Recipe for a multi-author series
Take one initial idea and discuss with an author friend. Allow God’s inspiration (via plenty of idea sparking and prayer!) to fire possible story lines and characters. Add five more authors and mix well. Marinate in story inspiration, more prayer, and plenty of group discussion. Add a pinch of differing opinions to add spice to the mix. Bake for eighteen months to allow the flavours of each author’s unique story and characters to develop fully. Serve to readers while still hot.
Of course, every multi-author project is different, but that’s how it worked for A Tuscan Legacy, a new nine-book multi-author series launching from April 17th.
It started back in September 2016, when I mentioned to Marion Ueckermann we could consider a multi-author series for our next group project, like a Love Inspired continuity. Each book a complete romance, no cliff-hangers, but with a story thread running through the books to link them all together. I had no idea what it would be about, but it just felt right to do it. We threw around some ideas via email and Facebook messaging, often both writing the same thing at the same time.
LOL, turns out we do that a lot!
We both had characters with Italian backgrounds we wanted to give stories of their own. Hers is Rafaele, best friend of the hero in A Romance for Rose. Mine is Rachel, the grown-up daughter of 50-something heroine Maggie in Least Expected. I knew Rachel had a tough and unforgiving Italian grandmother she’d never met, living in Tuscany. All it took was to give Rafaele the same grandmother, along with three siblings and three American cousins, and A Tuscan Legacy was born!
Well, it took a little more than that. Like most authors, we have way more ideas than we have time to write the stories! So we asked God to send us the right authors to work with on the series, then asked some Christian contemporary romance authors we knew and liked both as people and as authors if they’d be interested in joining us.
God really blessed us with who He provided! Each of us so different. Each bringing our own talents and opinions to the set. Each taking the sketchy background provided for the eight cousins and turning them into fully fleshed out characters of their own, giving them real and relatable personalities and distinct stories. I’ve loved watching as every author brought something new and fresh to the series and added their own unique style.
And seeing other authors at work reminded me yet again how when we do any creative work, whether that be writing, crafting, cooking, gardening, art, or raising a family, we become co-creators with God of this little part of His creation He’s asked us to be part of. It’s a wonderful blessing and a privilege.
I’ve also discovered that writing for a connected series like this is way harder than I thought it would be! Because other authors’ characters also appear in our books, keeping the characters consistent between stories and making sure we don’t have any conflicts is essential. I can’t have another author’s character doing something in my book when according to the author who “owns” the character, character A wouldn’t possibly have done that! Ironing this out needed a lot of discussion and collaboration (ongoing for some of us who are still getting our stories publish-ready!)
Working closely on scenes like that is a time-consuming challenge that simply doesn’t arise when writing our own series books or working with other authors on a set of unrelated books. But it’s turned out to also be an unexpected blessing, bringing out nuances and insights one author alone might not see.
Books 1, 2 & 3 are now on preorder, with the next six books coming soon. You can begin your journey to Tuscany on April 17th with Marion’s Book 1. That’s Amore is Rafaele’s story, introducing all the cousins as they come to the family Tuscan villa in spring to celebrate their grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Book 2, Elizabeth’s story, is set in Washington DC. Book 3, Alexa’s story, takes readers to Texas! By Book 9, when they reunite at Villa Rossi in early fall, all eight cousins have found their lifetime love, as well as deepened their relationship with God.
We hope you’ll enjoy taking the journey with us!
ABOUT A TUSCAN LEGACY
Eight grandchildren–one legacy!
When Isabella Rossi invites each of her adult grandchildren to her estate in the Tuscan hills for her eightieth birthday, she hopes to reunite a family fractured by distance, death, and secrets.
The birthday gift of a painting, arriving unsigned and with no sender’s details, rips open old heartbreak. One family secret has already been revealed, her youngest son Albertino’s illegitimate English daughter. Now it seems there could be yet more secrets.
Returning home, the cousins scattered across three continents each discover their lifetime love. When they gather again at the villa as summer ends, the remaining secrets are revealed. But can they be forgiven, or will the mistakes of the past be repeated?
THAT’S AMORE Book 1 by Marion Ueckermann
LUNA ROSA Book 2 by Elizabeth Maddrey
RAPSODIA Book 3 by Alexa Verde
TI AMO Book 4 by Marion Ueckermann
LA FIAMMA SACRA Book 5 by Clare Revell
BELLA NOTTE Book 6 by Heather Gray
SOLO TU Book 7 by Narelle Atkins
DOLCE VITA Book 8 by Autumn Macarthur
LA RISPOSTA Book 9 by Autumn Macarthur
To find out more about the series, read book excerpts, and be notified when each book releases, visit the A Tuscan Legacy Amazon page and click the yellow “Follow” button!
And a quick reminder – today is the final day of the Books in Bloom spring promo hosted by Valerie Comer. If you love bargain Christian romance, please visit the promo page to see the free and 99c ebooks on offer!
Have you ever travelled to Italy? If so, what did you love most about it? Or if you haven’t visited the country but would like to, what would you look forward to most about your trip? One comment on this post before April 10 will be randomly chosen to win their choice of my ebooks.