And Then What Happened to Billy?
Many of the readers of Loreless want more.
They expect a sequel.
They want to know what happens to Billy.
My intention with the book was to encourage people to find out more about indigenous culture.
However, readers seem to be more interested in the characters and the actual story than any of the facts it contains.
For them the journey is far more important.
That is not to say they haven’t learnt anything along the way.
Many people have been affected by the story and told me they have discovered a great deal about what, for many of them, was a little known culture.
Even so, the story itself has had the most profound effect of all.
I suppose this a good thing.
It means I have been successful in telling an interesting tale. Not only that, I have created vibrant personalities who live on in reader’s minds. They are invested in the characters and want to follow their progress.
They want to know what happens next.
The following is not strictly a spoiler, but if you haven’t read the novel it might help you understand what I’m taking about.
At the end, Billy has experienced a transformation and is left considering his future, and to a lesser degree, his past.
He doesn’t have any idea what lies before him, much the same as we all do. There are several options. One thing which certainly won’t happen is that he will return to where he came from.
That is the fundamental decision he makes towards the end of the novel. It’s no mystery the book deals with his journey to that eventual decision.
In any case, there is no going back.
If he moves forward, then what will he do?
He will most probably stay on the community, he will learn more about his culture. At some point he will probably become initiated into the tribe. He may even take a wife.
That is of course if he is that way inclined, he may in fact have other partner preferences. It is fiction and thus can go anywhere.
Should the next part be set somewhere in the distant future when Billy has already gone through all these things?
Perhaps all the other elders have died and he is now leading the community. There will certainly need to be some form of conflict.
Do the banished return and stir up trouble?
Will the community be faced with government or police intervention?
Will they have to fight for their very existence?
When I wrote the sketch for the first version of the story many years ago, I actually got stuck at the same point where Loreless ends.
At that stage, the book was not a novel, it was instead a musical.
I had written Act One, but Act Two had me stumped. What happens next?
I was stuck with the scenario that Billy was accepted into the community and everyone lived happily ever after.
Unfortunately, that kind of ending makes very boring literature and, in real life, almost never happens.
To make it interesting I would have to throw a whole lot more turmoil Billy’s way.
I would have to really make him suffer. I would have to put enough pressure on him to make him reconsider his decision.
In Loreless he is relatively passive. Up until a certain point, he just goes along with the ride. That is until he is forced to make a radical decision. Even then the answer is handed to him on a platter.
It’s a decision made mentally long before the actual act is performed. But then most of us can’t see the bleeding obvious dancing in front of our faces.
We need to be cajoled into change.
If you’ve read the book, what do you think?
If you haven’t read it, please consider purchasing a copy. You would then know what I’m talking about and perhaps have insights of your own.
What does Billy do next?
Leave a comment below or join the mailing list and let me know.