Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Wild One - Janet Glover

It gives me great pleasure to welcome one of publisher Choc Lit's authors to my blog, in what will be a bi-monthly feature. This month it's the turn of Janet Glover who talks about 'the importance of continuity' when approaching writing a series of books. First let me introduce her current book (Book 2 in the Coorah Creek series) and then Janet herself.

About the book...
Can four wounded souls find love? 

Iraq war veteran Dan Mitchell once disobeyed an order – and it nearly destroyed him. Now a national park ranger in the Australian outback, he’s faced with another order he is unwilling to obey ...

Photographer Rachel Quinn seeks out beauty in unlikely places. Her work comforted Dan in his darkest days. But Quinn knows darkness too – and Dan soon realises she needs his help as much as he needs hers.

Carrie Bryant was a talented jockey until a racing accident broke her nerve. Now Dan and Quinn need her expertise, but can she face her fear? And could horse breeder, Justin Fraser, a man fighting to save his own heritage, be the person to help put that fear to rest?

The wounds you can’t see are the hardest to heal ...

About the author...

Janet lives in Surrey with her English husband but grew up in the Australian outback surrounded by books. She solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, explored jungles with Edgar Rice Burroughs and shot to the stars with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. After studying journalism at Queensland University she became a television journalist, first in Australia, then in Asia and Europe. During her career Janet saw and did a lot of unusual things. She met one Pope, at least three Prime Ministers, a few movie stars and a dolphin. Janet now works in television production and travels extensively with her job.

Janet’s first short story, The Last Dragon, was published in 2002. Since then she has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Elizabeth Goudge Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has previously published three novels with Little Black Dress, Flight to Coorah Creek was Janet’s debut with Choc Lit.

Author Links:-

Guest post...

Not long ago, I sat looking at a blank computer screen thinking – Oh dear, what have I done?

What I’ve done of course is write a series: specifically the Coorah Creek series. In my own defence  it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

The idea was that all the novels would share a setting: the small outback Australian town of Coorah Creek. They also share characters. Each book can be read as a stand-alone story, with its own hero and heroine, but a lot of the same people appear in each book. The hero and heroine of Book 1 appear in Book 2… and so forth. Thus we get to see what happens after I type The End in their story.

Some of the characters in the town also appear in every book:  Trish, the gossip with a heart of gold at the pub and Ed at the garage. They might not be the central characters, but they give that feeling of community.

And the town itself also becomes a character. Its history is important. So too is its future.

I knew there would be some catches to writing a series – continuity is important. The first thing I did was to start drawing a map of the town. Every building that appears in the book gets marked on that map. Every person gets their home marked on the map. In fact, this piece of white cardboard with pencil marks all over it has become a feature of the décor in my office.  The Grand Designs Team probably would not approve.

The second thing I did was to start a spreadsheet for details about characters. Their names, ages and descriptions and so forth, because it’s very easy to forget what colour eyes a secondary character has. Or how long their hair is. I’m now discovering I also have to make a note about what events they participate in. Who was at the Christmas party in Book 3? Who was at the planning meeting in Book 2?

I have discovered that writing a series is hard…  BUT …

I have also discovered that writing a series is the greatest fun.

When I wrote The Wild One, I got to go back to Coorah Creek and spend some time with people I had already met and come to like. And I got to know more about Dan Mitchell, the park ranger we met briefly in Flight To Coorah Creek. And then there was Carrie Bryant, the injured jockey in the first book. It was so good to find out the next step in her story. Not to mentioning gossiping with Trish at the pub again.

Book 3 is written. In it we get to share Christmas with our friends in Coorah Creek (more news on that to come later this year)

I’m in the middle of book 4 now and really enjoying spending more time with my other friends. Someone asked me the other day how many Coorah Creek books I am planning to write. I really don’t know. You see, Chris at the mine wants me to tell his story. So too does young unwed mother Nikki. And then there’s the mayor… I’d love to know why he is so very sad.

Coorah Creek is like a real town to me. There are so many people, good and bad, with stories to tell. I hope you’ll come back with me from time to time.

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