You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I refused to write a series. As a reader, I hated picking up a book and thinking I’d missed an earlier story, and was a little offended by references to characters from previous books as though the author expected me to read everything she’d written. As a writer, when I finished a book, I was done with those people. Six months was enough, thank you very much. On to the next hot guy and strong-willed girl, another adventure, a new setting. So it was with a little prodding that I started the Bullet Catchers series back in 2005, my expectations low, my general knowledge about how to write a series next to nil.
It didn’t take long to convert me. By the third book, I saw the light, loved the recurring characters, figured out how to make a story stand entirely on its own but fit into a bigger arc, and, lo and behold, my book sales improved, too. Readers love a series and once I started, I didn’t want to stop. I wrote eight books and two novellas in the Bullet Catchers series, each one dear to me, each one different from the others but similar enough to feel like they bore my signature.
A little over a year ago, I changed publishers and they felt it was time to start a new series. A new series? Wha…wha…what? Leave my beloved world, my established anchor characters, my bible of events, timelines, and eye color? (No such book exists, by the way, except in my head. But it’s real enough there.)
I had to say goodbye to my series, and that was not a fond farewell. Trust me, an author doesn’t walk away from an established series easily, even though I organically knew the series was coming to the end of its arc. How could I ever recapture that magic? I knew what I loved about my stories – the romantic adventure, the sexual tension, the alpha hero, the smartass heroine, the escalating danger, and the fun and fantastic secondary characters that peppered the pages. I loved creating a world full of colorful characters able to maneuver through sticky situations, depending on one another no matter what the odds. But what was missing? How could I make a new series better, different, more exciting…without losing the magic?
The answer, for me, was family. The characters in my first series were connected by business and friendship, but the element that I really wanted to explore was that complicated, crazy, conflict-rich world of family: the people we can’t choose, but love anyway. And what’s better than an Italian family, a culture famous for passion and drama, connections and emotions, laughter, love, and food? And, of course, I wanted to break the Soprano’s image and put some Italians out there who are fighting crime and taking down bad guys.
That’s how The Guardian Angelinos were born. They are the heart and soul of my new series, which starts this week with the book EDGE OF SIGHT. The Guardian Angelinos are an ad hoc security and investigation firm that has none of the glitz and sophistication of the Bullet Catchers, but all of the smart, sexy, fearless, fun types of characters.
The new organization launches in the first book, when Zach Angelino reluctantly accepts the company’s first unofficial assignment: to protect Samantha Fairchild after she’s witnessed a professional assassination and the killer has her face on tape. The problem? Zach and Sam share a brief but passionate past, a torrid three week affair that ended abruptly when he went to war and never called or contacted her again. She doubts she can trust him, but her life is on the line. He knows he’s changed so much – scarred on the inside and out – and feels he doesn’t deserve her. But neither one can fight the tsunami of attraction that threatens their hearts…while a clever, ruthless, creepy killer plans to snuff out their lives.
If you’d like to take a glimpse into the past and see how Sam and Zach first met, share that steamy three weeks with them, and feel the heartache of their last goodbye, I’ve got a “Freequel” (free prequel) up on my web site, www.roxannestclaire.com – just click on Free Reads and dive into “Taken to the Edge.” I hope that short story whets your appetite for EDGE OF SIGHT!
If you’d like to win an autographed copy of EDGE OF SIGHT, leave a comment or question today and one winner will be selected to win! I’ll be popping in all day to answer questions and talk about anything that’s on your mind! And I’m chatting tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern Time right here on writerspace, so come on over to that party. It’s always a good time!