It’s kinda strange sometimes. I’m still celebrating the release of An Hour Unspent, book 3 in the Shadows Over England Series. But I’m in the editorial process for The Number of Love, book 1 of the next series and halfway finished writing the second one, tentatively titled The Wings of Devotion. These won’t release until 2019 and 2020. So while the general reading public is in one place, I’m working 18 months ahead. I thought I’d give you just a bit of silly behind-the-scenes of how this sometimes works for an author. =)
When I pitched my new series, The Codebreakers, to Bethany House, I was writing An Hour Unspent and editing A Song Unheard. And I was SO GLAD we got the go-ahead when we did, because of how closely the stories are related.
See, at first, I had Margot being 11 or 12 in A Song Unheard. I wanted her to be still fully a child so that her precocious brilliance was even more striking. Did I still intend her to be a heroine in the next series?
Yes. But my initial thought was to make her the last heroine in the series. My thought, at the time, was to call the series The Men of Room 40 and then make it rather cheeky that the last “man” was, in fact, a girl. My plan was, in fact, to have her story set after the war, during an interesting turn of events in Russia.
My editor said, “Yeah, no. How about instead you make her the first heroine to bridge the two series and set it during the war? Of course, then you have to change the series title. It’s not clever if it’s the first one.”
So, being a brainstormer, I got to work on that and soon devised a story for Margot that would be set in the war. But, well…I can’t exactly have a heroine who’s only 15 or 16 in an adult romance. I decided that if I put her adventure toward the end of the war–I went with 1917-18 so that I still had room for the other two books to be set in the end days of the war too–and had her be just barely 18, that could work. Doing the math, I came to the conclusion that she would then be 14 during A Song Unheard.
Luckily, we were still in edits on that one, so I could go in pretty easily and change her age and actions where necessary to make her more age-appropriate.