I have been writing for a few years now, and until recently, I’ve never written a series. I’ve read plenty of them, so I thought, How hard can it be?
Come to think of it, that’s the exact same thought I had that got me involved in writing to begin with! Maybe I should have given it more consideration since writing turned out to be harder in many respects than I’d imagined.
This series—the Good Man series—didn’t start as a series at all. It started as a duo book, shared between the fabulous Vanessa Hart and me. She took a character and I took one and we handed off the story line, chapter by chapter. Eventually, we had to give up the project—Nessie had other commitments and so did I. Last year, she gave me permission to use the characters in this new series about the Goodman brothers, a set of identical triplets.
The character I had, Daniel Goodman, I developed into Book 1 of the Good Man series, Only a Good Man Will Do. I loved Daniel and his priggish, schoolteacher ways. I had taught in a boys’ residential school so I had Daniel do the same. I loved teaching boys, so I tried to make the kids Daniel taught, as well as those in his dormitory, a realistic (and endearing) part of his story. I hope I succeeded in that!
The second book is Jonah’s story, and this was Nessie’s character. One Woman Only is based loosely on Nessie’s Jonah, but I changed both him and his circumstances quite a bit, though he is still a mechanic and works with NASCAR teams. I really like Jonah. He has a good sense of humor and takes things in stride. Despite his success, he’s still the guy who really just wants to be a good mechanic—he has no airs. And he loves the woman he’s been dreaming about since high school. As a woman who married her own high school sweetheart, he’s a man after my own heart.
But between Daniel and Jonah, I ran into trouble writing the series. Jonah figures prominently in the first chapter of Daniel’s story. He said things and did things that I had to keep going back to look up when I wrote One Woman Only, since the books were written a good year apart. I didn’t anticipate this, so I didn’t keep notes as I should have. Also, in Daniel’s final chapter, Jonah came back into play. I forgot this when I started writing Jonah’s story. When you’re used to writing standalone books, what happened in a previous book has no bearing on what happens in the current book. Not so with a series!
But my biggest problem in the two books is that I added the first chapter from Jonah’s book at the end of Daniel’s. It fit nicely at the end of Daniel’s book because whoever read it there had just read the opening book in the series—events and characters made sense. But, when read at the beginning of Jonah’s book…not so much. I had to make lots of changes in order for One Woman Only to be a true standalone book, able to be read and appreciated without reading the first book.
I learned my lesson! Book 3, which I’m starting now, should avoid those issues. It’s the story of the third Goodman triplet, Mark. His book With Only the Heart, takes place in one of my favorite cities, Richmond, Virginia. I hope to have it out by the end of the year. And then, I have another series in mind (oh, no!). LOL!
One Woman Only is newly released! It saw the light of Amazon day on November 4. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited.
One Woman Only
As one of a set of triplets, Jonah always felt the need to make his individuality known. So where his brother Daniel was serious and completely focused, Jonah shunned commitment. Where his genius brother Mark was hailed in the scientific world, Jonah hid beneath a car tinkering. Thing is, being different wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It took a woman to make him see that focused and recognized in his field could turn a “good man” into a better man.
“May I have this dance?”
Kelly turned at the sound of Jonah’s voice behind her. Dinner had ended. All three of the boys had given best man speeches and Eve had even given a very creditable matron of honor speech, considering she had only known Marilyn and Caleb a short time. Lots of toasts had been raised and finally the live band had struck up the music. Caleb led his bride onto the floor for a foxtrot—a dance more than half of the guests had no idea how to do, including her.
Facing Jonah she sighed inwardly at how scrumptious he looked. Sure, his face was pretty much displayed on his brothers’ heads, too, but there was something different about Jonah. His nose was just a little crooked from when Bobby Hendricks had broken it in ninth grade and his eyes held an especially bright sparkle in his eyes when he smiled. Maybe… Well, she didn’t know what caused the difference between Jonah and his brothers. Whatever it was, she had never been fooled by the so-called identical nature of the identical triplets. She’d wanted to be his girl since elementary school. Thought she would be in high school. And then forced every last thought of him from her mind from senior year on.
“I don’t know how to foxtrot.”
He shrugged. “Who does except those over fifty?” He glanced at his folks, still alone on the dancefloor, although a few couples were wandering out to join them now. “We can pretend.”
She mentally compared standing on the sidelines alone now that Mama Rio left the party, or being held in Jonah’s arms. Smiling, Kelly held out her hands. “Just don’t step on my toes, Jonah Goodman, or there’ll be hell to pay.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Together they walked onto the dancefloor. He took her right hand in his left and placed his right hand on her waist. Fortunately for them, the music changed to a slow tempo. Kelly laid her head on Jonah’s shoulder, and he tugged her closer as they swayed to the music.
“This is nice,” he murmured.
“Yes it is,” she replied. So very nice. He smelled good. Beneath the light citrus fragrance of his aftershave was a slight whiff of pure man with maybe a twinge of motor oil or something so Jonah it brought tears to her eyes.
He rubbed a path up to her shoulder blades and gave a squeeze. “You fit me perfectly, Kelly.”
“You sure do. I think our hearts can feel each other beat.”
Kelly chuckled. “Smooth talker. Face to face like this our hearts are on opposite sides.”
“Hey! I’m trying to be romantic here.”
She sighed. “Keep on. It’s appreciated.”
She felt his smile. Raising her head she gave him a mock glare. “Watch it with those pregnant pauses, buster.”
He used his hand to press her head back to his shoulder. “You do smell good, though. This isn’t the same perfume you wore in high school. That was—”
“Lilac,” they said at the same time. Once more she raised her head to look at him. “How did you remember that?”
“I remember much more than you might think.” He turned her and moved her closer to the door onto the patio. “Each spring when lilacs are in bloom memories come flooding back. Does that surprise you?”
“More like shocks me,” she said, grinning. And then she laid her head on his shoulder once more, finding she liked it more and more there in his arms. She stepped slightly closer and his arm tightened about her.
“Well, after a while I thought lilac seemed too girlish. I like the vintage scents, so in college I wore Wind Song. Then Shalimar was the scent Brad liked me to wear.” She felt Jonah stiffen when she mentioned her ex, and really she didn’t blame him. “But when I grew up enough finally to take charge of my own life, I started wearing Chanel No 5. A complex fragrance for what I hope is a complex woman.”
“It suits you. Complex and beautiful.” He kissed her temple. “Want to step outside for a minute?”
“Sure. It is a little warm in here.”
On the patio, they could hear the sounds of the people from the television networks packing up equipment, chatting and laughing. Stars shone brightly in the clear night sky. Wood smoke from someone’s fireplace wafted through the air and static electricity fairly crackled in the crispness of the autumn air.
“This is my favorite time of year,” Kelly said. “The heat of summer is gone and winter nights curled up with a hot drink and blazing fire are ahead.”
“Not me. I’m a summer boy all the way.”
“A hothead you mean?” she teased.
“Oh, I’m hot all right.” He waggled his brows at her. Kelly laughed.
“I do seem to remember that about you.”
“You used to be pretty hot yourself. Still are.” He leaned in. His eyes flicked down to her lips.
Kelly sucked in a breath. She should stop him, she really should.
One Woman Only: https://amzn.to/33tDt4i
Only a Good Man Will Do: KU https://amzn.to/2q7ovi4
About the Author
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at email@example.com.
Delilah, thank you so much for hosting me!
Writing a series is definitely harder than some make it look, so easy for inconsistencies to jump in.
I can’t wait to read all your books. I might have to have a book marathon this long weekend. 😂
You have a dance scene. How fun! I’m going dancing tonight.
Funny that you wrote about writing a series that is the theme of the blog I have with Laurie Sanders next week. Nice job.
Patricia, thanks so much for your comment! I have started the third book differently, I can assure you. Trying not to have inconsistencies!
Callie, that dance scene is just for you! 😉
That we’re both writing about dealing with a series, it’s an example of great minds thinking alike. You have shown none of the problems I’ve talked about in the Risking Love series. Good job!
Congratulations Dee, Only A Good Man Will Do was the introduction to the Goodman family, now we are right into their lives with One Woman Only and I can’t wait to meet Mark in book three.
Thank you, Jan!
Great post, Dee. I always conceived my first book, A Merman’s Choice, as the first of a series, perhaps because fantasy books are very often part of a series. I agree the main challenge is to keep the story consistent – for example I missed some things out in my second book which I now have to put in the third. And once you’ve written something in one book you can’t then change it in the next! In addition my next series is connected to the first… uh oh! But series are fun because you get to develop a world and characters over several books.
I love a good series. I could see how they would be tricky to write, though.
Alice, you know exactly what I’m talking about!
My mom loves series books, but I have to admit, after I’ve read more than three in the series I get confused as to who’s married to whom and which kids belong to which couple, so three will always be my limit if I write another series.
Thanks for commenting, Gibby! Series are more complicated than I thought, that’s for sure. But I’m giving it the old college try.