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?