Sunday, June 3, 2018

#Brainstorm With Me-Help Me #Write My Book


Hundreds of you read my blog, but you never leave a comment. Today, I'm hoping you'll break the mold and give me some feedback. Brainstorm with me. I have a new series simmering, some chapters written, and I'm vacillating on how to continue. Speak out readers and writers. Help me write these books. I don't usually find myself so undecided. I'm kind of a type A, do-it-my-way kind of lady. In this case, I see so many possibilities, I'm mystified. me write this series! Cool?

There's an old mining town, hanging on the side of a hill, turned ghost town, turned hippie/art community and is now a popular tourist stop in Arizona. Many of the old hippies who settled there in the 60s are still there.

I've renamed the city Joshua, Arizona. It's those early days in the 60s when the population was only one hundred people that my imagination took off. They were suddenly overrun by newcomers. They were not always happy with the free-wheeling, anything goes artists and anti-establishment people who ended up owning shops,
serving on the city council, and establishing an art community. They were about mind expansion, auras, crystals, vibes, and a little of the occult.

In 1969, Frank MacKenzie, an artist, and Susie Muse, a mystic who has a book/cafe, are part of the hippie settlers. This will be a love story, but also a story of suspense as they try to become members of the community. Two other books of romantic suspense will be about his sister and her brother.

I have three more books planned that take place roughly between 2018 and 2021. These three books will also be romantic suspense about their three children, Magpie, Harlan, and Elidor. Elidor is the only one to have inherited her mother's mystic charms. Magpie is book one, and the murder of her father's girlfriend and disappearance of her boyfriend twenty-eight years ago has resurfaced in some other worldly way. Harlan is book two, and he makes a discovery that is eerie and dangerous. Elidor has finally come home to face her mystical demons. (In the years between the 60s books and current era books, Susie Muse dies.)

Should I start the series with 1969?
Should I publish the current era's books and then go back and publish the books about the family's beginnings?
Would this be a 6 book series to you?
Would this be two separate trilogies?
Should I write the current decade books and drop in flashbacks to where the family began in the 60s so that I don't do a separate trilogy for those early years but combine them?

I'd love to hear your opinions. Have a hand in this!


  1. So many choices!! LOL For starters, 6 books may be a reach unless each book is very detailed, which may lose some readers. Weaving flashbacks into current storyline sounds very appealing. It seems like there are multiple themes...the occult, mining history, hippie invasion, murder and effect it will all have on the 3 children. Is there a thread that will tie the books together? Start there in Book 1. Just thinking through this wore me out...I don't know how you do it!! Good luck xo

    1. Thanks, Nancy. Yeah, I'm kind of intrigued about weaving it all together. The books will all be set in Joshua and about the same family. Supporting characters can show up in multiple books.

  2. Thinking about this from a sales perspective... The 60's is not a popular historical era if you want to pitch this to a bigger publisher. For that reason alone, I'd start with the current books. If they sell well, you could then pitch the precursor books as ad-on's or a second series, whatever your pub wants. If you plan to self-publish, this wouldn't matter so much.

    I only have one MAJOR issue. First, these characters sound really interesting. But if I'd read the 1st three books and knew Susie Muse was going to die (even if it wasn't until after her story was over), I would be reluctant to read her book. I hate it when the hero or heroine gets killed off...even if it's after the fact. I feel like all my emotional investment is for nothing. That might just be me, though. If you wrote the early books first, and then I got to book 4 and discovered SM was dead, I'd probably be totally pissed! Irrational reaction, maybe. Just putting it out there. I'd suggest writing the three current books first and use flashbacks to tell some of Frank and SM's story in each book. You could still add the sister and brother books as books 4 and 5 (hopefully they aren't dead), set in the 60's, but Frank and SM's story would essentially be told already. Or maybe I'm just a big baby and others wouldn't mind this!

    1. You make a very good point, Jannine. I could really piss off some readers if they'd invested time in reading and felt like fans of the stories. Hmmm, okay, makes the weaving idea even more appealing. That's two votes interested in the flashbacks. Thanks!

  3. For whatever reason, I am totally onboard with Jannine in that I would be majorly pissed if a character I had come to know and love was killed off. I even quit reading the John Jakes historical series when he so ruthlessly killed off Anne Ware. I also agree that books set in the 60s would be harder to sell to a new publisher. That leaves you with writing the current books, but weaving in the previous happenings. One device you could use would be SM’s diary or something. Maybe she wrote a book of her own even. Think about the movie The Bridges of Madison County. Totally told in flashback, wasn’t it? Anyway, my two cents. As far as the numbers of books in the series, I would suggest as many as you need to tell the stories. Even if they are two separate three book series.

    1. Margo, so sorry I didn't respond sooner. I had limited Internet. Thanks for your input!