Eric and Ivy go through a lot in my TAKE ME NOW series. Now I’m at the end of their journey, and it certainly gives me a much different perspective than I had going into book one, chapter one. It’s sort of like how bestselling authors must feel when their books are turned into television shows or movies. Putting myself in their shoes for a moment, I can imagine being on set and standing in front of Eric’s log cabin, envisioning all of the things that will happen there. There’s no way I can look at it like I did in the beginning. Too much has gone on there for it to appear as cozy and inviting as it once was.
I think without a doubt that authors find their stride later in a series, and undoubtedly become better writers because of it. The characters are more vivid in the mind’s eye. Their motivations become like second nature. There’s an understanding about why they do the things they do. For me, it’s like going to the optometrist and looking through the blurry lenses pressed up against my face. With the right adjustments, what I’m looking at slowly becomes clearer and clearer before my eyes. By the time I get to the end of writing a series, my focus is razor sharp. Things that were fuzzy and undefined, take on a new sense of clarity. Honestly, there’s nothing more thrilling than when all of the pieces begin to fall into place.
At the start of TAKE ME NOW, Eric is more than a little gun-shy when it comes to love. He’s attracted to Ivy, but he doesn’t trust his heart. I want readers to think that they know the reason, but they don’t even know the half of it. There’s a public perception of Eric’s struggles, and then there’s a private one. The more Ivy gets him to open up, the more details I reveal about his past. What appears on the surface as a situation that’s pretty straightforward, turns out to have a whole lot of layers underneath. That’s the beauty of writing a series, not having to give away everything at once. I can take my time setting the stage for the reader, trusting that they’ll follow me along the path that I’m taking them. When they do, it doesn’t get any better than that.
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