StrangerAtCastonbury2March 1 marks the release of my book A Stranger at Castonbury, the last book in the Castonbury Park series!!  (it’s up for pre-order at Amazon now…)  I will be giving away a copy to one commenter today…

When I was first asked to participate in a series described as “Downton Abbey in the Regency,” I jumped eagerly at the chance! Like so many other people, I am a Downton fanatic and have avidly followed the series from the beginning. (Mary and Matthew! Sybil and Branson! Bates and Anna! Thomas! The scandal! The clothes!). Mix it with another of my favorite things, the Regency period, and I was completely hooked. Also, I was very, very excited at the chance to work with so many authors whose books I love.

But then the reality set in. There were eight of us, and we had to work closely together to create a world as colorful and complex as that of Downton, with interlocking characters, upstairs/downstairs dynamics, scandal and passion. And I had to write the last story, tying it all together and making sure I stayed true to the world of Castonbury and other authors’ characters. Easy and simple, of course. Not!

Luckily one of the things I love best about Downton is how everyone’s lives interlock and entwine, and having the chance to create the same thing at Castonbury was great fun. (And luckily many of the other authors are much more organized than I am, and created spreadsheets and images that made the place come really alive for us all). Through the other stories, I could easily envision the house and the people in it, and by the time I finished writing Stranger at Castonbury, it felt like home.

For more info on the series, visit my website’s Castonbury Page!  Do you like continuity series?  What are some you have followed?  What did you like/not like about series like Downton??