I really like these interwoven worlds where I can catch up with characters without needing and epilogue to the epilogue. It’s like reconnecting with an old friend when you least expect it or like feeling as if you are seeing the characters in real life after their story has been told (or in some cases, being introduced to them before their story hits the pages)
TS Joyce is a great example of this type of series. In her first series, we meet one group of people (well, in this case, Shifters). As we read, we’re introduced to other groups as part of their world. As we finish the first set of books and start the next, we already know names of the new main characters and how they fit into the world she’s created. The third group builds on that, and so on, until we’re 30+ books in and reading about the next generation with references to other characters to see how they’re doing.
In addition to individual stories, there are overreaching themes running in the background. The world is changing. Over the course of the interlocked series, Shifters have been discovered, persecuted and then accepted but not without a few hiccups along the way.
I can only dream of being able to write a series as seamlessly complex.
Nano 2020 will be the 4th book in my first attempt at a series. Over the summer, I’ve mostly finished the first three stories about three friends, Leah, Gail and Viv. The series will continue with the last two books devoted to two of their coworkers, Arif and Jean.
Book 1 – Leah, a single mom who’s priority us her daughters. Mark was interested in her long before she had kids and now she’s single again. But, he has no desire for children. She’s always admired him from afar. Can they reconcile the differences in their life goals?
Book 2 – Gail, is just settling into life after divorce, when she’s introduced to Dean, her son’s new Rugby coach. Except she and Dean already know each other, they were childhood sweethearts before she moved halfway across the world.
Book 3 – Viv, has already had her happily ever after. She’s about to quit working full time to look after her husband as he succumbs to Dementia. Mikael fresh from a divorce, enjoys their daily conversations. Then her life implodes and he needs to be more than a casual friend.
Book 4 – (Nano 2020 project) Arif, a work buddy of Leah, Gail and Viv, has just left the company to work for himself. He meets Kamila just before the Covid19 lockdown. How can they think of pursuing a relationship when the world is going crazy?
Book 5 – (to be started in November after book 4) Jean, the office manager, is preparing to retire when her back seizes. Awake at three in the morning she’s trying to distract herself from the pain. As she scrolls through the ‘people you may know’ list, she sees him – the one that got away. Before she can talk herself out if it, she sends him a message.
I’m not a spring chicken anymore and I love that over the past few years, plots in general have evolved to encompass more than twenty something characters. Not just romance novels but movies like The Expendables, Red, and The Book Club, to name a few.
Just because we’ve grown a few wrinkles doesn’t make us less interesting.