We’ve all heard: “Write the book you want
to read.” To that I’ll add – create the characters you want to know,
individuals you quickly come to care about, to cheer their triumphs or weep
with their woes. Even better, by design or accident, characters who allow you
to follow their lives beyond The End – a series.
I’ve always been a great fan of novels
which continue in a series; my favorite is Elisabeth Ogilvie’s Bennet’s Island books,
nine in all -- a multi-generational saga of a lobstering community off the
Maine coast. Ms. Ogilvie wrote High Tide at Noon while still in her twenties and the final episode, The Day Before Winter, at age 80.
I didn't--ever--set out to write a series. For a bunch of
excuses reasons. My attention span is too short. I'm too disorganized. I might get bored. I might not be able to finish what I started. I might run out of stories or people or houses for them to live in--I do write rural/small town after all.
But then I wrote Every Time We Say Goodbye. About this pretty little lake in central Indiana where the businesses are named with Cole Porter song titles and a wreck that happened on prom night all those years ago. I loved the book, and there must have been some subliminal reason that there were 11 people involved in that accident...
It Was Written in the Stars (working title) will be a December Heartwarming release. It's the second book about Lake Miniagua and the people whose hearts have been broken and healed there. I'm working on the third one.
Poet Seamus Heaney saw life as "a series of ripples widening out from an original center." That was how my experience with writing a series came about. Although most of those excuses in the first paragraph have come to pass, I am having such fun with those ripples.