Until recently, I’d forgotten how difficult it is to start writing a new book, let alone a new series. At the beginning, I must create all new characters, locations, back stories, and plots. Because I write mysteries, I will spend hours putting together the complicated pieces of the puzzle to make two different plots fit together. How much easier it is to write Book Two of a series and say “hello again” to my characters.
My Endurance Mysteries will end in late May when the last book, Death Takes No Bribes, comes out in paperback and e-book. Then I’ll bid farewell to Grace Kimball, TJ Sweeney, and all their friends and families. I can’t deny that it will be a difficult day for me, and eventually I will find the wherewithal to push Grace’s files to the back of the drawer. Sadly, most characters in the last book don’t die; they simply disappear.
On the other hand, this gives me a great opportunity to say “hello” to a new series I am tentatively calling The Apple Grove Mysteries. While the books take place in a small, Midwest town, the first book begins in New York City.
Instead of Grace Kimball, I am creating a new protagonist named Elizabeth (Beth) Russell. She is forty-eight years old, lives on Long Island, commutes into the city or works from home, and plays racquetball or goes to the shooting range in her spare time. She is a freelance researcher, hired out by various New York Times Best-Selling Authors to do the footwork they don’t have time to do. [I think I need to find one of these people myself.] Her expertise is in history, so she often commutes to the New York City Public Library in Midtown, where she toils away at a long wooden table, assuaging her natural curiosity. There she researches whatever historical period her current client needs. It is a job she loves that pays her well. All the clerks and librarians know her because she is a constant fixture in the stacks.
On Christmas week, 2016, Beth Russell will be sought after by someone with a strange message for her. It’s news that will change her life forever, provide a total shock to her system, foster disbelief, and send her into a dangerous place.
For the next few months I’ll be getting acquainted with Beth and creating her world. After that, I have the usual problem. You know how difficult it is for me to come up with titles. I relied on Ben Franklin for the Endurance Mysteries. This time I may have to wing it.
Love it!! Great premise.
Thanks, Judy. I’m digging into new research and learning a lot.
Congratulations, Susan, on starting a new series. I’m sorry that Grace will be disappearing. You might give some thought to continuing the series and finding a small publisher to take it on. Good luck with your new series.
Thanks so much, Grace. I’m sorry that this series with my main character stealing your name will come to an end. I did give some thought to small publishers. I approached quite a list of them. But no one is interested in a series that began at another publishing house. This is why I am bowing to the inevitable. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Hate to see Grace go. Anxious to meet Beth. Susan, you’re a great writer who respects your audience. “Puzzle” is a good word to use for the tales you tell. Each piece fits perfectly, and then when the final one is put in place, the reader has the whole picture–always a surprise. Along the way to that final piece of the puzzle, you take the reader on a roller coaster ride (pardon the mix metaphors) that is pure fun. Yet, your mysteries are more than entertainment: a respectful, subtle message always accompanies the enjoyment. Can’t wait!
Right now I’m sitting at my desk with about 1500 pieces of the puzzle, Jim, but, little by little, they are coming together (along with the new message.) Thanks for checking my post out!
I hate to see Grace go but excited to meet all the new characters! I enjoy your books.
Thank you, Glenda.
New beginnings are exciting. A blank slate to create a whole new world.
A researcher. Great idea. Because every book can have a whole different focus, as she works for different writers, digging into different pasts and unearthing secrets. I’m looking forward to meeting Beth.
Thanks, Susan. I agree, and Beth Russell is quite a different person than Grace Kimball. And you are right about creating a great deal of lattitude in exploring other periods of time. I am starting all over and the research is intriguing.
I’m curious to see how all the dangling threads come together. I am sorry this series will come to an end, I have enjoyed Grace.
Thanks so much, Diane. I hope I satisfy your curiosity with the final book in early June. Death Takes No Bribes will end the series and should launch on June 5 via Kindle and paperback on Amazon. I am very grateful for all the readers who have loved this series. That certainly includes you!