Here’s the Wyoming Series at a glance to help refresh everyone’s memory because looking at a cover helps remember what book an author is talking about:
After The Rancher’s Bride came out, I guess Jeremiah appealed to quite a few people because I have been asked if I’ll write his book. The truth is, I did have someone in mind for him, but the age difference between him and the heroine was greater than what I usually do. I had discussed this age difference early on with a friend, and this person advised me to replace this heroine with someone else. The thing was, I didn’t want to pair him up with someone else. So in the end, I decided the best thing to do was not write the book. That way I could avoid upsetting a lot of people. But then I had a conversation with someone else, and this person pointed out a book where there was a big difference in ages between the hero and heroine. Then I thought in real life, how many men marry women a lot younger than them?
Alright, so here’s the deal. I always had it in my mind that Jeremiah was going to end up with Katie. The problem was that Katie had to be a child in The Rancher’s Bride because that’s how the story worked best for Abby and Thayne’s story. They needed a matchmaking meddler for the story to work. Originally, she was seven (I think), but I bumped her age to ten to make her more mature in the story. I couldn’t, however, make her too much older because she still needed to have some inexperience in order for her matchmaking schemes to come off as innocent rather than manipulative.
Jeremiah’s age was set because of Wade. Wade and Jeremiah grew up as practically brothers, but Jeremiah had to be older than him because he was someone Wade could look to for advice. Wade wasn’t the personality type to take advice from his younger siblings, even if they did make some good points. Someone of Wade’s personality needed someone like Jeremiah to keep him from making rash decisions that would have gotten him killed. So Jeremiah had to be older than Wade. Jeremiah was 34 in The Rancher’s Bride. Katie was 10. This makes him 24 years older than Katie.
Katie is the only person I’m interested in pairing him up with, and I’ll list two reasons.
1. Katie and Jeremiah are prominent characters in the Wyoming Series. I prefer to stick with core characters when I do a series. Introducing a brand new character in Book 4 doesn’t have the same appeal to me as using an existing character who has a history in the series. That is why I paired Wade up with Millie. We saw Millie in the opening scene of The Outlaw’s Bride. For me, it was fun to find out what happened to her and to follow her story from there. I introduced Katie in The Rancher’s Bride. I don’t have to go and create a brand new character when Katie is already there.
2. Jeremiah’s closed off, romantically speaking. He needs someone who has the ability to get through his wall. In order for that to happen, he needs someone who has a sunny outlook on life, is persistent, and is willing to do whatever it takes to wiggle her way into getting what she wants. That fits Katie perfectly. Katie is the only one who can do this. I didn’t intentionally set it up that when I wrote The Rancher’s Bride, but I believe the subconscious part of the brain plays a bigger role in connecting things up in storytelling better than the conscious mind does. This is why I’ve long ago learned to “trust the process”. Somehow, things end up falling into place, and the right characters end up coming together. I don’t consciously pick who ends up with who once I set up Book 1. If I were to try to fix Jeremiah up with anyone else, the story wouldn’t work because he’s not meant to be with anyone else.
I don’t know how many people are put off by the age difference between Jeremiah or Katie, but if you are, this is a book you’ll want to avoid.
Katie is going to be an adult when I write about her and Jeremiah. She’s going to volunteer at the orphanage and young men are going to come by to court her. Jeremiah’s going to be shocked by how old she’s gotten since she’s been out at the ranch with Abby and Thayne most of the time, and Jeremiah will fight his attraction for her because of his age and the fact that he had sworn he’d never marry again. Katie’s going to see him in a new light at the beginning of the story, too, but unlike Jeremiah, she’s not going to fight her feelings for him. So that’s pretty much the setup for the story, and I’m excited about writing it. I even got a cover made for it.
Right now I’m working on A Perilous Marriage, An Earl In Time, Interview for a Wife, and Suitable for Marriage. A Perilous Marriage is almost done. I’m getting close to the end. But when I finish that one, I’m going directly to Heiress of Misfortune because it comes right after A Perilous Marriage, and I want to keep the events from A Perilous Marriage fresh in my mind. So I’m going to start Jeremiah’s romance once I am done with An Earl In Time or Interview for a Wife. It depends on which one gets done first. Regardless, I probably won’t have Jeremiah’s book ready until about March 2022.
I know that seems like a long time from now, and I am anxious to start this book now that I have the stage set for it, but I’m going to be good and finish the other books first.