Contains commentary from The Daily Beast
Normally, writing a sequel is just a matter of skill -- characters and setting have to be reintroduced informatively enough to let the new reader enter the series readily and easily, without the same alienating feeling of arriving in a room in the midst of an animated conversation that means everything to everyone there, but is foreign country for the new arrival. And, at the same time, the reader who knows the previous book or books should not be bored with what might seem like unnecessary repetition.
If the book that came before is a mega-seller, and maybe even a classic, the challenge might seem insurmountable. The publisher and agent nag, and hugely tempting advances are offered, but what if the next book is a flop? Think about that book that followed The De Vinci Code, for instance. Can anyone even remember its name?
So it's no wonder that when a sequel to the immortal To Kill a Mockingbird is announced, doubts are expressed.
"Harper Lee promises a new novel - or does she?" asks Malcolm Jones on the Daily Beast.
But plenty of people believe it. The day that the sequel was announced, it shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller list -- and it is not coming out until July!