|Down Under Edition|
Hi, it's Yvonne here! :-)
I have a book out this month with Harlequin Desire, SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS…, which is part of a continuity. A continuity is a fun project. Our publishing house draws together a string of ideas and develops an overall story arc, usually with some secret, mystery or question running through it like an unravelling thread, and each book within the continuity brings the reader closer to finding the answers or discovering said secret.
They can be a lot of fun to work on and it’s a collaborative effort between a group of authors—in this case, chosen by the publisher—who have to each flesh out the skeleton of their story and their characters bearing all the other stories and characters in mind. Did I mention that this can be challenging? Juggling balls has never been my forte and when I’m working on a continuity I’m forever screening back through previous emails and the story “bible” to figure out details like who looks like what and how where they live is furnished.
|North America Edition|
The Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul continuity is set in the town of Royal, Texas and while there have been previous continuities under this banner this one sits quite happily on its own if you haven’t read the previous series. To help me research SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS… I bought the whole previous series to get a taste of the world I’d be writing in and I loved it!
You can get your own taste of Texas with the current continuity, or just with SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS…
So, do you guys have any questions about continuities? I’m working on another one now (juggling, juggling!) All questions will go into a draw for one lucky winner to receive a copy of a book from my backlist of their choice (stock permitting.) Ask away!
Yvonne, I love reading continuities! I love following a group of people / setting / storyline though several books.ReplyDelete
And I've found that I love writing them too - my No Stranger To Scandal that was released earlier this year was part of the Daughters of Power, and What Happens in Charleston... was from Dynasties: The Kincaids. Both were so much fun and I loved working with the other authors.
Looking forward to reading Something About The Boss...!
Hi Rachel, I hope you do enjoy it. The continuities are such fun, aren't they? I just wish my memory was better so I didn't have to keep cross-checking everything...even my own facts! LOL!ReplyDelete
Yvonne, it sounds as if you've enjoyed being part of the continuities. I've been part of 2 author-led ones and both were wonderful experiences, but very different from each other. I've never been part of an editor-led one, though. Have you found the way you've worked on each continuity similar or vastly different?ReplyDelete
The author led one I was involved in was very definitely a labour of love and I think each of us felt more invested in each story because we'd planned the "world" and the characters and the plot so intricately. With the editor led continuities it's like playing in someone else's sandpit :-) . So, yeah, I guess, for me it is quite different.Delete
Wow, you've got a continuity story out and you're writing another. You DO love them! I've just finished work on what will be my 2nd continuity and so far the experiences have been positive. For me the most difficult bit has been the beginning - working through a series of plot ideas and making them work for me - developing characters within the plot that talk to me! Once that happens I'm fine. Which do you think you'd prefer - one devised by authors or an editor-let one?
I'm not sure which I prefer, except to say that the editor led ones are less time consuming because you're not involved in perfecting every last detail of the characters and the bible for the story. What I love about an author led continuity is just how well you know each aspect of the continuity as a whole. But what I love about an editor led continuity is that you can just pick up the story bible and run with it.Delete
I love continuity story and have read a few over the years and some of yours before that have been in them. I have often picked up a book read it an loved it and realised it is part of one and then tried to get them all to catch up LOL. Do they have lists at HMB that list them all in order because I do so love reading these in order :)
That's a really good question, Helen, about the lists. It might pay to check on the eharlequin.com site for linked books/series/continuities that you enjoy and if you get no joy there, perhaps an email to customer service?Delete
I love the TCC stories and have several. They are auto buys for me. This one is longer than normal. Does that make it even harder?ReplyDelete
I must confess to a file on my tablet listing characters, partners and jobs so I can keep track - and I'm just a reader.
I also like to see if I can guess the couples as early as possible. Laine
Hi Laine, remind me to go to you next time I need to keep everyone and everything in order! LOL! I like that idea. As to whether or not this continuity is harder, well, for me not so much because my story is the third out of nine so aside from not revealing too much about the overall story arc it's quite straightforward as far as writing it.Delete
I really enjoy continuity stories as I get to see whole family dynamics played out over a number of books.
Do you get to write with authors you know? If not, does it make it easier or harder to write your contributing book?
Lucy, if you don't already know the authors, or haven't worked with them before, you soon get to know one another. We usually create a closed email group where we can ask questions of one another relating to the stories and the characters and as long as everyone replies in a timely manner, because we're all writing our books at different times, things move smoothly. I always try to keep my questions on the email group because you never know what you might be able to inadvertently share with another author. I often pick up little tidbits from others that help flesh out their character in my story that little better.Delete
Hi Yvonne! I love to read continuities. How long do they give you to write your book in the series? If your book is near the front of the pack do you still have to wait until the last one is finished to see if you have to make any major changes to coordinate with the last author's book?ReplyDelete
Hi Marcy, usually we go into contract discussions a few months out from when the books are due. For me, I have quite a tight writing programme and I'm always chasing my tail. The current book I'm working on I have only a month to get it written. The lucky thing about that is that my synopsis is long and detailed and as long as I stick to my synopsis (aka my road map) I won't go off track and as long as I get my hours in on the keyboard/computer I'll meet my goal. Generally we have a couple of editors working on a continuity and one in particular double and triple checks continuity elements and characterisation to ensure it's consistent from book to book. Any big changes are usually worked out at the proposal stage, when we have to all send in our synopses, so hopefully in the writing of the books there are no major changes or inconsistencies.Delete
Hi Yvonne! I love reading and writing continuities too- although I hate waiting for the rest of the series to come out so I can find out what happens to all the characters!ReplyDelete
This one sounds great- how many in this series?
In this TCC continuity, there are nine books, Louisa. Unfortunately one of the authors in this continuity had to withdraw before her book was written, and Maureen Child was able to pick up that story too so she's written two in this continuity. I don't know that that has ever happened in a continuity before.Delete
The continuity I'm working on now is only six.
I love reading continuities. I'm waiting for the budget to allow me to get some more of the titles in this continuity that are already up on eHarlequin. I am curious about how the current TCC is going to wrap up.ReplyDelete
Four questions about continuities
* I know it's probably optimistic, but are you able to share any details yet about the one you are writing about now.
* How are the challenges with editor-led and author-led continuities similar and different?
* Is there any chance of seeing another Down-Under author-led continuity? Diamonds Down Under is still on my book shelf and is still an absolute favourite.
* Is there any reason that editor-led continuities seem to be more common than author-led ones?
Hi Lyn, in answer to your questions:ReplyDelete
* The continuity I'm currently working on is Dynasties: The Lassiters and is set in Cheyenne, Wyoming as well as Los Angeles, California and Boulder, Colorado.
* I think the difference in an editor led continuity is you are working with someone else's original idea and sometimes you might not get the full picture immediately. That said, many authors tweak their stories quite thoroughly if they don't feel 100% comfortable with the outline they've been given. As long as it all works in the end, the editors are happy. As to similarities, you are always dependant on the free sharing of information and other authors getting back to you in a timely fashion.
* Never say never ;-)
* It's probably because of the amount of time and work involved in creating the "world" and story background, let alone the individual story ideas. I know when we worked on Diamonds Down Under we spent many, many hours grooming every idea and teasing it out to make sure we had our facts straight and that we could still continue to develop the romance in each story to satisfy our readers. Also, we're working blind, while putting thoughts together on a story concept. Sometimes, you can present it to the senior editor for a line and have them turn down the entire concept for a variety of reasons which might include that they have books coming up with similar themes ideas already.
Hot cover, Yvonne! I do enjoy continuities, but I also like the books in the series to be able to stand alone. I think it would be interesting to work on one and challenging too because you really can't allow the story to take off in a spontaneous directions. I think some serious planning would be needed and probably some pretty intense brain-storming sessions with the other authors sharing the continuity!ReplyDelete