by guest blogger Denise Swanson
Like a lot of people, I’m not a big fan of change. I think I must have been a cat in another life, because I really, really like routine. In other words, the status quo is my friend. So why did I decide to write a second series? That’s a good question and I’ve tried to come up with a good answer—mostly for myself since I’ve beat myself up about that decision almost every day since I sold the Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries.
Stick-in-the-Mud Denise asks, “The Scumble River series has been doing well, heck, you even made the New York Times Bestseller list, why in the world would you want to write an additional series?”
Open-Minded Denise answers, “Because the Dime Store books offer me a chance to spread my wings and write about some edgier situations, while still keeping my same voice AKA writing style.”
Insecure Denise demands, “But what if your readers don’t like Dev and her friends as much as they like Skye and the Scumble River gang?”
Flexible Denise explains, “It's been both challenging and exhilarating to create a new cast of characters who I hope my readers will find as likable and interesting as the Scumble River gang. My goal is to continue to give my readers a satisfying mystery, but add a tiny bit spicier romance and more complicated family relationships. And come on, who doesn’t like the nostalgia that only an old fashion dime store can truly provide?”
Apprehensive Denise whines, “What if the reviewers skewer you for writing something too similar to your original series?”
Easygoing Denise clarifies, “Although there are parallels in both series—small town setting, quirky family and friends, and murder—there are also some big differences. Whereas Skye is a ‘good girl’, who has trouble saying no to her mother and wants to help everyone, Devereaux has spent time in the hard-nosed financial investment world and her only family is the grandmother who raised her after her father went to prison and her mother abandoned her.”
Anxious Denise whimpers, “You aren’t going to quit writing the Scumble River series, are you?”
Calm Denise enlightens, “While I’m thrilled to be writing the new Devereaux’s Dime Store series, I’m just as excited to be continuing the Scumble River series. In fact, the next Skye book comes out in September.”
As you can see, making the decision to write a second series has not been an easy one for me. But I knew it was time to take that leap of faith and push myself to do more (or as the Army say, be all I can be). So it is my hope that Little Shop of Homicide will have something for every reader—mystery, romance, family dynamics, friends, and small-town living at its best.
--Denise Swanson is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries. Little Shop of Homicide debuted March 6 and is the first book in her new Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries.