Pages

Monday, August 13, 2007

THREE THREES MAKE A TRILOGY

What is it about the trilogy that is so potent? Readers seem to love them and, for the author the benefits, in the form of extra promotion, a “buzz”, means that we all strive to find that little extra something that give an idea wings and takes it beyond a single title.

Having done it once, with Boardroom Bridegrooms, I had caught the “trilogy” bug, but these books aren’t written in the same casual way as linked stories in which characters flow from one book into another. A trilogy is almost always published in consecutive months and for a single writer it means producing three books within six months. Story outlines and artwork ideas are required by editorial before even the first book is finished. It’s a pressure cooker environment and the author needs to cancel any idea of a “life” outside the work before she takes it on.

Following eye surgery, it was not a scenario I felt able to commit to, but there was another way. Not one author writing three books, but three authors writing three books linked by a theme.

I approached my editor with my proposal for three books, three authors, three continents. She thought it was a workable idea and all I had to do was persuade the two authors who I thought were a style and emotional “match” to come and play “trilogies” with me. It helped that I’d met both Barbara Hannay and Jackie Braun in New York and London. Flatteringly, they were enthusiastic, a great start, and we burned up cyberspace brainstorming “themes”, settings, the initial “meet” that would set everything off. Were they to be long term friends? Had they only just met? What event had brought these women, from America, Australia and the UK, together in one place?


We discarded weddings, funerals and a whole heap of scenarios before Barbara’s sister, with her charitable cycling adventures in the Himalayas, provided us with that opening scenario, the kick-off point, the moment in time when the world turned back on itself for our three heroines. We were assigned an editor who would work on all three books to ensure continuity and, heart-in-mouth we sent in our proposals. Her response to mine was a heartfelt “You never make it easy for yourself, Liz...”

It isn’t me – honestly.

Belle (she would insist on being called Belinda, despite the fact that I stamped my foot and said “No, no, no!”) was there from the moment the theme was set. Believe me, my objections weren’t just to her name. I was also saying “No, no, no” to the whole idea of a blonde bombshell breakfast television presenter as a heroine from the moment she wandered onto the page.

Please.

I mean, really...

In the end I let her have her own way since I know from experience that a character who has a mind of her own from the word go is always going to be winner. I also knew that this book was going to be dark, emotional, difficult, although unexpectedly, once I started writing, the humour crept in.

As soon as we got editorial approval, and because I was first up in the schedule, I wrote the set-up as my first chapter – you can read an excerpt at my
website. It’s published almost exactly as I first wrote it, which is unusual – although I was asked to write a short prologue when I’d finished. As soon as Barb and Jackie were happy with the way their characters had been portrayed, we were off and running.

Since each of our books stands completely on its own, once we had actually started writing, it was simply a matter of keeping in touch, organising time lines so that when our characters lives touched whether by email or SMS, it “worked”.

I can’t speak for Barb and Jackie, but working with them was a truly rewarding experience. I’ve already read Barb’s book, which is available now online and retail next month, and it truly lives up to the promise of heartrending secret it contains. I’m now anxiously waiting for the postman to deliver a copy of Jackie’s book so that I can find out how she wraps up the story!



“SECRETS WE KEEP”

In the breathtaking peaks of the Himalayas, three women, on the most challenging adventure of their lives, share the secrets of their hearts and make a pact that will change everything.

Three extraordinary women.
Three unforgettable heroes.
Three emotionally charged books.

Reunited: Marriage in a Million, August 2007,
Liz Fielding
Needed: Her Mr Right, September 2007,
Barbara Hannay
Found: Her Long Lost Husband, October 2007,
Jackie Braun

“Liz Fielding begins “Secrets We Keep” with Reunited: Marriage in a Million, a moving yet frequently amusing tale. Highlighted by truly great characterization, it’s one of the author’s best.” ...Romantic Times, ****½







3 comments:

Lois said...

Oh heck, I love series, whether it is triologies or way more! :) It's always great to know there is something coming in the future to look forward to! :)

Well, until the series ends. . . ;)

Lois

deseng said...

Series books are my favorites! I have already fallen in love with a character and having a continuation of their life adds so much depth to the story.

Michele

Nathalie said...

Ok... so I am not the only one who likes series overall... anyway I am anxious to read this one :)