Sunday, February 15, 2009

Writing the Unexpected Series

The fifth book is the Wine Lover's Series is out! Corked by Cabernet hit stores last week and I am now working on book #6 in this series. I never ever in a millions years thought that I would be writing a series. I seriously didn't think that I could do it. However, one thing I've learned over the past few years when it comes to writing is that I can do it. It has sort of become my mantra--"I can do it!"

When I wrote the first book in the series Murder Uncorked, I had a completely different ending, had it all summed up in a nice, neat little package and thought I'd be moving on to a new book. I did what I always did back then and got out Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents, Editors and Publishers and highlighted my target agents. I sent out my queries and one of the agents who I felt would be a good fit had a positive response. She asked for the first fifty pages and then a week later the manuscript. After making a few changes to the book, the agent asked if she could give Berkley a two week exclusive. I said that sounded good. Two weeks later we had an offer, except for the editor wanted to know what the next two books were about. Yikes! I asked my agent when did the editor want to know and she told me that day would be good. Double Yikes! Lucky for me, I had just gotten back form Napa Valley and while up there had come up with another idea. I wrote it up along with another premise (had to think fast for that one) and by the end of the day we had a deal. But then I had to write book two and three! Amazingly I did, and now I'm on to book six, and I have to tell you that I LOVE writing these characters. To me, they're almost like family. I point to my computer and laugh at times, and have even teared up. My husband has caught me on several of these occasions and tried to convince me that "they're not real." Um sorry! They are too real! Nikki and the gang are very real to me.

My favorite part of writing a series is developing characters over several books, their lives, their pasts, all of it. The mystery to me is secondary. It's my characters that I love to check in with. To me, writing about Nikki, Derek, Simon, Marco, Ollie (the Rhodesian Ridgeback) is what makes it so much fun. I hope you have as much fun reading about them as I have writing them!

How about it--what hooks you into a series? Furthermore what keeps you coming back? Is it the characters, the mystery, the writing style, all of it? what would you say is the number one reason you keep coming back for more?

Thanks for reading.
Have a wonderful week.