Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Emily Mims and her new book, “Mist”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Also, come back daily to interact with Emily and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
by Emily Mims
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
The widow of a lying drug dealer, dulcimer-player Kylie Barstow Richards finds herself struggling to see through the mist of the Smoky Mountains to the truth-about her life, about the nightclub where she works, and about the bluegrass-playing musician who has arrived to steal her heart.
Kylie looked Ren in the eye. “How much of that is the truth and how much of it was bullshit?”
Ren’s lips firmed. “It’s the truth, every damned bit of it. And that’s also why I did what I did. The DEA honestly thought you were guilty. A drug dealer took out one of my best friends, Kylie. I’ve missed Jerry every day for the last two years.”
“And that justifies what you did to me? Sorry, Ren. Not buying it. And I don’t care what your reasons for lying were, a liar is a liar. And I can’t stand liars.”
“I get that, Kylie. Look, obviously we blew it, and I’m just as sorry as I can be that I hurt you.”
“If you can be believed, which I seriously doubt.”
“I do mean it. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”
“I am, too, Ren. I was just beginning to have a little bit of faith and trust again and you very effectively managed to take that away from me. Congratulations. I will probably never trust another man as long as I live.”
“Aw, Kylie, no.” Ren leaned forward. “Look, I know there is no way I can take back the lies I’ve already told. But I can promise you this. I will never, ever lie to you again about anything.”
Kylie shrugged. “And now I’m supposed to believe that? Ren, I’m sorry. The damage is done. The trust is broken. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty.”
“I understand. But Kylie, I’m going to tell you the truth from now on whether you believe me or not.”
“Knock yourself out.”
The Challenge of Writing a Series
Writing a series of stories is a new challenge for me. In my years with Candlelight, a sequel was rare and a series absolutely unheard-of. My Candlelight editors bought two sequels from me, but the rest of my books with them were all completely stand-alone. Starting in the nineties, leading writers such as Linda Lael Miller and Nora Roberts began to write books in series featuring a particular family or set of siblings or even a ranch or a seacoast town, with heroes and heroines who appear as supporting characters in the other books. The writing of a series has taken off to the point that today many if not most books are part of one. This makes it convenient for both the reader and the writer-the reader can revisit people and places they’ve fallen in love with, and the writer does not have to re-create a setting or characters from scratch with every new book. But the writing of a series also presents a set of challenges, challenges that I faced writing the Texas Hill Country series, and face again writing the Smoky Blue series.
I had no idea I was writing the first book of a series when I created ‘Solomon’s Choice’. But it wasn’t long before I was thinking in terms of another story and looking at the secondary characters I had created for ‘Solomon’s Choice’ as characters for future books. And those books did come. Cute deputy Rory Keller and big-mouthed waitress Lisa became the short story ‘A Gift of Trust’. Widowed Jimmy Adamcik and soldier Holly Riley became the leads in ‘Daughter of Valor’. But it was the multi-faceted cast of characters I invented for Daughter of Valor that really set my imagination on fire, and nine stories in all evolved, rather haphazardly I admit, including the story ‘Once, Again’ from which ‘Mist’ spins off. The Smoky Blue series is different in that I have envisioned it as a series from the beginning, and as such can establish characters already knowing their story ahead of time. The plotting is tighter, the transitions are smoother, and I can introduce the next story as an epilogue.
There are definite challenges, however. Once a character is created, that character has to be portrayed consistently throughout the series, or the series lacks believability. In other words, if a character is short, fat, smart-mouthed, or not too nice as a supporting character, a reader is not going to believe that character has suddenly grown six inches, lost forty pounds, and been to charm school when they become one of the leads. Cooper Barstow is a case in point. In ‘Mist’, Cooper is an amputee and a cranky curmudgeon with the morals of a tomcat. So when he becomes the hero of ‘Smoke’, the next book in the series, he has to stay in character. He is not going to grow an arm, become Mr. Congeniality or have a moral make-over. Another case in point is Sawyer Ellison. In ‘Once, Again’ and ‘Mist’ he is portrayed as a ruthless fanatic, willing to do just about anything, ethical or no, to bring drug dealers to justice. As a supporting character, he is a complete jerk. Is he suddenly going to undergo a personality transplant in his own story? No, he is not. Those negative qualities are a huge part of the character and must stay. For him to do otherwise would not be believable.
Another challenge to the writer of the series is portraying former heroes and heroines in later books once their story is over. How much of their new lives do you include in the subsequent books? Yes, the readers want to know how they are doing. But at the same time, it’s not their story anymore. My first hero and heroine, Jack and Caroline, do appear throughout the rest of the Texas Hill Country series, and Ren and Kylie will appear throughout Smoky Blue. But it’s not their story any more. And it is important that the former leads be an integral part of the new story and not be included just because their story was part of the series.
So when is it time to end a series? The answer to that is ‘when the stories are over’. The Texas Hill Country series had nine books and short stories. At this point the Smoky Blue has six in the works, with one more possible. At that point, I think it will be time to move on.
Author of twenty six romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons and grandmother of three, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia. She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”
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