Sometimes I get notes from readers, telling me they enjoyed my books (yay!). Often, there are questions in there, too. So often, in fact, I have seen a trend of frequency. One might be so bold as to call them Frequently Asked Questions. While I'm always happy to respond to notes from readers (yay!), I thought I might start compiling an actual FAQ. Or a running FAQ, with new posts written as I accumulate more questions. Or something. Whatever. We'll figure it out as we go, shall we?
QUESTION: Will there be any more books in the Once A... series, following some of the other secondary characters?
ANSWER: This is, by far, the question I receive most frequently. First of all, it warms the cockles of my authorial heart to know readers feel a connection to my little Regency world and its inhabitants. So, a super huge thank you to everyone who has asked me this question. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. I *heart* you forever and always.
The Once A... series was originally conceived as a trilogy. I wanted to follow three friends: Isabelle, Lily, and Naomi. Their stories became Once a Duchess, Once an Heiress, and Once an Innocent. Mission accomplished!
As I told my ladies' stories, I met some gentlemen along the way, guys who are now giving me the Meaningful Look a character gives an author when he wants to impress upon her his feelings of neglect and impatience. Grant Lockwood, the middle sibling of the Lockwood clan, and Alexander Fairfax, Isabelle's older brother, are definitely on the list. Those two have been riding around in the back of my head for a while now. There's another man who's captured my imagination, too, one a little darker, a little more dangerous. If you've read all three of the Once A... novels, you might guess his identity.
At this point, I have nothing in the works for these fine fellows, but I'd like to get to them eventually. I cannot commit to anything regarding a timeline as to when you might see their books, because I don't have so much as an outline for these stories. I don't know if they will continue the Once A... series, or if they'll get a trilogy of their own, or if they might be stand-alones or mixed up with other series... No commitments! Just know that I've heard you, and I want to know their stories, too.
QUESTION: What's next? More Once A...?
ANSWER: Dang it, people, we just talked about that!
OK, "What's next?" is fair. Here's What's Next, including a rambling story, because that's how I do.
You see, when an author is just starting out and doesn't have a contract anywhere and doesn't know if her stories will ever see the light of day, she spends a lot of time second guessing herself and wondering if she's Doing It Right. Say, for instance, this author was working on a trilogy. Say she'd finished two manuscripts and had the third underway, but hadn't managed to place the first one yet. Say she was starting to question whether she was wasting her time on that trilogy. All the advice says to keep going, to write the next thing, and the next, and the next. But maybe she was spinning her wheels on that next thing and needed to do a whole other, different thing.
I know there's no fooling you, my keen reader. That hypothetical author was, in fact, moi. When I'd gotten about halfway through the manuscript that became Once an Innocent, I set it aside and started something new that wasn't attached to my trilogy, so I'd having something else to shop around in case Once a Duchess didn't sell.
That manuscript is called Anatomy of a Deception (working title). It's a Regency-set romance about a genteel young lady turned body snatcher, an ambitious London surgeon, and the anatomical specimen they both have to obtain... But the body is still alive.
It's got a gothic atmosphere, a little darker in tone than the Once A... novels. It took second place in last year's Fire and Ice competition (historical romance category).
Wouldn't you know it, though, when I was about halfway through that novel, my Once A... trilogy was picked up by Crimson Romance. So, I put Anatomy on the back burner and got to work on my edits for Duchess and Heiress, as well as finished writing Innocent. And edited it. And learned about marketing and publicity and being a published author.
I finally got back to work on Anatomy of a Deception. In addition to that one, I penned a little novella called The Ruination of Miss Claudia Baxter, about a plucky young woman and the desperate lengths she goes to to avoid her arranged marriage. Those are both being spruced up in preparation for finding homes. I hope to have some news for you on that front soon!
I've got ideas for several series, each consisting of at least three novels, as well as a couple other stand-alone novels. The work I've laid out for myself should keep me busy for at least the next decade (and the ideas don't stop coming!), so I hope you're wearing your comfy pants. We're going to be here a while.
That's enough Q&A for today. If there's a question burning a hole in your heart, leave it in the comments below, or feel free to write. I love hearing from you!