Starting a new series is always difficult for me. I have to figure out the setting, the characters, and the plots all at the same time. Plus, because it's a series, I have to figure out how all the books tie together. The first part is hard, but it's fun. I love figuring out settings and new characters and the plot comes along as I plan out each story. The second part I struggle with, which makes it a little less fun. I didn't have any continuity of plot planned for the entire series when I wrote Finding the Wolf, the first book in my Dragon's Hoard Series, and it showed. I had great stories to tell about each of the different characters, but the books themselves didn't tie together well to make the series feel like a cohesive whole. I still love the Dragon's Hoard books and so do my readers, but I am not blind to the faults in my first series. My second series was The Oracle and in The Oracle's Flame I tried to correct my mistakes. Unfortunately, the composition of Flame made that difficult. I originally wrote Flame for an anthology call, but LT3 asked to publish it as a stand alone novel instead. I was able to rework the plot to find some continuity for the series, but it fizzled out after The Oracle's Hatchling and I had to turn in a different direction for The Oracle's Golem. Again, I love the series, I will happily keep writing the books until the series is finished, and the different direction will carry the series successfully to conclusion, but I know I can do better.
Dragon Consultant is my attempt to do better. As the first book in a new series, the Supernatural Consultant Series, it has to tick off some very specific boxes. The characters and the settings have to be introduced and the plot for the single book as well as the plot for the entire series has to be planned out. It's a lot to fit in, but without a strong start the series will begin to struggle and I don't want that to happen. I kept that in mind as I wrote Dragon Consultant and I think I was successful. I have put together the settings so the world my characters live in isn't a total mystery and the characters themselves are distinct and fun. Most importantly, I figured out an overall plot for the series wherein each individual book can crack open a little more of it.
Which brings me to the rest of the series and the giant question mark there. I know there are some authors who plan out an entire series from book one to book ten before they start writing anything. My brain isn't organized for that, unfortunately. Instead, when I wrote Dragon Consultant I left plenty of possibilities for things that could happen in subsequent books in addition to the overall plot of the series. I don't know exactly what might happen in book two or book ten (if the series will even be that long), but I have written enough in book one to be able to create a beginning for the rest of the series. So far book two is a little muddled. I originally planned for a ten year gap between Dragon Consultant and Dragon Detective to let my main character in Detective grow up. It has worked well enough so far and Dragon Detective is growing steadily, but those ten years were bothering me. I decided to throw in a fun short story halfway between the two stories to help lessen the time difference. It started out being called Dragon Consultant's Day Off, which was eventually shortened to Dane's Day Off. Now, however, it's called Dragon Deception and I'm thinking it might be a full book two and Dragon Detective might move to book three.
That might sound confusing, but it's really not. I knew early on that the Dragon's Hoard series would only be four books and that The Oracle's series would only be five. As much as I love both series and want to write another book in them, there just wasn't enough plot available for more. I compromised with Oracle by starting a side series set in the same world, but it's with different characters and a totally different plot. The Supernatural Consultant series, on the other hand, doesn't have a finite end that I can see. I was able to set up the series from the first book to go on for as long as I can stretch it. It's entirely open ended, which means that until Dragon Detective is in the publisher's hands I can't say for certain whether it will be book three or book five! There's a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to seeing what the series has to offer.
Dragon Consultant has been submitted to LT3. I'm hoping to hear good news from them soon! To keep track of my progress writing Dragon Deception and Dragon Detective, as well as any other possible and eventual books in the series, please stop by my Coming Soon page.
March 21, 2018
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.