|I'm okay with cover-judging on this one!|
Soon after my first book for Harlequin Heartwarming (Mountains Apart) was published, I agreed to write three more books set in the same little Alaskan town of Rankins. And that’s how my first series was born. But, like other precious things that are born, it needed a name. To a lot of you out there, this might sound like a fun project, but naming stuff is stressful to me. When you choose a name for your child, or even your dog or cat - they’re stuck it with it. Forever. Same with a book, or in this case, an entire series. A series name might even be worse than a book title, because you only have a few words to capture the flavor of several books - all at once. And, let’s not even get into the whole judging a book by its cover/title thing.
For many writers, this is easy because they are clever enough to pick cool names for their settings in the first place and then go with a twist on that, like Bourbon Street CEO’s, Glacier Creek Cowboys, or Montana Hunky Guys. Well, maybe not that last one, but you get my meaning.
In looking back on it now, I probably would have chosen a different name for “my” town of Rankins. It doesn’t really sound pretty or roll off the tongue very easily. I hear Rankin, Ran-kin, and Rankings quite a bit. Most of the time it’s a simple, “What’s the name of the town again?” Don’t get me wrong, these mispronunciations and misspellings don’t bother me. And I did have a reason when I originally chose it. (This was many years ago, before I was ever published and didn’t have to think about these kinds of things. In my mind, the man the town was originally named after has his own fascinating story. But, as with most backstory, it never ended up playing heavily in the book. Hey, that might be a fun topic for its own post...)
|Actual Seasons of Alaska.|
My point here is that Rankins, even as quirky, colorful, fun, and wonderful a place it has turned out to be, didn’t exactly make for a catchy series title. So I racked my brain, I looked at photos for inspiration, I made lists - lots of lists. I came across one the other day in the back of one of my notebooks. Some of my ideas were really horrific, like “Tasting Alaska.” Um, sounds like a really weird reality cooking show where people go around licking glaciers or sampling pickled moose lung or something else as equally and decidedly not romantic…
But all this thinking and bad list-making did get me there - eventually. As a setting, Alaska is about as broad as it gets. Which is perfect, because from the beginning, one thing I wanted to do was give the reader a taste (there's that word again) of Alaska’s diversity. One of the most striking examples of this is its seasonal extremes. I love the way Alaskans seem to both tackle and embrace every dramatic and changing aspect - from the beauty and chill of fall to the coldest and loveliest depths of winter, to the promise of new life each spring, to the wild abandon that summer brings. They are accepting and connected to their environment in this really special way. Rather fortuitously, I think, there is also the fact that the word “season” can imply “flavor” or “spice.” Seasons of Alaska. Mission accomplished, I say.
|My Seasons of Alaska|
A Family Like Hannah’s, book 4 in the Seasons of Alaska series is available now!
I’m going to share the back cover copy because I love it so much:
With her professional skiing career cut short by an accident, Hannah James is putting all her energy into transforming Snowy Sky Resort into something special. There's only one obstacle. Famous pro-snowboarder-turned-consultant Tate Addison has his own ideas about taking the Rankins, Alaska, lodge to the next level. But Hannah won't compromise her dreams. She gets that Tate is trying to create a stable home for his orphaned six-year-old nephew—a boy Hannah already adores. And if she isn't careful, she could also fall for the boy's too-attractive uncle. Is she risking heartbreak? Or do she and Tate really want the same things out of life?
Also available in select Walmart stores in March!
For more information about Carol Ross and a complete list of books, please visit her website: