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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Challenges of Writing a Series

I'm very happy to introduce my guest today; award winning author Maggie Thom loves the challenge of creating a web of secrets, lies and deceit. She doesn’t want you to figure it out until the end and as someone who loves twists and turns, I can say that she always keeps me on the edge of my seat. She is the author of The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery SeriesCaptured Lies and Deceitful Truths with Split Seconds about to be published – and her other individual novels Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense/Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine) and Deadly Ties. Take the roller coaster ride. It’s worth it. Get your free copy of Captured Lies.

Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…

"Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.”  Dii - TomeTender

Writing a Series – The Challenge

By Maggie Thom

I love reading a series don’t you? I was always fascinated by them but swore I’d never write one because they seemed to be a lot of work. Which I learned they are but I have to say I’ve had a lot of fun writing The Caspian Wine Series.

It’s always interesting to see where an author will take the story and how they will do that. Series can take many different formats.
  1. It’s about one person. The series of books revolves around one person and what’s going on for them. You see a lot of detective stories that do this.
  2. It’s about a place. Sometimes the series will be about a certain town or a place and all that happens there. Often the characters will change but some may stay the same.
  3. It’s about a family or a group of people. The series will follow these group of people and may have each book focus more on one person than another but overall it’s about this group.
  4. It’s around a theme. In this the series can be around some topic – a quest, romance, solving murders, growing old…

There are so many ways to write a series. For my Caspian Wine series, I had struggled with this when I decided to write book 2, Deceitful Truths. As the ideas were coming to me though I realized that the two main characters in Captured Lies had already told their story. So I was stuck with how do I write a sequel, include those from the first book but don’t make it about them?

In Captured Lies, Bailey learns that her life has been a lie. She was raised by a woman she thought was her mother but after her mom dies, she learns that isn’t the truth. Guy, one of the main characters had a Private Investigative business with a partner. He’s the one that tells Bailey she’s not who she thinks she is. They end up on the quest together to unravel her past and stay ahead of those wanting her dead.

But where to go with book 2, Deceitful Truths? It dawned on me that I could tell Guy’s partner, Graham’s story. But as you will see when you read my stories they are about strong, kick-ass women. So I had to figure out who the woman was and what her dilemma would be but most of all how would she come to interacting with Knight’s Associates, Graham and Guy’s PI firm? Tarin soon came to mind. She was in a difficult marriage that she needed out of but I didn’t want it to be about that. I finally came up with her having something awful happen to her, she’d lost a week of her life but didn’t know by who or why. The consequences of it were unmistakable and that was why she’d ended up getting married. But now someone wants her son. So it was a great reason for her to need a PI firm but rather than hire them she decides to use their resources by getting hired by them. Her story is very much intertwined with Bailey’s, who’s story is told in Captured Lies.

Then it came to Book 3, Split Seconds, where was I going to go with it? One of the questions from book 2 had been about Tarin’s mom. Some readers wanted to know more about her and her story. So it got me thinking, ‘how could I use that in book 3?’ Tijan’s story came to life. Her story is very much intertwined with Tarin’s. They are identical twins that were separated as toddlers. Tijan knew about Tarin but believed she had died as a child. Tarin knew nothing about Tijan. Through a fluke of circumstances, Tijan sets out to find her twin. Not only does she find her but also a father she never knew anything about. He is not what she has pictured a father to be – he is cold and heartless and involved with the mob. After their father is shot and they learn that National Security and organized crime are very interested in their father and his dealings, Tijan switches places with Tarin to protect her. She finds herself running their father’s multi-million-dollar hotel chain, something she knows nothing about. And time is running out…

Although each story is part of The Caspian Wine Series, each is really a stand-alone story. Of course reading all of them will help to understand all of the characters in book 3, Split Seconds but I’ve written each in a way that you know what they’ve been through and what has happened.

Writing a series was a challenge. It is very different than writing one story because I had so much more to keep track of. It truly was interesting though to go back to the same characters and see where they were at and what was happening to them in each subsequent story.

There are no plans for book 4, I think the series is finished but… I have already been asked for it. So, we’ll see.

Split Seconds

Twins separated as toddlers, reunited as adults and now switching places in a deadly game to take on organized crime.

Her sister is alive! Excited to discover that her twin didn't die as a toddler, Tijan can’t wait to meet her other half but she struggles to understand why her only sibling hasn’t reached out in almost thirty years. Although the reunion is joyous, not everyone is excited to discover that there are two of them. Using it to her advantage, Tijan is determined to take down the one man, responsible for it all… her father. The secrets and lies that have kept them apart, soon unravel but with deadly consequences.

Pre-Order Split Seconds and get some amazing bonuses: Click here

p.m.terrell's Review

Just when you think Maggie Thom is at the top of her game, she writes another suspense that takes her to yet another pinnacle. In Split Seconds, identical twins separated as toddlers are reunited. Thom tells the story of their separation in chilling detail that brought tears to my eyes, forced the adrenaline to pump and caused my maternal instincts to feel their agonizing pain—and that was only the beginning. Lest you think all falls into place when they meet again years later, you’d better hang onto your seat because you’re in for more twists and turns than a world-class roller coaster. Thom kept me guessing to the very end with her skillful writing, believably flawed and engaging characters and intriguing subplots. I highly recommend this book.

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