By Judith Keim
I love writing a series of books. Sometimes, I think it’s easier than writing a stand-alone; other times, I know it’s not. The advantages of writing a series seem obvious–the setting and many of the characters tend to remain the same. But in order to make each book different, a different kind of work is necessary.
In the Desert Flowers/Desert Sage Inn series, each woman’s story is quite different. Yes, they’re brought together to help Alec Thurston as he is dying. But each woman, of different ages, has a unique history with him and their time at the Inn. I like creating differences like this, giving the reader a chance to know these women as individuals who come together for a common cause, building friendships along the way. Friendships among women, family, and women working together to overcome obstacles are common themes in my books.
Weaving them together from Book #1 through the end of the series is interesting and frustrating work. Book #1 contains the most threads for understanding the main characters and their goals. These threads are then pulled through the following books to make the characters consistent even as they face surprises and challenges along the way. But, of course, the books would be boring if consistency was the main goal of storytelling. It is those very surprises and life lessons that build the story in each of the books.
In Lily, the newly released book in the series, early readers have loved her character and have lived with her through the pain and joy in her story. In the upcoming book, Willow, we follow Willow’s journey. And in Mistletoe and Holly, we have a sweet closing. Both Willow and Mistletoe and Holly will be released in 2022. Stay tuned!
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