Hi! My name is Bernadette Jones and I’m one of seven authors in the Aspen Gold Series.
I thought you might like to know what it’s like writing in a multi-author continuity series. It’s a blast! It’s also hard work.
Some series are set up on a thread, such as stolen artifacts. The first author starts the storyline then hands it off to the next author who pulls the idea a little farther and hands it off again. Another popular premise is a baby series where every book has a baby, finds a baby or adopts a baby. Or maybe the binding factor is they all have a ranch or were in the secret service together. You get the idea.
We chose to build our series around a family and a town. The nucleus of the Aspen Gold Series is the founding family of Spencer, Colorado. Jakob Spencer is the patriarch of the Spencer family and owner of Aspen Gold Lodge, an exclusive retreat. Each of the first six books was based on Jakob Spencer, one of his children or a grandchild. Each author was (and still is) tasked with having a tie back to the main family or the town where cousins and friends still live. Many of the characters are coming home to their roots.
My first book started with Hunter Jakob Lawe, one of the grandsons. He made friends that now surround his minor nucleus. Cheryl St John started with the Cavanaugh cousins. Each of the authors is gradually forming their own entourage of characters, but we all meet up in the town of Spencer at the bank, grocery store or coffee shop.
An extension of the premise for a series of books is the voice or type of books that will be written. For instance, in some series all the stories are sweet romance or romantic suspense, perhaps paranormal. Going back to our town concept, we decided that towns are a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll. Our authors and town are sweet, homey, dangerous, sexy, diverse, and even a touch paranormal. Basically, real life.
Fun! Yes, but this is also where the work comes in because it’s not just about family or our own individual books. Now we have hairdressers, doctors, policemen, firemen, lawyers, bartenders, waitresses, school kids, dance instructors. Did I mention we have two grocery stores, a cupcake shop, a candy store, an ice cream shop, two diners, a donut shop, a sub shop, fine Italian dining, two banks, three art studios…
We have a town populated with over 320 named characters. Think of it as if we were working together to build a village with interconnecting plastic blocks. Each of us needs to know what the other is doing. How do we manage that?
Next time, I’ll tell you about the Town/Character Playbook. Until then, come visit Spencer, in the Aspen Gold Series. Books thirteen and fourteen will be out later this year, and we already have a full schedule for next year.
There is an art to pursuit.
Keira is running out of time. The handsome stranger with a dragon tattoo says he can keep her safe, but he doesn’t know the demons on her trail… Will her mysterious past lead her to escape, or drag her back to living hell?
Owen Strong has suffered tragedy, but he’s made a new family in Spencer, Colorado—one he will protect at all costs. When he finds determined Keira Hoa, she rouses more than just trouble. Looking into her lonely eyes, he sees that everyone’s in danger.
But she’s come to the right place. He’s the monster hunter.
About Bernadette Jones
Romantic Suspense Writer, Never Give Up-er,
First Wives Club-er, Lifelong Dream Achiever & Mom
Bernadette Jones has been making up stories since she learned to read on her daddy’s lap. She has imagined casts of characters everywhere she’s called home: Texas, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Massachusetts, and now New York.
Books and music filled her life as she, her dad and two brothers traveled the country. She would sit in the back seat of the car—her older brother always got to ride shotgun—listening to the current music on the radio, looking out the window and spinning a story based on a phrase she’d heard in the lyrics. As you can imagine, traveling the country, the music changed from state to state, as did the stories. To this day, she enjoys a wide variety of music and book genres.
After a career in corporate writing, she’s decided to settle down and put pen to paper doing what she loves. Living the dream in her NYC apartment with her canine companion, she’s bringing her stories and characters to life.