Monday, November 5, 2018

Series Wrapping

You may look at the title of this blog post and wonder, "what the hell is she talking about?" Pretty simple, it's just my way of saying "prequel." Look at all the series books that have been published, and then, bingo, just when you thought you were finished, the author decides to write a "prequel" just so you can fully understand what happens before we meet them. (Star Wars anyone?)

John Quiggins
When I got the idea for LADY OLIVIA'S UNDOING, I knew she needed a lover. That it was John Quiggins was a no-brainer for me. However, what was MY undoing, was Henry Wade. He came to me from out-of-the-blue and was the perfect foil for Olivia and John's hush-hush affair.

However, once The Reluctant Grooms series ended, Henry became an integral part of my thought process and I wanted to write HIS story, the story of his and Olivia's love affair and why they could never be together. That could only mean one thing...I needed to write a prequel. But I didn't want to write it just any old way, I wanted to incorporate the people I had already written about.

So, I set the timeline at seven years before THE LADY'S MASQUERADE (where The Releuctant Grooms begins), when Henry comes home from the war. In THE DUKE'S DIVORCE we learn Robert has a tendency to drink heavily, shuns the marriage mart, and believes his father's death was his fault. Call me an armchair psychologist, but I had always wanted to tell Robert and Stephen Carlton's story. Henry's book gave me the opportunity to do just that.

Fans have been begging me for YEARS to make Davingdale and Ophelia's novella into a full-length novel. For YEARS I have been unobliging, not because I didn't have the backstory, but because I knew he would show up somewhere else. And he does throughout various books in The Ladies of Dunbury. I believe it's almost as good as writing his own novel. (Truth be told, the main reason I won't write Davingdale's pre-history is I just don't have the time.)

What my plan was, and still is for these two series, is for the reader to be satisfied that all the loose ends are tied up, there are no unanswered questions for the reader, and to show that through time, everyone does indeed have a happily ever after. As a Regency romance novelist, the timeline is crucial. I wanted to have it all wrapped up before Prince George becomes the Regent. Therefore, Henry Wade and his cast had to arrive before that happened.

(Here's a little secret--at the end of The Reluctant Grooms and The Ladies of Dunbury, everyone has had or will have children. Somewhere deep down in my writerly core, there lives another series about those children, set in the Victorian era. Maybe I'll save that for my retirement.)

Anyway, that's why I wrote the series the way I did. And because when Ladies is finished, you can read either series first. The other will follow right behind it, or in front of it, whichever you prefer. They wrap around each other.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2018

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