and stuff like that. I agree with everyone. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL!!! 🙁 🙂

  • Gabby says:

    Dear Claire, 
    I just finished reading EPIC FAIL and the Valentine’s chapter and fell IN LOVE with it! It was amazing:) Will there be a sequel? Please? What happens to Webster and the others? To pass the time I plan on reading THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING, but do you  know of any other books similar to EPIC FAIL? 

  • Natalie says:

    there has to be a sequel! derek can go off to college to be near his sister possibly by elise’s hometown and she goes to the same college? where is the valentines day chapter?

  • Bianca says:

    Just finished reading EPIC FAIL.

    Great book but i was wondering if there is going to be a sequel?Why not have them grow apart and then come back together?but an adventure doenst sound so bad too?!

    Im sure i speak for many, when i say i hope there will be a sequel.

  • Anonymous says:

    I see one half bigger than the other and pink nails

  • Lauren says:

    You know.. I actually want Webster to try and get revenge, and to see how the long term relationship works out

  • Anonymous says:

    Will there be a second book to epic fail I’m I love with it

Comments are closed.