We’re talking about linked series this week, keeping the faith with readers, and future plans for existing series of mine. Today we’re talking about my dragons. (Well, actually, they’re dragon shape shifters.)
I have two dragon series, Dragonfire, which is paranormal romance, and The Dragon Diaries, which is a spin-off paranormal YA series.
1/ The Dragon Diaries
First, the executive summary.
My idea for the Dragon Diaries grew out of story, not out of a particular desire on my part to write YA. I realized that Zoë, who is the daughter of Erik Sorensson and believed by her father to be the next Wyvern of the Pyr, would come into her powers at puberty. This development would be more challenging for her than for the other Pyr teenagers, because there is only ever one Wyvern at a time so there’s no one to give Zoë advice. Also, previous Wyverns have been mysterious and elusive – even her dad isn’t sure of everything they could do. I thought her coming of age would be a fun teenage adventure, and it was terrific fun to write. Book #3, BLAZING THE TRAIL, will be published in June.
People have already asked me where the teenage dragons go from here. I really like where the series ends (no spoilers from me!) and the possibilities it opens for the future of these kids. On the other hand, I don’t really see the stories of the kids we’ve met so far as YA books. The Pyr guys, for example, will see major character developments when they have their respective firestorms. Maybe they are “new adult” books. Or maybe there could be a spin-off paranormal romance series featuring the next generation. There are also all of the younger Pyr who were too young to have roles in this YA series. It’s possible that they could have their own YA series. So, I’m not sure where this goes, at least not right now. Ideas are simmering, and I need to wait for one to come to the boil.
As a result, the YA book that I have in work is totally unconnected to the Pyr. It’s paranormal YA, and in very early stages. At this point, I’m not sure there will be dragons in it at all. In a way, that’s part of the adventure of writing it!
Again, an executive summary.
This paranormal romance series currently stands at seven novels in print and one short story. Dragonfire #8 will be published in October of this year and is called EMBER’S KISS. I’ve always thought there would be a total of 13 books in the Dragonfire series, but have been playing around with that assumption this year. Thorolf and Sloane will have their own books – and Sloane will be last, as the Apothecary must heal the world – but in documenting my loose ends, I’m thinking of different ways to resolve them.
There is Marco, the Sleeper, whose story even I don’t know in its totality. He’s interesting, though, and likely merits his own book. (I really do want to see Marco be surprised, and have to think of what kind of woman would be able to surprise him. Hmm.)
There is Drake and also his Dragon’s Tooth Warriors. One of the things that can be frustrating about writing a linked series is that I like to have an over-riding story arc. So, Drake and his guys disappeared in DARKFIRE KISS. I know where they are and what they’re doing, but each time I add a scene to update readers about Drake’s adventures, my editor thinks it distracts from the story at hand. It’s very hard to build the over-arching story if virtually all scenes have to be in the POV of the hero and heroine of the moment, and have to directly impact the resolution of their conflict. So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to tell the adventures of Drake and his dudes. I think digital-first novellas might work, so I plan to write the first novella this summer and see how it works out on the page. I still suspect that Drake will get his own book, but shouldn’t his guys get their HEA’s too?
In addition, there are a few new loose ends that you don’t know about yet because you haven’t read EMBER’S KISS. They might also be well resolved in novellas.
I’m now looking at either ten books plus novellas (depending on how the novella plan works out) or twelve (maybe thirteen) books.
(N.B. – someone mentioned on FB, that not all readers read digital novellas – I know that because I’m one of them! I should make clear here that my intention would be to gather the novellas together into anthologies, which would be available both in both print and digital formats. That’s what I like about the idea of doing them in groups.)
There’s also a new possibility for another spin-off paranormal romance series, given the events in EMBER’S KISS.
My dragons are in flight right now, and I’m still watching their flight patterns to see their destinations! I’ll let you know when I know.
3/ Other Stuff
I also would like to diversify my Cooke brand a bit – that’s publisher-talk for my writing paranormal romance that stars creatures other than dragon shape shifters. I wouldn’t mind getting back to my Coven of vampires, for example, and there is another idea taking shape on my hard drive. I doubt that much will come together before the fall, partly because it’s so exciting to think about possibilities (and partly because I have Claire’s stories and dragon stories to tell.)
So, now you know what I know! Things can change due to opportunities arising, but this is my working plan right now. I like it.