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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When One Isn't Enough: Writing Series Fiction

I realize that it’s been a little while since I’ve posted any new material to the blog.  I hope you’ll forgive me; you see I’m very much otherwise engaged in the business of writing the second installment of the Genie Chronicles series—and, dear Lord, is it dominating every second of my free time!  Just ask my kids, who’ll tell you all about what life is like living out of laundry baskets strategically scattered among precariously leaning towers of cardboard boxes at our new house.

Yes, it’s been three weeks and we’re still not unpacked, but I have a novel to write—an apparently much anticipated novel that I’m receiving emails and messages about daily— and there are pathways cleared to the showers, refrigerator, washer and dryer.  (Remember that before any of you turn me into child protective services!)

For your reading pleasure, I’m hosting Through the Wormhole:  Confessions of a Bookworm’s first EVER guest blogger, Amalia Dillin, author of the Fate of the Gods series from World Weaver Press.  Amalia is certainly a far more professional writer than I, and her approach to writing series fiction is an enlightening one.

Please, make her welcome!

Fate of the Gods: Identity Crisis

Writing a series is an adventure. I was lucky, to an extent, in that I had already written all three books in my Fate of the Gods trilogy plus the Tempting Fate novella before World Weaver Press contracted me. In fact, I wrote Fate of the Gods all in one go. I went from book one directly into book two into book three without stopping, and I didn't finalize where one book ended and the other began until after I was done with the first two.

The downside to this approach was that it meant any revisions to book one and two would have ripple effects through the rest of the already-written series. But the benefit was that it kept me close to my characters, and tonally, it kept things on track. There wasn't a huge amount of growth in my style between books, and it all stayed pretty cohesive without a lot of work on my part.

Because that’s the trick with writing a series – keeping it cohesive and keeping the continuity of the events from book to book. But that only applied to the first three books. And Fate of the Gods provided another challenge: my TEMPTING FATE novella was wildly different.

I wrote TEMPTING FATE more than a year after finishing the others, and because it was told from Mia’s perspective instead of Eve’s, it was almost a different genre altogether – the main three novels are all solidly Adult Fantasy (subcategorized as mythological fantasy with a splash of alternate history), but TEMPTING FATE was completely contemporary, almost more of a paranormal romance, and not nearly so adult.

 At my editor’s suggestion, I added a second point of view, in order to align the novella a little bit closer to the three original books in style. But Mia was always going to be Mia, with a much younger voice and a much more narrow view of the world. Mia’s scope is smaller, more concerned with escaping her family and breaking free of her sister’s influence – and those are themes, which combined with her age, are much more New Adultish in focus than the rest of the series.

I did my best to bridge the genres – bringing Adam’s perspective into the novella to balance Mia’s voice – and I can only hope that it will be enough to appeal to both audiences. Hopefully the readers on both sides will let me know!

Tempting Fate is an e-novella that takes place during the events of Forged by Fate, the first book in the Fate of the Gods trilogy. Learn more about the series by following the links, or check out!

                                                                  Amalia Dillin

Amalia Dillin began as a biology major at the University of North Dakota before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn’t stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dreams of the day when she will own goats — to pull her chariot through the sky, of course.
You can find her online at, follow her on Twitter @AmaliaTd, or find her on Facebook.