Fundamentally, each book has to serve three masters, in order of importance:
- Tell its own exciting, interesting and complete story.
- Seed/move forward plot points for the arc of its series.
- Seed/move forward plot points for the larger arc of Maradaine as a whole.
What's the trick to pulling it off? How do you keep serving the second and third goals from being too much of a distraction? For me, the big thing is making sure every scene in the book still fulfills the first goal, regardless of the other factors. For example, all three of those books have scenes near the end that are largely about the greater Maradaine arc. But they still also serve as epilogue for the story of the book they are in.
Hopefully, that series-arc and Maradaine-arc seeding has its hooks in you, and you want to know more about what comes next. There's going to be an announcement pretty soon, so watch this space.
*- A circus-themed production of Brecht's The Life of Galileo, in which I not only had to learn to juggle, but do knife-spinning tricks, and a host of mild acrobatics. I could even walk on my hands back then. Now I am old and creaky.