What goes into writing a series of books? I often wondered how anyone could write more than one story featuring the same main characters until I tried to craft one.
During the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) of 2012, I wrote my first young adult ghost story, A Kiss Out of Time, which was published in 2013 by Featherweight Press. The story features Georgina Claythorne, a seventeen year old psychic and ghost hunter, who is unnaturally attracted to the ghost of a Confederate soldier who haunts her grandmother’s antique shop in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
Having read A Kiss Out of Time, some of my readers, including a few middle school students I taught, wanted to know more about Georgina and her ghost hunting adventures. After “living with Georgina and her boyfriend and fellow ghost hunter in my head” for almost three years, they felt like part of my family. So, I decided to use the 2013 NaNoWriMo to work on a sequel. In this adventure, Georgina confronts not one but two ghosts who haunt her family’s bed and breakfast inn in Ocean Grove. The book became known as A Dance Out of Time.
I wasn’t sure if I’d grow tired of writing about the same character and setting, but I didn’t. Instead I discovered several things in the process. First, I found it resourceful to have previous notes from my first book including a binder with maps, research, outlines, magazine photos, and character sketches nearby as I drafted. Second, I found it helpful to use flashback and connect the previous book to the current story. I also got to know my characters even better. A Dance Out of Time and was published by Featherweight Press in 2015.
Sadly, an accidental fall in 2015 waylaid plans for writing for almost a year after I broke both wrists, required surgery and a year of physical therapy. I am slowly returning to the writing.
Series writing is not for everyone, but I did enjoy my venture into it and will try it again. I might bring out a third story for Georgina and Jake as they are now young adults. In the meantime, I have two other books in the works, another young adult featuring a junior witch and a women’s fiction story about an Irish immigrant, plus a short story coming out in an anthology of historical romances set for publication in the spring of 2017.