I decided to change the name of my latest series. I had been going to call it “Pine Mountain Estates” after the rural mountain development where the main characters of the current books in the series live. However, two of the characters in the second book live in the nearby town of Forest Peak, not on the mountain, and the main character of the fourth book is not anywhere near Pine Mountain Estates or Forest Peak.
Also, though I originally planned to end the series at the fourth book, during the past couple of months I’ve had a niggling at the back of my mind that I might want to carry the series on beyond four books. This idea confronted me like a skunk’s tail in a raccoon’s face a few days ago, when I realized that the fourth book needed to be about this one character’s journey – both spiritual and literal – without the romance that I’d been planning to add to it.
Yet, I still want to write the romance. So, it needs to be a different book. The fifth book.
And after that romance? I’ve come to really like these characters, and I want to follow their lives more, dig into them and see where they might go.
On top of that, I have other ideas for Christian women’s fiction. What if I set them in the same area and include some of the initial characters, thereby turning my works of women’s fiction into an ongoing series? It’s a popular strategy among both traditionally and independently published authors, in probably every genre you could think of.
So, here’s the plan. I’m going to name the series after the fictional town in the area where I’m setting the stories, so it will hereafter be called the “Forest Peak” series. This year, I will publish the first four books in the series (they should all be available for purchase by early fall), then every year after, until I’ve exhausted my ideas for the series, I’ll add one more novel to it. Once I have six books, I’ll create two boxed sets of three, and afterward do the same as soon as I have three more books in the series published.
This works out perfectly for me because I want to write sweet, clean romance series as well as Christian supernatural series, and up until now I’ve been frustrated about how to fit all my ideas together in a coherent business model. How do I write straight Christian women’s fiction, as well as the other genres I want to throw my hat into?
I am truly excited about this decision.
But now, excuse me while I go tweak the cover for the first book. I need to change the series name.
Hey, I’m back! Here’s the updated cover: