- Set it in the same location
- Feature members of a family or organization
- Intertwine similar themes
- Lead up to a big finale
About a year ago, Harlequin wanted me to start a new series. I had been writing the Harmony Valley series more as one-offs in one small town. I decided to try something completely different and rather ambitious. I combined location, family, similar themes, and a build-up to a big finale.
Family and Location. I create the wealthy Monroe family, except I didn’t make them all millionaires. Dynasty founder Harlan Monroe was a self-made man. He didn’t want his grandchildren to take their advantages for granted. They were given opportunities – college paid for, a free house to live in if they worked for one of Harlan’s many businesses. But he didn’t plan to leave them millions. In fact, he did just the opposite.
Harlan’s will specified his four sons would inherit everything, but only if they fired all twelve of his grandchildren and evicted them from the houses/property owned by Harlan. His twelve adult grandchildren weren’t stiffed. They inherited his remote mountain hometown of Second Chance, Idaho. Half of his grandchildren think Harlan had lost his marbles and plan to challenge the will. Half decide to discover why Second Chance was so important to Harlan.
Similar themes. Since the town was named Second Chance, I decided all romances would be second chance romances. Everyone has fallen in love before, been widowed, divorced or left at the altar.
Lead up to a big finale. I decided to set up a 12 month timeline – one month for every one of Harlan’s grandchildren to have a romance. Why? I felt Harlan might just have something up his sleeves on the one year anniversary of his death.
Although Book 1 in the series – Kissed by the Country Doc – is just now releasing, I’ve already written four books in the series. Was being ambitious the right choice? I admit, there have been many a frustrated moment where I am grinding my teeth over the logistics of a storyline that carries through 12 books. But it’s been so much fun to create a big family and pull the rug out from under their feet.
Read an excerpt here
Freebies: get your commemorative autographed postcard celebrating the Mountain Monroe series here.