Recently (as in the past week), I got to talking with a couple of author friends (you all probably recognize the names Janet Syas Nitsick and Stephannie Beman since I’ve mentioned them before). So we decided to co-author some books, though in a different way, which I’ll explain.
But first, I don’t have any covers yet. I love to do covers because they’re fun to look at when I make posts about the books I’m working on. For some reason, the story doesn’t feel real until I see the cover.
The Book Stephannie and I Are Working On
We are working together on the same book. I’m doing the heroine’s point of view, and Stephannie’s doing the hero’s point of view. That way we have two very distinct voices and have equal work put into the story. The story is a historical western set in Wyoming in 1868 or so. We’ve decided to call it The Stagecoach Bride. It begins when a mail-order bride (Lillian Christian) is on her way to marry a man when a group of outlaws (led by hero Mic Nichols) kidnap her and send a letter to her intended demanding a ransom for her return. There’s a good reason Mic and the others are kidnapping her, but the question (of course) is why. 🙂 I can’t say much more than that because I don’t want to spoil the book.
We’re working on the book together on a chat program. I’ll write something down then send it to her to see and she’ll write something. So it’s constant back and forth, which actually makes it easy because the heroine will say something and depending on what the hero says, her next action or statement will help turn the story in a certain direction. This is entirely a “seat by the pants” style because there’s no way I can predict what Stephannie will come up with nor can she predict what I do.
We’re thinking of making this a series and calling it the Wild Hearts Series.
The Book Jan and I Are Working On
First, the books with Jan. She and I have decided we’re going to do a historical set in Nebraska in 1876. But this historical will be two novellas featuring two friends (and the brothers who fall in love with them). Both friends meet on a train heading for Lincoln, Nebraska. One, Opal, is a young woman who decided to become a governess to a wealthy man (Phillip) who is a widower with two young children. The other, Madeline, is a young woman whose brother has arranged for her to marry Alex (Phillip’s younger brother).
Upon arriving at the train station in Lincoln, Phillip mistakes Madeline for the governess and falls in love with her immediately. But then he realized Madeline is the woman his brother has arranged to marry. So the conflict, of course, has to do with this plot. I’ll be writing Madeline and Phillip’s story.
Jan will be writing Opal and Alex’s story. I’m not sure where their romance comes in at this stage but know there’s a conflict between Phillip and Alex where Alex wants to buy the cobbler store Phillip owns and there’s a problem with Phillip wondering if Alex is mature enough to run his own business. (Alex is 19 and Phillip is 27 so there’s enough of an age difference where the two will be at odds, and I’m sure this will affect how things play out with Madeline and Opal.)
So these are two novellas, one written by me and the other by Jan, but both of which tells stories that connect up together. So this will be placed into one book. We still haven’t figured out a title but are considering “Love Stops In Lincoln” then dividing it into Madeline’s Story and Opal’s Story. If anyone has any ideas on a possible title, I’d love to hear it. We’re currently brainstorming so we’re open to suggestions.
His Reluctant Lady
I haven’t forgotten this book. It’s turning out more like a puzzle than a book, though, because I’m trying to figure out the best order for some of the scenes in it. I have about twenty chapters already done, but it’s hard to figure out the best way to put them all together. I figure I’ll be done with the first draft in 1-3 weeks, depending on how much more these characters want to do. I’m having a lot of fun with them. Christopher and Agatha have a ton of chemistry.
I also love how he manages to get under Perry’s skin (just because he loves to annoy him). I know it sounds bad, but it’s too funny because Christopher sees Perry as a very stuffy and boring person while we know he’s not when Perry was in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife. But see, in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife, we are given Nate’s point of view and how he sees Perry. What I love about doing series is how the same character can appear so different depending on which character’s point of view I’m writing them in.
His Abducted Bride
This story came to a grinding halt at the time when it took a more “fantasy” turn. I used to write fantasy, but now I know why I only wrote one fantasy book a year (or less). I’d much rather be writing romance. I was having tons of fun and loving this book while the focus was on the romance between Sandy and Gavin (a cocky but lovable guy). The story was flowing well and coming naturally. Then I’m at the point where the real villain makes his play and then I’m like, “Oh no. I do not want to send Sandy off to the Lake of Woes where she can find that unicorn I mentioned earlier in the book who will take her out of her story.”
Because I know if I go down that path, I will spend about 20,000 words describing her journey and all the stuff she’ll see along the way (all the obstacles, etc) she’ll have to overcome. Fantasy (to me) is a formula book. They say romance is a formula, and that would be accurate too, but the fun is finding out how the hero and heroine get to their happy ending. Fantasy is similar. Different adventures (roadblocks) are set up to prevent the hero/heroine from getting to their goal (and sometimes this is spread out across three books or more). I understand to fantasy lovers, that is the fun part. How they get to their goal. But for me, it’s not how they get to their goal; it’s how they get back to their love interest. And that is a big difference.
So I’m going to knock off the fantasy heavy part and shorten the time before Sandy can be back with Gavin because that is all I really care about. I’m hoping to have this book’s first draft done around mid-June. *fingers crossed*