Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Remember When . . . Old Characters Appeared in New Books?


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When I first turned The Lost Heiress into Bethany House, it didn't occur to me that I wasn't just building a world for one series...that I was, in fact, building a world for all my English-set historicals. But when I began writing my next English-set historical series, Shadows Over England, I made the decision that I'd keep it in the same world.

What does that mean? It means that there might be some common characters. It means that I'm not going to contradict in later books things I set forth in those first ones. It means that any time someone is referenced as "The Most This" or "The Worst That", it'll be the same in all the books.

It means that Brook and Justin and Rowena and Brice attended one of Lucas's concerts and get a mention in A Song Unheard. It means that Cayton and Ella commission a clockwork toy for little Addie's birthday one year, and the clockmaker they choose is my heroine's father in An Hour Unspent.

When I pitched The Codebreakers (my new series) to Bethany House, it just seemed a given that this would be in the same story world too. My editor not only liked that idea, he asked me to rearrange the books I pitched so that Margot from A Song Unheard (who I'd originally envisioned as the final heroine in the series) was the first heroine.

It was a message on Facebook, asking me if Brook and Justin would ever make an appearance in any later books, that really made me think, "Why am I only mentioning them but never giving them page time? Let's see what my first characters are up to during the Great War!" And so began what I hope will be a fun crossover in The Number of Love.

It made me ask questions I'd never asked. "Would my heroes from those previous books, which ended a year before war broke out, have signed up--or been drafted?" and "What would those previous heroines be doing for the war effort?"

Thus far, I've addressed Brook and Justin. Justin has joined the Royal Naval Air Force and is now a flying ace stationed at Northolt, just outside London. To be close to him, Brook and their boys are staying at their London townhouse, so that whenever he has leave, they can visit. And of course, since she's in London, she isn't going to be sitting on her hands doing nothing. She volunteers at Charing Cross Hospital, which receives all the wounded from the front lines, where she rather enjoys butting heads with the ward matron over what a duchess should and should not do in such a position. 😉

But I've yet to bring up Brice and Rowena, or Ella and Cayton. So I'll ask you guys to use your imaginations with me! What do you think my other characters from the Ladies of the Manor Series would be up to during the Great War?


3 comments:

  1. Hmmm, going to need to give that some thought!!!

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  2. Okay, this makes me really happy. I love it when beloved characters make cameo appearances in someone else's story. I imagine that Brice is having a crisis of faith because the Lord has clearly told him that he cannot join the fight aboard. To the outside world it simply appears that he cannot fight because he is without an heir (only daughters). Instead of serving in the trenches, Brice gets involved with the Foreign Office (or is it the Home Office) and can be involved with the code breakers. As for Rowena, she too would like to assist, but a difficult pregnancy has her on the sidelines. There might be a way for Rowena to have an influence on your main characters. You know Willa and Rosemary still have a couple of "sisters" that have stories to be told.

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  3. I feel as if Ella would somehow be involved with efforts for orphans or widows during the war. I can imagine a sweet scene where Ella reads to children and Cayton looks on lovingly. His sunshine bringing sunshine to others in a dark time. Truly, I just want to see my favorite Ladies of the Manner series couple still just as precious as always!

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