Happy Friday, all. Today, we’re delighted to welcome back another RU favorite, Christy Reece. Christy is the author of the fabulous Last Chance Rescue series, and she’s going to talk with us about transitioning from one beloved series to a new project. She’s also generously offered to give away a Last Chance Rescue book (winner’s choice) to two lucky commenters! Welcome, Christy!
How Very Un-A-Musing
Corny, I know, but so appropriate to my topic. Other names I considered for this blog post were: Hi, I’m Christy Reece and I’m a writer in denial. Or: How to say goodbye to a successful series and start a new one in 1,557 tries.
When I first learned that SWEET REWARD, my December 2011 release, would be the last book in my Last Chance Rescue series, I was almost (not quite, because I’m the cautious sort) excited. New characters, new plots, new everything! A whole vista of opportunities awaited me in my fictional world. I thought my muse would be onboard, overjoyed and raring to light up with a multitude of fabulous ideas.
But then reality set in. The characters I’ve lived with and adored since I starting writing RESCUE ME, the first book in my LCR series, would no longer be around to talk to me. They would now only exist in the happy-ever-after state of bliss I had created for them, never to be heard from again. No! These weren’t just fictional characters to me! They were real, living, breathing, three-dimensional people. In the years I’ve known them, they’ve made me laugh, cry, angry, sad, exuberant and joyful. I love them with every fiber of my being. I couldn’t let them go! No, no, no! Okay, I admit it, I went overboard. I grieved.
Then, the inevitable bargaining took place. Maybe I didn’t have to say goodbye to all of them. There were still a few characters that were due their own story. Why couldn’t I just carry them over into stories for this new series? It’s been done before. Why couldn’t I do it, too?
Much to my dismay, I learned this wasn’t going to happen. Why not, the over-emotional writer in me cried out? These are great characters. Readers have asked for their stories. Why couldn’t this be done?
If I had bothered to discuss this concept with my muse beforehand, it would have saved me much angst and heartache. When I finally chased her down, I confronted her with my brilliant idea. Here’s how the conversation went:
Lowly Writer (Me): “Guess what, Agatha! I’m writing a new series.”
(Yes, my muse’s name is Agatha because, well, my name is Christy and that’s how my brain works.)
Agatha: (Who actually prefers to be called Superior Being): “You’re writing a new series?”
Me: “Excuse me. We’re writing a new series.”
Agatha, nodding haughtily. “That’s better. Now, what’s this new series about?”
Me: “It’s a blend of murder/mystery and romantic suspense about three sisters who return home to their small Alabama town to solve their parents’ murders.”
Agatha: “Hmm. Sounds interesting. But what about our LCR series?”
Me, sure of my brilliance: “Well, I was thinking we could use some of the characters from the LCR series and carry them over to the new one.”
Agatha, looking more superior by the minute: “Seriously?”
Me, swallowing nervously: “Yes…You don’t think that’s a good idea?”
Agatha, not even bothering to hide her sarcastic glee: “You want to take your globe-trotting, kick-butt characters who thrive on danger, excitement and intrigue and put them in a small southern town?”
Me, feeling more inferior by the minute: “Well, yes. But there’s danger and intrigue in the town.”
Agatha, shaking her head and rolling her eyes, didn’t even bother to respond.
Me: You don’t think that’ll work?”
Me: “But I…Are you sure? Why not?”
Agatha: “Because I’m the one who inspires and breathes life into these characters and I won’t work that way.”
Me, bewildered and close to tears: “But we could work together. I’m sure we could pull it off.”
Agatha, with an oh so superior sniff: “Either create new characters or I’m out of here.”
Me, walking sadly away, scratching my head and mumbling incoherent curses.
So, the idea of spring-boarding characters from one series to another wasn’t one my muse wanted and my publisher went along with her. So that left me in a dilemma. How to create a different type series but keep the kind of characters I love to write about.
Since the above conversation took place, there have been numerous discussions with my un-amused Muse and myself. We’ve argued the plot, debated the characterizations and thrown verbal insults with alarming regularity. A few weeks ago, in the midst of yet another battle, we came to a mutually satisfying agreement. I will create the small town atmosphere, the plot, and the behind the scenes machinations of the villain. Agatha, er…excuse me, Superior Being, will inspire the kind of characters we both love: strong, resilient heroines readers can identify with and dangerous, sexy, to-die-for heroes that readers, and myself, can fall in love with.
And, because neither of us can let go of Last Chance Rescue and the characters we adore, we’re excited about self-publishing future LCR eBook originals some time in the future. A happy ever after ending that even my stubborn muse can get behind.
Author’s Note: The first book in the, as yet, untitled, small town murder-mystery, sexy romantic suspense series will be released in May 2013. Agatha and I sincerely hope you look forward to the new series.
RU Crew, how have you handled the moving-from-one-series-to-the-next challenge? Have you ever worked on two series simultaneously? Don’t forget: Christy is generously giving away a Last Chance Rescue book (winner’s choice) to two lucky commenters!
Be sure to join us Monday when Katie Lane is here to talk about crafting the small town romance (my favorites!).
A Last Chance Rescue Novel
WHEN RISK IS THE REWARD—LET THE DANGER BEGIN
Adrenaline junkie Jared Livingston has found the perfect blend of exhilaration and danger in his new job at Last Chance Rescue. Raised to depend only on himself, Jared tried marriage, but the end of the relationship renewed his belief that he was meant to be a loner. Now a desperate plea from his ex-wife puts Jared in the unique position of using the skills she despised to rescue her missing daughter. The case brings Jared face-to-face with Mia Ryker, the only agent ever fired from LCR—for playing too far outside the box. Now Mia’s back, and as a team, they’re as compatible as fuel and fire—blowing off tension in each other’s arms, blowing open the secret life of a wealthy philanthropist and his shameful dealings. Their search for the innocent child takes them to places neither have been before—to the edge of danger and to the edge of their hearts.
Bio: Christy Reece is the NYT bestselling author of dark romantic suspense. She lives in Alabama with her husband, five adorable canines, and one very shy turtle. When she’s not writing, reading or laughing at her husband’s weird sense of humor, she can be found feeding, walking and playing with her fur-kids. Find Christy at:
- Back-to-Back Book Releases
- Breaking In as a New Writer
- The Scoop: Using TV Techniques to Write the Killer Novel
- The External Story Versus The Internal Story with Lori Wilde
- Reader Roundup: No Danger of Running Out of Good Romantic Suspense – Amy Alessio