"Write the story you want to read."
That has always been my favorite piece of writing advice. I mean, otherwise ... why bother? Throughout various genres, I've aimed to do just that and it has served me well, in that--yes!--I wound up loving the stories I wrote. The only trouble with writing those stories is the same one I have after reading a stand-alone novel I truly love: I want more. Isn't it just the worst when you hit the last page and close the book on the characters and settings you lived and breathed throughout its pages with no sequel in sight?
So in writing my own stories, I wound up never wanting to stop delving into the minds of my characters. But now ... now I don't have to stop--or at least I get to spend a lot more time with them.
The Awaken My Heart series will do more than keep the stand-alone novels in the family, providing updated glimpses of characters who have already had their time in the spotlight. I'll add novellas after each spotlight novel that explore that couple in new situations. Of course, Ren & Galen are the first pair to claim the spotlight in Jigsaw Hearts. Their first novella, Pieces of You, Pieces of Me, has launched, and a second novella will soon follow. Also in the works ... the spotlight will shine on Corinne Zabriese and ________ (not letting that out just yet!) in a second novel. I'm super excited about the line of romance I'm building, and I hope you're loving it, too!
So what are those books that made me wish I could continue reading about the characters? I could never list them all. It happens quite often. Let's just say I'm ticked at Stephenie Meyer for not writing a sequel to The Host (no apologies ... I enjoyed it. Loved many of the characters.) After Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, I still need another glimpse into Taylor Greer's life. S.E. Hinton needs to pick up a pen or hit the keyboard and let me know what the remaining greasers from The Outsiders are up to these days. I need more of Melissa Foster's Luke Braden (Taken By Love). I don't understand why, because I could never be attracted to a man like him, but I want to read about Heathcliff again (Wuthering Heights). Most recently, should the duo of Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland decide to write more about Dr. Simon Hogue (Dear Bridget, I Want You), I certainly would not object.
What characters, stories, and/or settings do you need more of?