Author Archives: Christy B

About Christy B

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer, author, poet, and feminist. As the owner of When Women Inspire, she supports female initiatives to positively impact and change the world. In addition, she owns Poetic Parfait, a site dedicated to poetry and all kinds of literary goodness. Feel free to connect across the networks!

Writer Maggie Thom, author of The Caspian Wine Series

What Does It Take To Write a Series? (Guest Post)

Today I’m happy to have Maggie Thom back to the blog today! She is the author of The Caspian Wine Series that expertly combines the suspense, thriller, and mystery genres. I recently reread Captured Lies (Book #1) and reviewed it on Goodreads. Today Maggie Thom is telling about what it takes to write a series. We’re in for a treat today! Here is Maggie:

Writing a series truly had never been in my plans but things don’t always go as planned. I love reading series and have read a lot of them. Every time I’d read one, I’d think, ‘wow this is a lot of work’. There is so much information the author has to carry over from one novel to another – characters, setting, situations, relationships, conflicts… The author has to know a lot of details to ensure that the story makes sense and follows some sort of familiar path as the reader goes from book to book.

So what does it take to write a series?

Some things that need to be considered for each additional book in a series:

  • Who the characters are – are they new? Some from previous novels? The author has to know all their details from physical, to emotional, to career, etc. to ensure there is continuity between books (when characters are carried over)
  • What is the story line? Where is book 2 going, does it follow any of book 1 or a whole new plot?
  • How are the characters carrying over into each series?
  • Do you have the same bad guy? Does s/he/it carry over at all?
  • What are the roles of the characters from book one in book 2? book 3? if any?
  • Are the main characters going to be secondary in additional series or stay as the main characters?
  • Where is each book set? a new setting? or the same one? or with some changes?
  • What is the time frame from book 1 to 2 to 3…?
  • How much of the first story is carried over into the second? Third…?
  • What details do you need to include so that the second book… third book… fourth book… is easily understood, even if someone hasn’t read book 1? 2? Or 3?
  • What are the conflicts in each book?
  • What are the problems that get carried forward?
  • How do past events (from previous books) influence current events?

As you can see there are a lot of things to consider when writing a series and a lot of details that the author needs to know from each book. When an author does it right, the reader will feel like they are following the same people, or same town, or same situation. There is a familiarity that the reader is looking for.

It truly is a challenge to do that but I can say it is one that I am glad I stepped up to accept.

Many authors know when they have an idea for a series and they write out a plan for the three, four or five novels they plan to write. They keep the notes they need to make sure they have the information that will be necessary moving forward. Plus, they tend to write the stories one after the other. This is really the ideal way to write a series and makes it somewhat simpler. Continue reading

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Short Story Time: Folding Knives and Blue Eyes

This short story is inspired by a photo taken by Chris from the Milford Street blog. If you don’t know his photographs, I encourage you to go check them out in his posts! It was his recent Old Timers post that caught my eye, featuring the image below. Thanks again Chris for letting me use your photo for inspiration and permission to include it here.

Pocket knives at a flee market

Folding knives. So many stories to tell. Like this short story. Photo via Christopher O’Keefe, Old Timer, used with his permission.

Folding Knives and Blue Eyes

The knives folded on the table in front of Jude and, like them, she was without words. Where was the one that her grandpa had owned? None of these were calling out to help her.

She felt a dig into her left side.

“Oof,” she said, and her hands instinctively covered the sore spot. Looking over, she met intense blue eyes surrounded by wrinkles. The woman’s look was stern, and she muttered something under a breath that smelled mildly of sardines. Turning back to the table, she shoved Jude, this time with her hip.

“…my spot…”

Jude couldn’t make out any other words with so many other voices around her calling out prices and asking questions about how old was this lamp or what type of crystal was that?

Jude’s her bare arm met cold leather as her body swayed slightly to the right in response to being shoved. She noted the black leather belonged to a jacket that belonged to a man who she didn’t want to mess with. A thick gray beard was accompanied by a tattoo of a
skeleton’s body that ran down his neck and crawled under the collar of his coat.

Continue reading

Sally Cronin is Back!

Such a treat to learn more about Sally Conin in this interview! Well done with the questions, Amy Reade. Thanks to my friend Michelle at BOOK CHAT for bringing this one to my attention. Sally is a wonderful blogger, author, and supporter!

Reade and Write

For many of us in the world of authors-marketing-ourselves, we know Sally Cronin as a treasure who selflessly promotes others, spotlighting their new books, re-showcasing their old ones, and offering endless encouragement and support to artists of all stripes.

But Sally is also an author, and a prolific one at that. Not only does she write blog posts that enlighten her readers on everything from the benefits of garlic to heart health to the weather in Ireland, but she also writes short stories and books, both fiction and nonfiction. And she’s here today to tell us about her latest work, What’s In a Name.

Welcome, Sally!

Thank you so much Amy for asking me over for an interview.. It is a real pleasure.

Tell me about your new book, What’s in a Name.

The short stories in this collection are about ordinary people who in some way bring their…

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