Friday, September 14, 2012

Roz Denny Fox - Duke: Deputy Cowboy


Writing a book within a continuity is fun, yet challenging.  The challenge is for a group of authors to take a cast of  characters and mesh them together using a common setting.  The Harts of Rodeo held great appeal for me as I knew it would be a family saga populated with ranchers, rodeo cowboys, cowgirls and people who would become their life partners.  As well, I knew and admired the storytelling of the other 5 writers.  

The fun began as we met online and endeavored to tell our stories while keeping each other’s characters consistent.  People have said to me, wouldn’t it be easier to write the first or last book?  I don’t think so.  

In book 1, Aiden-Loyal Cowboy by Cathy McDavid, introduces the entire family, establishes the ranch setting and tells Aiden (Ace) Hart’s love story.  Book 2, Colton: Rodeo Cowboy by C.J. Carmichael builds on Cathy’s story, throws in a bit of drama between Colt and Aiden, and brings in new characters that carry into book 3, Duke: Deputy Cowboy (my story).  

In book 2, C.J. shows thefts at the ranch and around town that gives my deputy hero, a family cousin, enough trouble to keep him busy for a whole book.  To say nothing of him going off to ride bulls at rodeos even after he falls for a woman who runs an animal rescue ranch.  She has no love for rodeos or rodeo cowboys. (well—she doesn’t to start) Duke’s boss, Sheriff Dinah Hart is prominent in book 4 Austin: Second Chance Cowboy by Shelley Galloway, along with Austin Wright, cowboy and family friend.  

I’m afraid I left Dinah a bit of an unsolved mess which causes her greater grief with the man she comes to love.  Book 5’s hero, Beau Adams is Duke’s twin.  In Beau: Cowboy Protector, author, Marin Thomas not only deals with a new, troubled love for Beau, but also a former love of the twin’s father.  

So by now you can begin to see what pitfalls we’ve all tossed out for the author of book 6, Linda Warren.  In Tomas: Cowboy Homecoming, she must masterfully weave in all characters, plus bring home the youngest Hart son, Tomas, Tuf, show him and the family at the last big rodeo, and find him a lady love—oh, and tie up any loose ends.

Interestingly I saw Lionel Riche interviewed recently and he said his songs have such lasting appeal because they all center around love which is something every person in the world seeks or yearns for.  I think those of us lucky enough to write love stories feel the same way.

By now I’m sure you can see the fun and the challenge in writing connected stories, however.  So which book in a continuity do you believe would be easiest to write and why?  Share your thoughts and one lucky reader will receive a copy of my book along with a mystery prize!

***Roz's winner is Ellen Too!  Please email your mailing info to totebag@authorsoundrelations.com.***

24 comments:

  1. I'm thinking it would have to be the first. It's all ahead of you.

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  2. I think maybe the last one. That way you already know everything that's happened before. I love continuities, I enjoy finding out what happens to characters after their story ends.

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  3. I think maybe the first one because you would have a clean slate (sort of) to write without having to work in what has happened in the other books. But I don't imagine any of them would be really easy.

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  4. Beginning the series would be the most interesting and best to write about. It involves concentrating on the characters which you create and the storyline which evolves.

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  5. A new series is so fascinating. I think that this challenge would be presented with the first book. Inventing everything from scratch.

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  6. The last book to me would be the easiest to write since you are wrapping up the whole continuity of stories. I have read books like that and love the whole similar character theme along with the families and drama that they share. Oh my gosh! You met Lionel Richie? That is so cool! I love his music. Congrats on your book Roz!

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  7. What a great idea, to take all of these connected characters and weave them together by different authors.
    At first I thought the 1st book would be the easiest to write, then I remebered that you'd have to make all those pesky decisions. So then I thought the last book...but if you miss a thread you are going to get letters and email pointing out the mistakes, so now I'm for one of the middle books. You already have an idea of where it's going and you get the fun of tossing out some threads for the later books to tie together.
    Congrats Roz!

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  8. It sounds like the group of authors agreed on a few things, then each author got to add complications. So far, most posters have said going first would be easiest, a couple voting for last. I have no idea so I'm going to guess going second- the first author can leave you with some complications that you need to wrap up but you have a lot of decisions made and your characters can get into trouble for the third book- which would be you, Roz! The middle book might be the most complicated and difficult...

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  9. I think the second one might be easier because you will have read the first and gotten a feel for what you think should happen. It can give you some room to play around with the story and add more support to carry it.

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  10. I love continuity books. I think the first book would be the easiest to write since you get to decide which characters and the story plot to start with. After the first book, the other writers have to continue with your characters and story plot, plus add theirs.

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  11. It would have to the first for me, you get to
    list and set some the "cast" members but you
    don't have to fully develop their stories.

    Pat C.


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  12. I like bouncing off of other people's ideas, so I think ones in the middle would be the most fun to write, but it's a huge challenge keeping the continuity of "flavor" across different books. That's an amazing talent! - Vicky L.

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  13. Every time I read about the series, I get excited again. So happy and proud to be part of this continuity. All such great books!! Roz is such an emotional writer and pens fabulous reads :)

    If I can add a plug, Wyatt: Return of the Cowboy is a free e-novella prequel available online at Amazon and B&N.

    Yee, haw to the Harts of Montana.

    Cathy McDavid

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  14. Hi, I love seeing all of the comments. I see Cathy didn't say which slot in a continuity she thought was easier and she was # 1 in The Harts, and I can't recall which book she wrote in last year's series. I think if you do a lot of brainstorming the characters seem real and each book rolls off easier. We all got to read the books in manuscript format. Still I know we can't wait to read them again as they come out in published form. Hope you all like the family.

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  15. I think the last book would be the easiest in a way to write because you can finally give closure to the characters and stop torturing them:) On the other hand it would also probably be the hardest since giving the characters closure would also mean giving them up to start a new project.

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  16. I loved working on this series! I was the lucky one writing Book #2. (I agree with Leni!) I was happy because Cathy did all the work setting things up, and I didn't have too much to keep straight in book #2. I'm not sure how I'd remember all the loose ends by the time story #6 comes around--but I do know that Linda does a fabulous job.

    Ros, I think I heard that same interview with Lionel Ritchie. I was really impressed.

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  17. It was such fun to be a part of The Harts of the Rodeo continuity series and to work with such great authors. I had the last book in the continuity and I have to tell you it was the hardest to write. I had to juggle 12 characters, my own love story and tie up the thread concerning the black stallion, Midnight. So many times I had to go back and see what this character was doing in Book 1 or what happened to that character in Book 4 or 5 - to be consistent. I think I have a few more gray hair.LOL But the books turned out fantastic so don't miss the Harts of Montana. You'll love them.

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  18. Probably the last book in the series. The author would really know the settings & the characters by them (I like it when the earlier characters come to visit). And all open issues can be wrapped up. But maybe it's harder than I think, after all I'm a Reader not the writer.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  19. Thank you Cathy for letting us know that Wyatt was free on Amazon. I just downloaded it to my Kindle for Mac. But since it is not 12:30 at night I think I'll wait until the morning to start reading it.

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  20. Agreed with Linda, i choose book 2

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  21. Hi ~ I think the last book would be the hardest to write. There is also a connected story on the Harlequin website called Who Wouldn't Love a Cowboy by CJ Carmichael. Find it here:

    http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1716&chapter=1

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  22. Easiest would be book one ~ Easier yet would be if I could remember the question in the first place. DUH ~ Blush.

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  23. I'm biased, so I'll say the last one. Apart from I love reading them because I get to read a little more snippets from the previous books of the series, it's much more easier to write because you already have the ideas and their are a lot more characters to play with. I hope you understand my answer, because I don't. ;p

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  24. Roz, thanks for all the insights into Harts of the Rodeo!

    I love continuities because it's fascinating to see how the story arcs thread through so many books.

    As for easiest...I'd go with #1 because the writer is able to focus on telling her hero and heroine's story, plus she has the fun of setting things up for the books ahead.

    Barbara


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