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A Summer To Rememberby Mary Balogh
Author Q & A
The lure of related stories
by Mary Balogh
I can remember as a newly published author being startled to receive letters from readers asking me what happened to various characters after the book's ending. They wanted to know things like how many children the hero and heroine had and what genders they were. They wanted to know what happened to various minor characters and asked me to write stories for them—even villains—to give them their own happy ending.
The curious thing was that when I started to think about these minor characters, I began to wonder about them myself. In a number of cases I found myself having to write that sequel readers had asked for. There is, in fact, a whole network of relationships among the more than sixty books I have written.
I don't know why I was so surprised. As a reader I go back time and again to learn more about Kinsey Millhone in Sue Grafton's mysteries, about Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich's, and about Richard Sharpe in Bernard Cornwell's military adventures. Readers love related stories. So, thankfully, do writers!
When I wrote A Summer to Remember, I needed to create a family—aristocratic, powerful, snobbish, even obnoxious—to give my heroine, Lauren Edgeworth, a rough time when she "steals" the hero, Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensberg, from one of them. And so were born the Bedwyns, four brothers and two sisters headed by the cold, enormously toplofty Duke of Bewcastle. I recognized early that they were the sort of characters who would have taken over the book if I had given them half a chance. I also realized that each of the six was going to have to be given a story.
When I mentioned this to my editor at Dell, she agreed with me and within just a few days she had asked me to write all six over a two-year period. Now it just so happens that readers ask me for something else just as often as they ask for sequels—they ask for more frequent books.
Here they are, then, A Summer to Remember itself and the first three Bedwyn books, all to be published over a four-month period: Lord Aidan Bedwyn's story in Slightly Married, Lord Rannulf's in Slightly Wicked, and Lady Freyja's in Slightly Scandalous.
There are, of course, three more Bedwyn books to come, plus a few other spinoffs from One Night for Love and A Summer To Remember, plus one more Mistress book. And there are minor characters within the Bedwyn books....
Writing related stories could well become addictive.
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