Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Talk-Time - Linked Books

Donna Alward confesses to a bit of an addiction - the lure of turning secondary characters into linked books!

As long as there are secondary characters, there will never be a dearth of story ideas for an author.

As a writer, I'm always happy when I get to write linked stories. I often feel at the end that while my hero and heroine have found a happy ending, there are always a few characters that are left. They are open questions. So when I wrote HIRED BY THE COWBOY, there was a character, Mike, that wouldn't let me go. He became the hero in the follow up, MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M.

That question led to Maggie's story in FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS. It's set in the same general area of south-central Alberta. Maggie has a teenage daughter and runs a bed and breakfast. And she likes things just the way they are. No muss, no fuss. No rocking the boat. She's been hurt one too many times. But when US Marshal Nate Griffith arrives on her doorstep, he challenges all of that. And in the end, he'll challenge everything she thinks she knows.

But my linky-love doesn't end there, no sirree. When a reader asked if I was going to write Nessa's story from THE SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING, I found the idea really much so that there is a seed of an idea in my mind to make it happen.

And in January, I'm starting something really exciting - a series set in a fictional Alberta town called Larch Valley...beginning with THE RANCHER'S RUNAWAY PRINCESS. I've also got a book scheduled for next year that already has a partner in the story of the hero's sister. What I love about all of these books is that while they are linked, they all stand alone as independent stories. They are all more of a "I wonder what happened to that character" when the story ends.

FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS is out this month, and in my mind it was the end of the "Windover" books. But then I had an e-mail the other day asking if there was going to be a sequel. And of course my mind kept spinning around one other character - Grant Simms, the RCMP officer that worked with Nate. Who is Grant? Why is he where he is? And the lure continues....

In addition to Donna's current release, FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS, this past week THE SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING was reissued by Thorndike Press. Next up for Donna is the release of FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS in September in Australia and New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna

    I'm a huge fan of linked books myself. I loved Nora Roberts many linked series and Linda Howard's McKenzie chronicles are probably my favourite category romances. When I was writing my second book The Mile High Club (aka the Millionaire's Blackmail Bargain) I found the heroine's best friend kept butting in. I had to edit a lot of her scenes out because frankly she was taking over the story but then I thought - ah-ha - why not give her a story of her own. And her story became my fourth book.

    Nice to know that sometimes those pesky, pushy secondary characters can turn out to be a boon.