Janelle’s Time (Book 1)
Janelle’s Time started life in 2002-2003. Wanting to write but knowing my ‘normal’ lifestyle wouldn’t allow for that. I applied for a job on the third shift as a security guard. I had postings in gate-houses of high-end communities.
As it’s quiet during the night, I was able to spend a nice bit of time almost every night, writing. I had an old laptop with Word 6 on board, and an older version of AOL (dial-up). There was no WiFi in those days, and the internet certainly wasn’t what it is today.
A ‘pantser’ writer (no outline or much preparation – just sit down to a blank screen and start writing), I started Janelle’s Time with the character of Richard in mind. The rest evolved over time.
When the first draft was complete, a few friends and family members read it, but I did nothing further with it. I left the night-shift job in favor of one in my field (on the day shift), and ‘shelved’ the book. While it was on my mind a lot over the years, the book stayed on the shelf until 2009 when I started @Writers_Cafe on Twitter. A number of Twitter friends helped me work on the ms to get it ready for publication – a long-time dream was within reach.
In August of 2011, I submitted the book to a publisher. On October 1, 2011, that publisher offered me a contract. The book released on July 11, 2012.
Logan’s Time (Book 4)
The day I submitted Janelle’s Time to the publisher, I started work on Logan’s Time. A minor character in Janelle’s Time, Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, presented himself to me while I was working on Janelle’s Time, and demanded a book of his own.
To those of you who have been around a while, you might remember the Italian male model, Fabio, who, back in the seventies and early eighties, graced the covers of over four-hundred romance novels (and Rosanne Barr’s bed once on the TV show, Roseanne). Fabio was who I was thinking of when I pictured Logan, only bigger, with red hair and deep blue eyes … and an attitude.
I wondered if I could write Logan’s Time. After some consideration, I decided I’d do it. The locale being Scotland gave me reason to be concerned (I’ve never been there), but I also wondered if I could fill a book about a minor character. That turned out to not be a big problem as Logan, on his own, is larger than life.
Logan’s Time is a spinoff, not a sequel, and actually starts, on the timeline, about 30 years before Janelle’s Time. His timeline runs parallel to Richard and Janelle’s. While the families do get together occasionally, parallel timelines makes for some interesting technical situations.
When the two families get together, a description of the event needs to appear in Logan’s Time AND in at least one of the three Grayson books, although with different POVs, and different focal points. It’s an editing nightmare, as the books aren’t being published all at the same time. Once a book is published, that version of an event must stay the same, and the parallel version, regardless of the POV and other points, can’t change significantly, either.
There was a standoff in at the wedding in Janelle’s Time where a fight between Richard and Logan was ‘discussed.’ In Logan’s Time, when I got to the actual time and place of the fight, it didn’t work at all as described in Janelle’s Time. I had to rewrite it. I hadn’t written Janelle’s Time with an actual fight scene in mind. Fortunately, the publisher hadn’t started the edits on Janelle’s Time yet, so I was able to sync the changes in the fight scene to the standoff scene with no trouble.
I’m currently about 75,000 words into Logan’s Time and hope to have the book ready for publishing in 2014.
Moria’s Time (Book 2)
Janelle’s Time covers a timeline of about three years, while Logan’s Time will cover most his life. This left a very unbalanced timeline mess. So, since one of the twins born to Richard and Janelle near the end of Janelle’s Time showed promise as a main character in her own right, Moria’s Time became a sequel to Janelle’s Time. I started Moria’s Time as a NaNoWriMo project in 2011.
Moria and Adelle, twins, are infants at the beginning of the book. Moria grows up to be an exceptional young woman, defying the odds and achieving an amazing goal. The writing of the book has its own set of challenges – Moria has met several real-life historical characters. This offers some fun challenges. Even in the mid-19th century, there was information about the whereabouts and the doings of celebrities and important people. It’s not like now, in the YouTube generation, to be sure, but still, I spent a great deal of time tracking the movements of the historical characters Moria meets, and adjusting the story to make sure she was where she needed to be, when she needed to be there, to interact with these people.
Moria’s, in her early 20s, will be going on an important mission. She’ll be leaving London as one of a large group of women with one of the real-life historical characters as her guide, traveling to the middle-east to a dangerous place, not only to her, but to everyone around her. Richard and Janelle are more than a little concerned for their daughter, but she’s an adult now.
Moria’s Time was published in August of 2013.
Adelle’s Time (Book 3)
Soon after I started Moria’s Time, Adelle appeared to me, and demanded a book with her name on it, simply because Moria hadone. Self-absorbed and self-centered as a child, she intends to live in England and find herself a duke to marry. As a duchess, she’ll have money and power. So, what about love?
After being dumped by an heir-apparent to a ducal title, she returns to the farm in New Hampshire to recover and regroup. Theo never had any intention of a relationship with ‘the-American-farmer’s-daughter’ but neglected to tell her.
A year later, Adelle is ready to try again. She takes on the London aristocracy with the help of an alter-ego she’s convinced will help her get her duke. Almost caught in the act, she realizes this isn’t the way to do it, so she finds another way … and her duke.
While the twins are total opposites in many ways, I realized that doing another sequel to Janelle’s Time, would be a vehicle to highlight those differences in some unusual ways. As the twins reach adulthood and go their separate ways, their familial powers come into focus. This has resulted in some interesting story lines.
I started Adelle’s Time as my NaNoWriMo 2012 project and hope to publish it in early 2014. Between the 50,000 words I did in NaNo, and the words done since in 2 additional sections, one about Theo and the other about Logan, Damian Gerard (the twin’s older brother) and Clarissa (Logan’s oldest daughter), I’m now over 85.000 words and having a great time!
Clarissa’s Time (Book 5)
For quite some time, the series was set to be a 4-book series, but then, I realized there were two timelines running parallel, meaning there was really no way logical and reasonable way to bring the series to an end.
One day, while doing the final edits of Janelle’s Time, I sensed my characters had something to say. I didn’t know who, or what, or why, or even when, but I knew something was brewing and that soon, I’d know what it was.
Towards the end of Janelle’s Time, there’s a short scene where Richard and Janelle, with their infant son, Damian Gerard, and Logan and Rachel, with their infant daughter, Clarissa, are at the church for a christening of their babies.
And, there it was … the communication from the characters. In 2002-2003, I’d written into the scene that Rachel and Janelle wished their two children would one day marry to unite the families. Somehow, ten years previously, I’d written into its pages, the primary focus of book 5 of the series!
How will Clarissa and Damian Gerard end the series? I have no idea, but I’ve written a 2-chapter section into Adelle’s Time that reintroduces Logan, and also tells of how Damian Gerard and Clarissa met after over 15 years since seeing each other last, and the sparks that flew on that day … You need to know the personalities here … Damian Gerard is a Union Army officer, an introvert, and a bookworm. Clarissa is a Scots peer, and a Highlands ‘wild child.’ This is going to be fun!
Clarissa’s Time will be my NaNoWriMo project for 2013, for publication in early 2014.
And, so …
Is this an unconventional way to ‘plan’ a series?
I invite you to read the on-going notes under each book. I know I’ve been remiss in keeping up with this page. It’s all about time, and that’s ironic. The name of my books, collectively, is the TIME Series.
Speaking of TIME … Janelle’s Time, on the main timeline, runs from 1830 to 1833.
Moria’s Time picks up from the end of Janelle’s Time and runs to 1861 when she and her husband sign on for a medical mission.
Adelle’s Time starts in 1854 (her childhood is in Moria’s Time – they’re twins). I don’t know when it will end yet.
Logan’s Time is a spinoff, not a sequel, and begins in 1807 when Logan is 7 years old … well before the beginning of Janelle’s Time. As I haven’t finished this book, I don’t yet know where it will end.
Technically, Clarissa’s Time has already started with 2 chapters in Adelle’s Time which is about how they met. They were born 2 weeks apart on neighboring farms in New Hampshire, but Lady Clarissa is the daughter of Logan, the Scots Duke of Muileach so she grew up in the Scots Highlands. While I haven’t written a word of Clarissa’s Time (that will be my NaNoWriMo project for 2013), the ideas that are bubbling up are amazing. Consider … Damian Gerard is an officer in the American Union Army, an introvert, and a bookworm. Lady Clarissa is a Highlands ‘wild-child.’ Be ready for anything with these two. Even I don’t know what will happen!
I hope you enjoy the TIME Series.