Thursday, March 26, 2009

To Take a Thief

by Nancy Northcott

Today, we welcome Karen Kendall to the Lair. Some of you may remember Karen from last year, when we discussed the video for her first romantic suspense novel, Take Me If You Can. On April 6th her new book, Take Me Two Times, will be released. It’s the sequel to Take Me If You Can, and several characters from that prior book will reappear. Karen joins us today to discuss the joys and pitfalls of sequels and series.

The joy part is easy: as the author, you get to revisit favorite characters that you’ve already developed. Though Take Me Two Times is Gwen’s story (secondary character from TMIYC) it was great fun to bring back Avy (an art recovery agent for the company ARTemis, Inc.) and Liam (the sexy and incorrigible British master thief) in Take Me Two Times. I also delighted in keeping Sheila, the obnoxious office manager for ARTemis, alive on the page and torturing Gwen. And crazy rock star Sid Thresher is back, too! I have such a soft spot for Sid, disgusting as he is . . .

Now for those sequel/series pitfalls.


One of the dangers of bringing popular characters back is their tendency to try to steal the show from the hero/heroine of the new book. This is hard to avoid, because the author has already spent a lot of time fleshing out the former characters—and if the author is like me, she’s banging her head against the keyboard while trying to get a handle on the new ones! Oh, how tempting it was to let Avy and Liam have extra chapters instead of diving deep into the old hurts and conflicts of Gwen and Quinn, her old lover. I had to rap my own knuckles several times.

Another difficulty in developing a sequel and working with former characters is keeping those characters’ conflicts alive . . . you know, the same conflicts that you slaved to resolve in the prior book. Or you can invent a whole new set of conflicts that spin off from the old ones—but again, this is hard work. And then how do you engineer the plot so that the subplot connects properly with it? Believe me, that was an issue that led to further head-banging on my keyboard. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the “t” key and the “y” key are still embedded in my forehead and will one day have to be surgically removed.

But, wait! There are even more problems in series. Have you planted the characters for the next book solidly in the previous one? And have you developed a series “arc”? And what if you made a character an only child in one book but then desperately need to give him a brother in the next? Ooops. What if you’ve made a character a villain in an early book but then decide you’d like to redeem him and bring him back as a hero in a later one? Everything an author does in those early books of the series affects what she can do in later ones. (Does anyone remember the sequel to National Velvet? Was I the only person who noticed that the horse in NV was a gelding, and therefore couldn’t possibly have produced the foal that stars in International Velvet? Again, oooops.)

I’m still developing the third book in my TAKE ME series, Take Me For a Ride (to be released in November ’09) and due to something I mentioned in the April book (Take Me Two Times) I had to set it in a city that I’ve never set foot in! I could have kicked myself as I bought stacks of guide books and looked at Google images and studied maps and did research on the internet. Yep, I had to take off like a rocket on my armchair travels . . .

I hope very much that I’ll get to write more books in the TAKE ME series. But I’m sure that those books will bring their own sets of problems, many of them generated by what I wrote in the first three. Of course a lot of these problems end up being enjoyable puzzles to solve, but I’ll never admit that publicly. What’s that you say? I just did? And on the internet, too. I guess we just discovered yet another pitfall of series and sequels: the art of keeping certain things hidden throughout the books until you’re able to reveal the Big Secret in the end.

Yes, I do have a big secret in the TAKE ME series—and that’s the identity of Kelso, the silent partner in ARTemis, Inc. (Well, sometimes he’s not so silent, but nobody has ever seen him and believe me, they’ve tried.) Who do you think he is? If you want to take a guess, go ahead!

And please feel free to ask me any questions about the characters and books in this series, which revolves around an agency that recovers stolen art. Thanks! Happy reading.

When you read series, do you find yourself becoming interested, as Karen did, in different places? Have you ever read a series in which a character who initially looked like trouble turned out ot be a hero or heroine you loved? Do you have a favorite series with an plot or character question that isn't resolved until the end?

For more about Karen and her books, visit her website, where you can also read an excerpt from Take Me Two Times.

50 comments:

limecello said...

?

fengfk2008 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jo robertson said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Karen! I love to hear authors talk about the blessings and pitfalls of series. I know what you mean by not letting the primary characters take over subsequent stories. I wrote such a strong hero in my first book that he just kept intruding in the next two. Very annoying!

Lisa Kleypas wrote a secondary character in her Wallflower series -- Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent -- who was so wicked that I was sure she would NOT be able to redeem when he had his own book. Boy, but she did pull it off, though, and beautifully.

limecello said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for visiting with us today! I really enjoyed your post - and liked how you talked about the process of writing and developing a story/series arc. I'm glad you got it figured out - and good luck for the future books! As for series... I get really excited, to a point. Say, a quartet. I want to know each and everyone's story, the cameo appearances, everything. Even in the same story universe. But when we reach 6-7 books, or more, I start losing track of characters. I don't remember minor details - and it can get confusing. (Also seven books in generally is stretched pretty thing, so it's a bit more difficult for me to drum up interest in say the original heroine's second cousin thrice removed in book seven. Or eighteen.)
Still -yes, I do get into characters, what they're thinking, how they're doing, how their story world is changing etc. :) It's why I started loving series in the first place. (And the rest is why I love them slightly less, these days.)

limecello said...

As for series I've loved - the quartet I mentioned is the same Jo did - the wallflower series. Um... there are a few more, ones that have ended but I can't think of them :X.
As for one conflict that carries through a series... can't think of one off the top of my head. I know there are a few good ones - ones where even each book is stand alone. (That's what I personally prefer.) But it's nice for each book to have some sort of common bond of conflict, if they're all logically connected.

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations, Limecello!

Karen, welcome back! Nancy, thank you for bringing Karen to us today. Congratulations on the release of Take Me Two Times. It sounds absolutely intriguing.

Love your thoughts on sequels. I don't write series - so far, I haven't really had a good idea for one, frankly. But I brought Verity and Kylemore from Claiming the Courtesan back very briefly at the end of Tempt the Devil. Well, you are so right! They threatened to run away with the story, leaving my poor Olivia and Erith shaking their heads and saying, "What happened? This is supposed to be OUR story!" Got rapped over the knuckle by my very tough critique partner and told to remember just who was the center of this particular tale!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, did everyone see Dianna's page congratulating the Banditas and Bandita Buddies for their Golden Heart and RITA finals? It's gorgeous!

http://hrdwrkdmom.com/Banditas/Congrats/Congrats.html

Helen said...

limecello the GR knows when he is on a good thing and sticks to it have fun with him

Great post and insight into series books. I love reading books in a series it is like visiting old friends and places.

Yes I have read a series where one of the characters in the first book I didn't particually like but the second book in the series was her book and the author really redeemed her in my eyes and I loved it.

I will be adding these two books to my must get list Karen. Thank you Nancy for having Karen over to visit.

Have Fun
Helen

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Karen! Great to have you back in the Lair with us today. I adore series of all types (and I count "connected" books in that category). I really love those with an overarching mystery or storyline and the longer they run, the better I like them, as long as the overarching story remains interesting. The 'In Death' books by JD Robb are great for this, as are the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich.

I love it when a "bad" character is redeemed in a future book, though those books are hard to write sometimes! I like to get inside that character's head and illuminate what really motivates that poor behavior we've seen.

The best example of the "overarching secret" I've seen recently has been in Sabrina Jeffries' School For Heiresses series. She has built, through bits of letters at the beginning of each chapter, a relationship between Charlotte Harris (the school's headmistress) and her Mysterious Benefactor, Cousin Michael. Her readers (me included) are dying to know who Cousin Michael is!

Now I'm putting my obnoxious, smarmy look on to say, I know who Cousin Michael is. I've been reading the final draft of this book all week. Ha! The payoff is sweet for this series and that's all I'll say. Bwahahaha....

Barbara Monajem said...

Ooh, a sexy, incorrigible British master thief? I am so totally hooked! (Will he ever have a book of his own?? Pretty please?)

Jeez, secondary characters do take over, don't they? I'm almost done rewriting the last third of a novel because a secondary character saved the day (oops!). In the rewrite, he's pretty much a basket case. He'll have to wait for his own story to become a genuine hero.

I love series as long as each story has a different hero and heroine. This is usually the case in romances. I've read several mystery series where I got bored after five or six books... Loved the author's writing, but wanted to read about someone new. (Often, I wonder if the author's getting bored, too.)

Christine Merrill wrote a couple of historicals where the villain of one book (a really dastardly guy) redeems himself and becomes the adorable hero of the next.

Then there's the skillfully-managed secondary character who becomes the hero after several other books in a series (this is not a hint about the British master thief, I swear:)) -- for example, Jo Beverley's Lord Rothgar in the Malloren books. I LOVE this kind of character, because by the time his story shows up, I'm totally DYING to read a WHOLE BOOK about him. It must put a lot of pressure on the author, though, to live up to the hype she's not-so-subtly inserted in all the previous books.

No pressure, Karen. None at all!

Off to buy a copy of Take Me If You Can....

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Karen! And thank you, Nancy,for bringing Karen by!

I absolutely love series. I love revisiting characters I met in previous books, seeing how their HEA is going. It's like a mini reunion, & it only makes the love story in progress more attractive to me.

As a writer, however, I totally agree that it's tough to keep continuity issues in line. :-) I'm working on a follow-up right now to a book I never expected to sell, based on a secondary character who was never supposed to be anything more. I made her perfect in book one, so what am I supposed to do now??

Well, short answer? I'm torturing her. It's fun, actually.

A quick question for you, though--did you pitch your Take Me series as a series? Or did you sell the first book, then offer to write some follow-ups with secondary characters? Was the intention all along to write a series, or did you just seize the opportunity?

Terry Odell said...

Ah, to have a series deal instead of a 'one book at a time' where you have to do the opposite. Make sure that each book stands totally on its own because you're not sure if you'll sell all of them.

I love seeing familiar characters. And most of the time, authors can consider themselves lucky that my aging brain cells give them leeway in the pinpoint accuracy department.

However, I did draw the line where I book ended up with a character having a daughter and it was a son in the sequel. To me, that's just plain laziness on the part of the author and shows little respect for the reader.

(I still refer to your workshop notes from your visit to Orlando last year for our CFRW chapter meeting!)

Nancy said...

Limecello, congratulations!

In a long series, keeping everybody straight can be a challenge, can't it? It seems to me that the longer the series and the more characters there are, the more difficult this becomes.

I tend not to be confused if there's a small core group, as Karen appears to have, who appear in the early books, and new characters don't arrive until that core group is well established in my brain.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--

Isn't it fun when a character who's somewhat ominous or annoying or unsympathetic turns out to have heroic traits? Pat Rice's Malcolm/Ives books did that very well.

In the finale of BSG, which y'all know Trish and I followed somewhat fanatically, that happened, but I don't want to give it away for anyone who has it on tape and hasn't watched it yet.

So go watch, already! *g*

In the show Heroes, one of the most villainous characters has demonstrated a good side, though self-interest remains his dominant trait.

Nancy said...

Hi, Limecello--I know there are series where the conflict, or an overarching problem, carries through. I just can't think of one. Aaack! Too much grading!

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time epic builds through multiple books (11? 12?) to a final showdown between good and evil, kind of like the light and dark sides of the Force, that will occur when the hero reaches the mountain where the final confrontation takes place.

Maybe this is more common in science fiction and fantasy. Gordon Dickson's Childe cycle built toward such a confrontation, but Dickson died before it finished (I think but am not sure).

In BSG, which I clearly have on the brain, Stargate SG-1, and Star Trek Voyager, there were continuing storylines. In BSG, the fate of the human race, in SG-1, the battles against the Goa'uld, including the struggles for the Jaffas' freedom, and then the Ori, and in Voyager, the quest for home.

Still no books coming to mind. I need to give this some thought.

Nancy said...

Anna, I think Olivia and Erith held their own, and I enjoyed seeing Kylemore and Verity again. That's part of the fun of sequels.

In the Deanna Raybourn books, one ongoing storyline has been the fate of Julia and Brisbane's relationship, which seems to have been addressed in the most recent book (avoiding spoilers here), and the same would go for St. Cyr and Kat in the C. S. Harris books.

In Jessica Andersen's Nightkeepers series (paranormal romance), the battle to avert the end of the world in 2012 is a continuing story arc.

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--Glad you enjoyed Karen's post. As you noted, it's fun to be surprised by a character.

Nancy said...

Hi, Caren--

Thanks for bringing Cousin Michael to my morning-addled brain! But it really isn't cool of you to taunt us with secret knowledge. *sigh* The rest of us have to wait until the book sees print! I'm glad to know it's a sweet payoff, though. :-)

Nancy said...

Barbara, congratulations on your sale! I'm looking forward to reading your series.

Leigh Greenwood has a series in which there's one villain over several books, I think. Am off to check.

Nancy said...

Hi, Susan--

You wrote: I made her perfect in book one, so what am I supposed to do now??

Give her a secret?

I'm looking forward to reading your book, too, and now I'm curious about the followup!

Nancy said...

Hi, Terry--

I sometimes enjoy generational stories. It depends on how they're done.

One of the things we're discussing in my critique group is the balancing of series and stand-alone elements. One of the guys is doing an SF series, and the books need to stand alone but also have a larger storyline that's ongoing.

Nancy said...

Hi, all--

Karen is having trouble logging on to comment, so she asked me to post this:

Hi, everyone!

Thanks for all of your great comments . . . and a huge congrats to all of you who are Golden Heart and Rita finalists!

I'm reading your comments on series with great interest, especially since I'm an insomniac and was up last night thinking about a very high concept plot to propose for book #4 in the TAKE ME series. I'm not ready to reveal it, though, because I'm afraid to spoil the magic of that first, exciting surge of creativity and brainstorming.

Within the next day or so, check back at www.KarenKendall.com to see if my book video on the whole series is up. It's VERY sexy and I love it as much as the great one Liz Bemis did for me for TAKE ME IF YOU CAN.

She's trying to get this one up today but so far there are some techie issues that I don't comprehend, LOL.

Okay, so I'll check back in later! Again, thanks for all the insightful comments. Have a great day, Karen Kendall

Minna said...

Oh, I do like it when bad character turns out to be good.

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Karen! Thanks for a great post about writing series. I adore series and love when a seemingly irredeemable character is redeemed *g*

What's your secret for keeping your facts/characters/timeline straight? Any tips you've learned on making writing a series easier?

jo robertson said...

I agree, Nancy. There are certain lines, however, that a character can't cross (at least in romance) and redeem himself. Or are there? Hmmm, interesting dilemma. Interesting theme.

Karen Kendall said...

Hi, everyone!

Thanks for all of your great comments . . . and a huge congrats to all
of
you who are Golden Heart and Rita finalists!

I'm reading your comments on series with great interest, especially
since
I'm an insomniac and was up last night thinking about a very high
concept plot
to propose for book #4 in the TAKE ME series. I'm not ready to reveal
it,
though, because I'm afraid to spoil the magic of that first, exciting
surge of


creativity and brainstorming.

Within the next day or so, check back at www.KarenKendall.com to see if
my book
video on the whole series is up. It's VERY sexy and I love it as much
as the
great one Liz Bemis did for me for TAKE ME IF YOU CAN.

She's trying to get this one up today but so far there are some techie
issues that I don't comprehend, LOL.

Okay, so I'll check back in later! Again, thanks for all the insightful
comments. Have a great day, Karen Kendall

Karen Kendall said...

Susan asked, "A quick question for you, though--did you pitch your Take Me series as a series?"

Susan, I did actually pitch the TAKE ME books as a series. I said, "Imagine if the Thomas Crown Affair (remake) was a series . . . and it revolves around an agency that recovers stolen art. Each character will have their own romance and larger-than-life adventure."

My editor said, "Wow! How did you come up with that?"

I said, "Because I didn't want the Thomas Crown Affair to end. LOL."

I've also always been fascinated with such real-life art recovery detectives as Robert Volpe, Charley Hill and former FBI agent Thomas McShane.

It drives me crazy that the world's great art is viewed as a commercial commodity these days. But don't get me started on that topic! LOL.

Best, Karen (who finally figured out that I could just establish a Google account and post my own answers to your comments. Sometimes I'm not so swift . . .)

Karen Kendall said...

Beth asks, "What's your secret for keeping your facts/characters/timeline straight? Any tips you've learned on making writing a series easier?"

Hi, Beth--

I wish that I could tell you that I was one of those people who keep a detailed, color-coded binder . . . but that would be a big lie!

As a very organic writer, I simply reread the former books before crafting the final draft of a proposal and I'll reread after turning a ms in, too, so I can fix anything that needs to be fixed in revisions.

Bottom line, though, these characters are very real to me, so keeping up with the details of their lives is kind of like remembering the details of my friends' lives. Okay, I screw up occasionally, but that's how I operate.

I do know authors who have those color-coded binders and spread-sheets, though. And I might even succumb and do that if this series is allowed to go longer than three books. (The third book in the series, TAKE ME FOR A RIDE, will be out this November.)

How do you keep track, those of you who write series? I'm very interested!

Best, Karen

Treethyme said...

Barbara - I totally agree about each book having a separate hero/heroine who get their HEA at the end. I know it's becoming more popular to carry the same heroine through a multi-book character arc, and I've read some books written that way that I still liked. But I always prefer a happy ending, and I'd rather not have it drawn out.

I also read Christine Merrill's books and, I agree, she handled it well. Another author who succeeded in transforming a rake to a hero was Maya Rodale, with her Heir and the Spare and The Rogue and the Rival.

Nora Roberts first hooked me on series books (hers are usually trilogies), but a lot of authors are writing series books now.

I like it when the plot is complex enough to carry it off, but if it's not, I have to really like the characters.

I hadn't read the Wallflowers series, by the way, but I'm intrigued enough about Sebastian that I'm going to have to add them to my TBR pile.

Cassondra said...

Hello Karen, and welcome back to the lair!

All the manuscripts I've written thus far are connected. They're not all in the same series, but three are. I didn't start out to do that, it's just that the secondary characters demanded their own books. I'm not so certain I've done as well with the overarching story though. I'm working on revisions to improve that part, but we'll see how it goes. It's kinda something you needed to begin with, I think, but I didn't have. It's nice to know up front I guess, that you're gonna do a series, so you don't have to bang your head wishing you could undo what's already out there.

As for reading series, I love them. I'm voracious to get the whole bunch of the books and I've been known to buy them, hold them, and not read them until I can have all of them. I have no patience for waiting a year to find out what happens to a character I love. OR WORSE--in continuing characters like the mystery series I'm in now, to find out which guy gets the girl! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

Karen these sound terrific. But I don't remember your bio enough to know whether your background is in art or not. How did you come to do this kind of agency? Did it take a lot of research?

Nancy said...

Dianna, before I forget, I wanted to say what a beautiful congratulations page you have on your site for the GH and Rita finalists! That's such a nice thing for you to do.

Nancy said...

Hi, Beth--

In a sense, all romance novels are about redemption, to me. Some characters just need more redeeming than others. *g*

Nancy said...

Karen, your comment about the Thomas Crown affair was interesting. Did you like the "classic" version, with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway? Or was it Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo who grabbed you?

Was there anything that grabbed you about it, aside from the art intrigue (I'm assuming)that we might see in Take Me Two Times?

I loved Take Me If You Can and am eager to read the sequel.

Nancy said...

Hi, Treethyme--I think having the romantic arc go through more than one book is more common in other genres than in romance. After a while, I'm ready for the heroine to fish or cut bait.

Nancy said...

Hi, Cassondra--

I'm not big on that "taking a year for the next part thing" either. And I do tend to get a TV box set and watch it straight through to the extent I can. I get a better feel for story arc that way, and I feel more involved.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Karen! Waving to you from England, now, instead of NJ! Great to have you back in the Lair. Nancy, thanks for luring her back.

And, being a total fan-girl here, I'm so glad I don't have to wait much longer for Gwen's book! I loved Take Me If You Can. I can understand why you wanted to bring back Sid *g* - he's such a great character. Hey, he loves his dog!

Of course, now that you've mentioned others in the series, I'll be impatiently waiting for those too.

I love series. I love recurring characters. I love to see how they've moved on and developed. Anna C - loved what you did with Verity and Kylemore! I enjoy JD Robb's books as we see how her secondaries develop. Who can fail to smile when Mavis appears?!

An excellent series is Mariah Stewart's Dead books. I remember at the beginning of the third one, wondering how she could pull off the conclusion of the trilogy. How she did it blew me away!

Susan Mallery's Sweet series had a fascinating premise and some tough character issues. As always, she did a masterful job of redeeming all three sisters in a credible and satisfying way.

Other favourites include Tess Gerritsen, Suz Brockmann and Lisa Gardner.

I love Terri Garey's Nicki Styx series - her latest shows how even the Devil can be sympathetic (and totally hot!). I really like how she handled that.

Great points about how hard it is to write a series - I'm printing and keeping for reference! Nothing is more irritating than inconsistencies *g*! And yes, I've learned to keep a bible - so I an remember how old the heroine's daughter is and what colour the hero's best friend's eyes are!

Beth said...

How do you keep track, those of you who write series? I'm very interested!

Thanks so much for answering my question, Karen.

I'm working on a YA series and it's the first time I've 'planned' a series. So far I have ideas for 4 books with a major plotline that will run through all 4 stories. So I picked up a binder and made lots of notes - everything from characters' names to setting descriptions to one page outlines of each story.

Then once I had everything written down, I started working on the synopsis for the first story and haven't looked at the binder since :-)

But at least I know the information is there if I need it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Karen! WE always love having guests come back and update us on what's going on with them and their newest releases!

I'm one of those people who likes to revisit characters in series books, see how they still interact with the newest hero/heroine and how they're world has changed now that they've got the right partner to fulfill their lives!

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--That's a great list of series and recurring characters. The recent Lair conversations have convinced me to try those J. D. Robb books y'all recommended.

Karen Kendall said...

Cassondra wrote:

Karen these sound terrific. But I don't remember your bio enough to know whether your background is in art or not. How did you come to do this kind of agency? Did it take a lot of research?

Hi, Cassondra! Yes, my background is in the most useless (from a practical standpoint) subject in the world: art history. But I loved it, and now I'm able to use it in this series, which is great fun.

There actually ARE agencies out there that specialize in art recovery, but I deliberately did not contact any because I wanted to create my own story world. I did read lots of books on art crime and art detectives, and I continue to do that--but it's really almost for pleasure because I find it all so fascinating.

Best, Karen

Nancy said...

Beth, your series plans sound very impressive. I can't imagine having things planned out so meticulously.

I noticed Anna's comment about having a bible, and that also sounds useful. I don't usually forget things like hair and eye color, but I do sometimes have to stop and think about locations of things.

Karen Kendall said...

Nancy wrote:

Karen, your comment about the Thomas Crown affair was interesting. Did you like the "classic" version, with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway? Or was it Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo who grabbed you?

Was there anything that grabbed you about it, aside from the art intrigue (I'm assuming)that we might see in Take Me Two Times?

I loved Take Me If You Can and am eager to read the sequel.


Hi, Nancy--

I actually didn't like the original Thomas Crown Affair at all. It's the remake that I love!

In TAKE ME TWO TIMES, you'll see that Gwen, like Catherine Banning (the Renee Russo character) does work on commission, recovering stolen art for insurance companies. But the hero of TMTT, Quinn, is not the thief.

Thanks for the nice comments on TAKE ME IF YOU CAN. Best, Karen

Karen Kendall said...

Anna writes,

Hi Karen! Waving to you from England, now, instead of NJ!

Hi, Anna! I remember you well. Waving back at ya! When are you coming back to the U.S.?

Best, Karen

Nancy said...

Karen, I would take Pierce Brosnan over Steve McQueen any day. I've seen the very end of that movie, and I liked the Renee Russo character.

It's another one of those movies we keep meaning to rent.

Cassondra said...

Nancy wrote:

I noticed Anna's comment about having a bible, and that also sounds useful. I don't usually forget things like hair and eye color, but I do sometimes have to stop and think about locations of things.

Oh, I do. I forget because I change them. It'll start out one way--brown hair, blue eyed hero....then I'll realize that's the same thing I did in my last manuscript and I'll change it up, brown hair BROWN eyes this time.... then I'll have to have notes to remember, because I always tend to think of him the way I originally "saw" him, which gets redundant. I keep a notebook for each book, and I keep all the ones for the series together in the same spot on the shelf, so I can review character arcs, family trees, parental craziness--and all that--to remember what made the characters so messed up in the first place. Sometimes I have to go back just to remind myself..."why was this guy so scared of relationships again????"

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

It's another one of those movies we keep meaning to rent.


I've rented the Pierce Brosnan one three times now and still haven't gotten around to watching it. We do that with films. We rent them, then get busy and rack up the overdue charges, then take them back and pay enough to have gone to the theatre to see it, then still haven't seen it.

Ah well.....

I hear that Pierce Brosnan one is really good (grin).

Christine Wells said...

Hi Karen! Welcome to the lair! Nancy thanks so much for bringing Karen to us. I'm always fascinated by the creation of series. I love getting to know characters and following them through subsequent adventures.

Also love the bad boy-turned hero. That's one of my favourite tropes!

Are you a plotter Karen? If you are, do you think that makes it a lot easier when you write series?

Anna Sugden said...

Hope to see you in DC, Karen!

Karen Kendall said...

Are you a plotter Karen? If you are, do you think that makes it a lot easier when you write series?

Christine,

usually plotting (at least the intricate kind) is my worst nightmare, because I'm not really a logical, linear thinker. So plotting this series has been half deliberate, half accidental . . . then I weave together later, LOL. It's all a soup of characterization and goals/twists/turns in my head. I think a lot of books are like that, though.

Best, Karen

Karen Kendall said...

Anna writes,

Hope to see you in DC, Karen!

Unfortunately I'm not going to make it this year--I have a family thing . . . but have fun!!!

Thanks to EVERYONE here at Romance Bandits for making this blog a pleasure. Have a great spring full of lots of good books!

Best, Karen