Saturday, December 10, 2016

Birth of a Series

Once upon a time, I didn't plan on writing a series.

Then I wrote a book set in the fictional Southern California mountain town of Tall Pine. A funny thing happened. Secondary characters, who have always been fun for me to write, started tapping me on the shoulder. They hinted – insisted, in fact – that they wanted stories of their own.

As I started to imagine the right romantic matches for these characters, I started seeing characters with a new sense of depth, thinking of the differences that make them unique. Hero B might like the woman Hero A fell for in Book 1, but he definitely needed a different type of woman to fall in love with. As a matter of fact, Hero A and Hero B were such different people, they didn’t even like each other much.

And those two people, over there … what if they were exes?

And so the Evergreen Lane series was born.

Before I finished writing Book 1, Do You Believe in Santa?, the town of Tall Pine was already populating itself with characters I knew I wanted to spend more time with. Not just romantic leads, but the folks who ran the local businesses, argued with my hero at town council meetings, or poured coffee at the little café on Evergreen Lane.

By the time I finished revisions on Book 1, at a point when I’m usually ready for a breather, I was scribbling down scenes for the next book. And the one after that.

Planning these stories has been fun and exciting for me. It’s made me think, more than ever, about the backgrounds and experiences that make us all different. And it’s got me sketching out local landmarks, so I don’t have a character turning a corner the wrong direction and walking right into the pond I put there in Book 1. I’m hoping readers will find a new home in my little town right along with me.

So, if you’ve read Do You Believe in Santa?, come back with me to Evergreen Lane, the main street that runs through the town of Tall Pine. In Book 2, We Need A Little Christmas, you'll see a lot of the characters you met in Book 1, including Scotty Leroux, who just insisted on being my next hero.

And if you don’t start with Book 1, don’t worry. It’s easy to find your way around Tall Pine, and I promise you won’t get lost.