Risky Regencies

Diamonds Day 3 With Amanda

Welcome to the wrap-up of our “Diamonds” celebration! Remember, there are 3, count ’em, 3 chances to win a copy! We’ll pick a winner from each day’s comments…

What was it like to write these connected stories with friends?

Much easier than I thought it would be, LOL! I’m pretty much a ‘pantser’ writer–my stories sometimes tend to change directions when the characters want to go down another pathway (though deadlines have forced me into plotting more than I used to!). In fact, the plot of Charlotte and the Wicked Lord did change once, but early on, before I even really got started. I wasn’t sure how that would work in collaboration. My previous novellas were both in themed anthologies (‘Christmas’ being the theme), with no connection between the stories at all. I didn’t even know who the other authors were until I saw a book cover! This was a much different experience.

But it all did go much smoother than I feared! Maybe because we already knew each other, were familiar with each other’s work, and shared a deep interest in the time period and in family dynamics. We were able to coordinate very easily. And the Fitzmannings felt so “real” to us! That made it lots of fun, too.

Tell us about Charlotte and the Wicked Lord!

Charlotte and the Wicked Lord is the last of the 3 stories, which I think made my job a bit easier than Diane’s or Deb’s! Everyone else was happily married by the time this story rolls around.

Charlotte is the youngest, and sort of the ‘wild child’ of the family (no easy task, that!). She’s a writer, and loves to be free, out in nature with her dogs (Oliver and Octavia, inspired by my own Pug dog, Victoria) and her imagination. But now she’s 18 years old, a bit at loose ends with her sisters married, and realizes she has always been in love with the handsome, charming Drew Bassington, a friend of her brothers. (Drew, as a reader pointed out to me, was not really ‘wicked’–more of a reformed rake!). He’s taken on a new responsibility in his life after the death of his older brother, and is looking for a proper, respectable bride.

‘Proper and respectable’ are two things Charlotte has never been, but she is sure she can show Drew how right they are for each other. If only her family can refrain from their disastrous ‘helping’!

I’ve actually been buried in writing some darker stories lately, so Charlotte and Drew and their antics were a welcome, more humorous change!!!

What was ‘risky’ about this story?

I think the whole anthology was a bit ‘risky’! First, could we pull off such interconnected stories and characters in a seamless way? Could we make it work, make the Fitzmannings seem real? And the wild, scandalous family themselves are a risk! Who could believe their antics? And yet history (especially English history!) is full of families even more eccentric than then Fitzmannings!

What’s next for you?

Oh, gosh, where to start?! In November 2009, watch for The Winter Queen, an Elizabethan tale of dangerous plots and even more dangerous romance in the Christmas of 1564 (which was so cold, the Thames froze through enough for a frost fair!). Also in November, I will have an as-yet-unnamed novella in an as-yet-unnamed Christmas anthology, which has a connection to the Fitzmannings. Drew Bassington’s sister-in-law, Mary, and her old flame Dominic, Viscount Amesby, have to join forces to save her younger sister from making the same mistakes Mary once did! It should be a fun, Sense and Sensibility style holiday story. (I also have a book in the pipeline about the Duke, Nicholas, and Lady Emily, who is not quite the icicle everyone thinks…)

In September, Signet is reissuing two of my old Regencies in a two-for-one volume called Spirited Brides (One Touch of Magic and a Loving Spirit, just in time for Halloween!)

And 2010 is going to be super-busy. My “Muses of Mayfair” Regency trilogy from Harlequin will be making its US debut in April, May, and June! (I am so excited about this). And in February, watch for the debut of my alter-ego Laurel McKee, with Countess of Scandal from Grand Central Publishing.

So, now it’s your turn! Do you like to follow interconnected stories/series? Do you think your own family could star in an anthology?? Any friends you’d like to work with?

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Jane Austen
13 years ago

My family could definitely star in an anthology. My great great grandfather was J. D. Rockefeller’s right hand man during the early twentieth century and the oil boom in NW PA.

My great aunt is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the World’s Most Earrings, but has only recently pierced her ears. Before that only her dog’s ears were pierced.

My eldest sister manages a whitewater rafting company. My other sister is a global force in sustainable packaging and travels around the world creating recycling programs. My little brother is an anti-money laundering specialist for the US government and I am an art theft buff who knows all about art theft, but I also love to read about courtesans and female spies. I am convinced the FBI is watching what I check out from the library. Ha!

We had a cousin who was on Apollo 13 (Kevin Bacon played him in the movie). my one cousin is a professional champion fisher woman and enters big fishing competitions for a living.

According to our family tree we are old school American coming over on my father’s side at the settlement at Jamestown and on my mother’s side with William Penn. My dad’s family is descended from Dutch royalty. We are also part of the famous Emmet’s from Ireland and our family owns a castle there (it’s a small castle, but it has gargoyles).

I think we’d make a great anthology. We’re all a little bit off the mark sort of like the Fitzmannings.

Margay
13 years ago

I do like the interconnected stories because I like reconnecting with characters, even if they are secondary in other stories – kind of like real life. As for my family starring in an anthology…wow, that would be something! I don’t think I’ll list it all out here – because it very easily could become a book – but I guess I would have to say, yes, i think it would make an interesting anthology.

Margay

CrystalGB
13 years ago

I like interconnected stories. You get to revisit characters from previous books and characters that are introduced in the first book get their own story.
There might be a few family stories that would work for an anthology.

jcp
jcp
13 years ago

I follow series (full length books) but I tend to read a book of stories centered on one theme but buy successive anthologies in different volumes.

Caffey
13 years ago

Hi Amanda! Its so great you three became dear friends even more than you all were from doing this project together. I love that he’s called the ‘Wicked Lord’ I was just watching The Match Game and saying to myself ‘How wicked is he?’ Even tho he’s reformed he must of been wicked at one time, smile.

Congrats on your new single titles next year as Laurel McKee! And too the 3 in a row books! Lots to look forward to Amanda!

I love connected stories and series! I especially love knowing that they all will have their HEA or I’d always wonder! I do love so many series. Some series are very long, like now book #45, and those if you want to jump in now and only read books in order, thats a problem. LOL. Recently I found one like that and ended up reading the first book and then reading the new one and when I can, read another. I had to do that with very long series so I could kind of be where the stories are happening now. I have 3 other sisters and 2 brothers, so just thinking about that, it would be a 6 book series! I’d want it to be set historically too! I’m the only deaf, but my 3 other sisters are hearing impaired, but not the boys. All so different personalities! It would be neat!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! It is raining here (AGAIN), so I’m glad I have the Riskies here to cheer me up. 🙂

I do love hearing people’s family stories! My own family wouldn’t make a very interesting anthology (there’s not enough of us, for one thing, and we tend to keep to ourselves. And there’s never been a magical family heirloom to be saved, or a bunch of cousins vowing to never, ever marry, as so often happens in these stories! But there is my crazy-cat-lady aunt…)

Deb Marlowe
13 years ago

Good morning Amanda! I’m back from “Muffins with Mom” at elementary school, they were NOT prepared for the number of moms who showed up. LOL!

I was going to say that my family has a few book-worthy characters in it–but then I read Jane Austen’s post! Wow! She makes our Welbourne brood look tame! How wonderful for you, Jane/Rachel to grow up amidst so many stories and characters!

azteclady
13 years ago

My family is weird, but not interesting enough 😉

I really appreciate the fact that the basis for these stories is rooted in actual history; a regular complaint about some of the scandalous mesealliances in romance novels is just how “unlikely” such shenanigans would have been. But people behave like people no matter what period they live in, right? So really, why not?

Best of luck with the book!

Jane Austen
13 years ago

Deb,

Yes it has been very interesting. I think it’s fun to know your family’s history and it’s fun to make sure you add a bit of colour to your generation for future generations.

We have oral traditions on my mom’s side of the family. We have stories that are passed from generation to generation by word of mouth only. They have not been written down. I was told once that this is dangerous because we could lose these traditions, but so far we are going strong. Besides it’s fun to teach the new generation the stories and the accents (because of course there has to be accents!) I am actually thinking of creating a new oral tradition from my life and my story about study in Wales. I think it could be way fun.

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

Wow, Jane, your family WOULD make a great anthology! I think its marvelous that you know so much about your ancestors.

My family would only star in an anthology if Jeff Foxworthy wrote it. My SIL has actually said “Brian, come move this transmission out of the bathtub so I can take a bath!”

However, my other brother recently had the Southeastern Paranormal Research team visit his house because of odd goings on there. Turns out it is being haunted by the ghost of a man who died there. His wife, apparently sat out on the porch and cried for months after his death and he is drawn to my SIL because she is the same age his wife was when he died. Neat stuff, especially as the brother in question is the biggest cynic about this sort of thing that I know.

I loved Charlotte’s story and I especially loved her pugs! They really stole the show. And I loved the idea that Drew had always wanted to be a member of the Fitzmanning family.

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

If my family starred in a book, it sure wouldn’t be a romance. Except for, maybe, my aunt and her husband, who are as deeply in love as when they married 18 or so years ago.

I’d love to work with some writer friends, they know who they are!

I forgot to comment yesterday on Diane’s post, but I did tell Deb I just received the Diamonds anth. Yay! Thanks, guys!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Jane/Rachel, you should definitely write all that down!! My grandmother used to tell family stories all the time, and we urged her to write them down before she (and we) forgot, but she never did. They weren’t as fascinating as your family, for sure, but I still wish she had…

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“Turns out it is being haunted by the ghost of a man who died there”

oh, ugh, Louisa! That would definitely creep me out to find out I was sharing my house with a ghost. At least the ghost sounds like a romantic…

The Pugs in the story are very much based on my own dog (though she is getting older now, and is not quite as peppy as she once was!). The twirling, the chasing, the obsession with food–all Puggy 🙂

Cara King
13 years ago

If my family starred in an anthology, it might be called “The crazy family who talked all the time and was weirdly picky about food and loved Star Trek.” Or something. Not exactly a best-seller, but that’s probably a good thing. 🙂

Cara

Helen
13 years ago

I love interconnected books and stories for me it seems to bring me closer to the characters in the books.
This book sounds so good I can’t wait to get it I am really looking forward to reading it all of the Girls sound so much fun and I do love pugs I had one when I was young and he was beautiful and my sister has two Cocoa and Milo.

Have Fun
Helen

sarabelle
13 years ago

NIce question. I dont think my family would make a good anthology, at least I know that I wouldnt want to read it. 🙂

SandyH
13 years ago

I like interconnected stories; however, I do get tired when authors keep going with the same family about about 7 books. I think they need a beginning book and a definite ending book.

Jane
13 years ago

I do like interconnected stories. It’s great to visit with past characters.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Hi, I’ve been gone all day at Ft. Meade, MD, for a Retired officers Wives luncheon. About 30 authors attended, including our Janet and Sally MacKenzie who guest blogs tomorrow. Very nice fun.

My books so far have been connected, but have not been about one family. And my family would make a boring anthology

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

I like to read books in a series, especially those that have a book about the brothers and sisters.
My family would make an interesting book but nothing remarkable happened in their lives. They were just a hard-working family that lived the American Dream.
JOYE
JWIsleyATaol.com

Jane Austen
13 years ago

I like interconnected stories. I like to know what happens to a secondary character that you might have felt an affinity for in a previous book. It doesn’t have to be a family it could just be a group of friends. There was one Regency I was reading that had a secondary character that I really enjoyed and I wanted to learn her story, but the author, who did do interconnected stories, didn’t capitalize on her. It made me very sad. I wish I could remember what book it was. Now I won’t sleep tonight.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Oh, and I gotta say, Jane Austen, I read your biography and I had no idea you were related to an astronaut, a white water rafter, or a Guinness Record holder.

And, I’d write another anthology with Deb and Amanda in a heartbeat!!!

Jane Austen
13 years ago

Yes, I know I led a quiet life, but my family didn’t 🙂

Obviously this is my other persona’s family…the Rachel side of Jane Austen. It is actually fun to have all these characters in the family, but it’s a hard standard to live up to as well.

I still lead a quiet life. I might be fascinated by art theft, but I am a librarian by trade.

I’m excited to see that there will be more Welbourne stories. Will the names be announced here or perhaps on someone’s website? I just don’t want to miss one because I am really enjoying the series.

I will admit that Brenner is my favorite hero. He is exactly what I like in a hero.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“I still lead a quiet life. I might be fascinated by art theft, but I am a librarian by trade.”

I always thought was what reading was good for–living lives I would never want to experience for “real” but am curious about, LOL! (that’s why writing is fun, too…)

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

I will admit that Brenner is my favorite hero. He is exactly what I like in a hero.Awwwww, Thanks, Rachel/Jane!

I love a hero who does the right thing, even though he’s kicking and screaming inside and doesn’t want to admit he’s doing it. I swear Brenner appeared full-blown in my imagination as soon as we had the basic story idea.

Virginia
13 years ago

I love interconnected stories because I love to revisit the charactors and find out what has happened in their lives. Sometimes it seems that some stories end to soon and you never know what happened to the rest of the charactors.

Margie
Margie
13 years ago

Hi, Amanda! I love following interconnected stories and series! Most of the characters get their own stories and you get to follow up with characters that were introduced in the first book or story.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Gee, thanks, Margie!

Maureen
13 years ago

I do like interconnected stories as long as each story can stand alone and I understand what’s going on since I tend to start series in the middle.

kimmyl
13 years ago

My family could fit into a soap opera rather than anthology. LOL
I love series. I love getting to know the other characters in the story and still get to know what happens to the main characters.

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