Friday, October 22, 2010

Dealing With A Demanding Secondary Character--Hello Series

My guest today is Romance author, Wendy Ely. Wendy tells me she never intended to write a series. Along came a larger than life character demanding her own story.

So, what's an author to do then? My curiosity was aroused and so I asked her about it.

The second book in my Desert Secret Series has recently been released. Its title is Midnight Secrets. When I started the first book (Confessions) in the series I had no idea that I would have four books planned out within a month of the contract for Confessions being offered. Actually, I never wanted to do a series at all. So how did this all come about?

I started writing Confessions with only one sentence of an idea. The characters in the book seemed to bloom rapidly and I became absorbed in every part of the story. I had recently moved to Arizona when I had started writing Confessions so everything was so new and wonderful. I had decided that Confessions needed to take place in a small town for it to ring true and then came the fictional town Wilson, Arizona. I had a blast researching the small desert towns around here and even more fun making up the shops in Wilson. I was hooked on the location from the start.

While writing Confessions, Chelsea’s sister ended up being such a strong character, it was hard to keep her in the background while Chelsea was living out her story. As soon as I started editing Confessions, I knew Allison had to have her own book. Instead of doing only a sequel, I decided at that point that I wanted to base a series around Wilson, Arizona. Readers would have the chance to watch the lives unfold of the beloved characters around the town.

I knew that Allison’s story would be next and Miguel made a wonderful hero for her. His confidence provided an excellent balance to her self-doubt. I had a great time mixing Allison’s larger than life attitude with Miguel’s respectful personality. The combination made for some steamy scenes and awesome chemistry between the couple.

The next two books planned in the series is Lost and Found with the best friend, Lisa Palmer. The series wraps up with the Montgomery sister’s enemy, Bailey Roan.

  • Writers:  Have you written a story that ended up being a series when you had no intention of it being one?
  • Readers: Have you read a book you wished was a part of a series?

Midnight Secrets

Will Miguel’s whispered midnight promises ever see the light of day?

Content with her job as small town waitress and roll of single mom, Allison believes she's better off without a man. In her opinion, all they bring is chaos - and that includes the father of her child. So why has Miguel’s arrival shaken her so badly?
It's not easy for Allison to keep Miguel a secret with someone set on shutting down her bakery and the local sheriff believing she harbors a vendetta against the town because of her tormented past.

Keeping her secrets and clearing her name just might be harder than Allison ever imagined. Excerpt

~ * ~ * ~

Wendy has been interested in romance for a long time. She began her first romance novel when she was just thirteen-years-old. It certainly wasn't anything great but sparked the passion for writing romance novels.

When she’s not writing, she's usually busy taking care of her two children in Phoenix, Arizona. Wendy keeps busy with her small business and going to college. During her free time, Wendy enjoys traveling and being outdoors.

Visit Wendy Ely at or Facebook


~Sia McKye~ said...

Welcome to OVER COFFEE,Wendy. Get some coffee and pull up chair.

So, what do you think is hard about writing series?

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi Wendy. I think it's so cool that you didn't intend to write a series. I'm fascinated how the creative writing process works and how your characters won't let you stop until you tell their story. Soooo cool!

Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, Wendy! Your series sounds wonderful, and I like the idea of basing it around the people of a small town. Lots of room for surprises! I'm still new to writing, but there was definitely a character in the first MS who kept trying to steal every scene and kept demanding his own book. In the first nine revisions of the MS, I killed off that character at the end. In revision ten, I relented and left him hanging on to life by a thread. I suspect he'll talk me into giving him his own book eventually!

VA said...

Wendy,I love the surprises that happen while writing. The characters that just set up camp and wait, patiently or not so patiently for you to get around to them.

I love both single title and serial books. Serials seem to be very popular right now, in fact as far as romance goes, I'm hard pressed to recall the last time I read a book that wasn't part of a series.

I like that you get more time with various characters, but often the plot is fragmented in ways that leave you feeling like you just watched the Finale episode of Dallas and are wondering "Who shot JR?" I hate when that happens and it is a sure killer for me continuing with a series.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia and Wendy .. the mind develops things for us - doesn't it .. creates new directions .. we couldn't just leave things as they are .. and giving the setting one area gives the book/s cohesion .. sounds very interesting .. thanks - Hilary

Houston A.W. Knight said...


Again another awesome post...I like the interview and I'm sure I'll be buying these books...Wendy sounds like an interesting author! Thanks for inviting her over and for telling us about her!

Big hugs

psss, I've got a B-day wish up for Cecile's daughter today! If you get a chance...drop by to give her a wish!?

Oh, when you get a chance - I got a poll going on me blog and I'd love your input. You'll find it on the left side bar! xoxox

Many hugs

Helen Ginger said...

I like reading series. You get to know the characters better. And I like that your series involves more than just the original protagonist.

Wendy_Ely said...

I'm so glad to be here (and sorry to have missed yesterday!)! This is a fabulous blog and I'm so lucky to be a guest on it.

Sia~ The hardest part of writing a series is keeping all of the information correct. I have a file of who is in each book and what happens with them. I also have a list of places in the town that have been mentioned in each book. Small details are very important when writing a series. For example: Chelsea, the heroine in Confessions, cleans a lot. What if the herioine in Lost and Found visits Chelsea and the house is trashed? The reader might remember that small detail even if I hadn't. Not good ;)

Tonya~ Even though I didn't want to do a series, I'm so glad I turned Confessions into The Desert Secret Series. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to go on the adventure with Allison. Allison and Miguel are such wonderful characters that I enjoyed writing their story.

Kat~ Allison Montgomery drove me crazy when writing Confessions. She was so zany and smart mouthed that I was laughing outloud during her appearances in scenes.

VA~ I totally agree with you about unanswered questions in a series. It drives me crazy so once I decided to do The Desert Secret Series, I knew I had to do each one as a stand-alone so I don't leave anyone hanging for another book.

Thanks again for having me here!

Wendy Ely

~Sia McKye~ said...

Wendy, I can understand those little details and how important it would be to keep them straight. I'm one of those readers that DO notice the details.

So, Allison and Chelsea are sisters, but I'm getting the picture that while they have similarities, they are also very different. I take it Chelsea wasn't as smart mouthed or as pushy as Allison. :-) I think it's fun to write about siblings.

Anonymous said...

My book went from one, to a sequel, then a trilogy. It just happened that way. Totally unintended. I think readers appreciate a good series as long as there is some form of closure at the end of each one. Write each book as a stand-alone yet part of the big picture.

Stephen Tremp

Sheila Deeth said...

Do you still have any coffee left? My book kind of tried to be a series, but I'm still waiting to decide which character comes next. They're all so demanding.