Happy July! I hope yours has been a good one, whether sweltering in summer or wrapping-up-warm in winter. Or somewhere in the middle like England, where the weather doesn’t seem able to make its mind up about the season!
I realized recently that all my new books this year will be in multi-author series. Oops! Much as I love these, I’m hoping next year to get some books weitten for my neglected other series, too! Must. Write. Faster.
A few readers have asked what we need to do differently as authors when writing for a multi-author series. Answer – plenty! The most important things are to be willing to work together, compromise, and especially to let God lead. Multiply that by 10 when it’s a closely linked series!
I’m currently involved in three, Billionaire Protectors with Alexa Verde, Chapel Cove Romances with Marion Ueckermann and Alexa, and A Tuscan Legacy including other Inspy Romance authors, Elizabeth Maddrey, Heather Gray, and Narelle Atkins.
A Tuscan Legacy started with a comment to Marion that we should do a multi-author series. Loads of Facebook messages and emails later, we had a setting, a family, an outline for the series plot, and five other authors to each write a book for the series! Each author “owned” her characters and as long as one main element was included and the family background matched,she could do what she wanted with her story. Each book ended up very different, but like a patchwork, they all fitted together to create a unified whole. A real God thing!
In A Tuscan Legacy, books 2-8 were written spread across the world and there could be very little interaction with other series characters. For Chapel Cove Romances, Marion, Alexa, and I worked together more closely. The stories are all set in the same community and use each others’ characters. Coordinating this has taken many hours of Facebook messaging, sometimes daily! Our biggest challenge has been getting the timelines straight. Thankfully none of the other stories will happen concurrently. Phew! And to keep the settings straight, Marion made a wonderful town map. Can’t wait to see how much Chapel Cove changes by Book 12!
With our Billionaire Protectors trilogy, Alexa and I are co-authoring. Alexa prefers the creative rush of writing first draft. I prefer the revision process, seeing the true story emerge. So we brainstorm, she drafts, then I revise the drafts and get them publish-ready. It’s been a big challenge, and a satisfying one!
What happens to books written for a multi-author themed project when the project ends? Books don’t usually disappear, but to work when republished separately, they’ll usually need some changes. Maybe a lot of changes, as I discovered when the Kindle Worlds ended. My book, set in a small Texas town and including many of the lead author’s settings and characters, moved across country to Oregon, changed season from spring to winter, lost several characters and places, and gained 15,000 extra words to become His Healing Touch.
The Arcardia Valley Romances series had stronger links between each authors’ series-within-a-series that to other authors’ books, so when the boxed set of series starters unpublished, the individual authors released them as solo books. Like Valeries’s Garden Grown Romance series and Elizabeth’s Baxter Family Bakery.
Ginger Solomon’s Christmas in July novella for the Love in Mistletoe Springs boxed set, where all the stories centered on a small town animal shelter, needed only minor changes to launch as a solo, Mr. Christmas & Miss Scrooge. And talking of Christmas in July books, Valerie is hosting a page of Christmas-themed Christian romances, all either free, free-with-sign-up, or 99c, until July 25th only.
I hope I haven’t missed any other books by Inspy Romance authors that are or were part of a linked multi-author series.
How do you see multi-author series as a reader? What do you especially like or dislike about them? One comment made on this post by July 30 will be randomly chosen to win the commenter’s choice of my ebooks.