For the last little while I've been plotting a series. Okay, a number of series (I'm easily distracted with other stories!).
So I thought I'd share my process of setting up Book #1 in a series. Generally, I'll have a germ of an idea - it might be a springboard from a scene I've seen on TV, or something that I've seen happen to me, family, friends, or even strangers.
Shadow Breeds was started with a group of readers filling out a questionnaire about what they wanted to read in a story, and then I incorporated as many items, quirks and character traits suggested as possible, and created a universe out of it that has spawned to date four books, with another two still to come.
My romantic suspense novel, Runaway Lies, was spawned by an incident my sister witnessed (the opening scene), and I played the game of 'What If...' and 'Why on Earth...'
Then I have to set my series somewhere. City? Small town? An alternate reality? A cruise ship? I will admit to be being a massive fan of the following shows: Underground Cities, The 100, Stargate, etc., and the settings used in these shows inspired the underground facility I used in Vampire Undone (due out late 2017).
Then I have to 'cast' my series. I create an ensemble of characters, make them unique and special in their own way, with their own backstories that contribute to who they are now, and also their own story when it's time to share.
This is possibly the most challenging, and most time-consuming element of my series set up. What do my characters look like? (I'm the first person to forget what colour my hero's eyes are, so having pictures is handy. At least, that's my excuse).
Some of my leading men...
See, I told you it's hard work.
So tell me, is there an interesting setting or hot hunk you'd like to see in a story? Please share in the comments (you never know, you might end up reading it in one of my books!)