Archive for July 7th, 2008

Is it December yet? *G*

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Hello! My name is Jessica Barksdale Inclan, and I am so happy to be here blogging. I blog daily at www.redroom.com, but it is nice to come visit here.

Because my romance novels have come out in trilogies, I thought that I would write a little about what writing a trilogy is like. When my agent suggested that I write a romance, I never set out with the idea I would write two trilogies, two sets of three interlocking stories. In fact, my MO as a novelist has been to write relatively short novels, my manuscripts usually coming in at about 275 pages like clockwork, and the only thing that connected any of them was a similarity in setting. In terms of length and breadth, I imagine in a 275 page arc. My stories begin, climax, and end in that amount of time, without my even aiming for it. The manuscript I recently completed ended exactly at that point. In fact, I’d like my stories to go on a bit longer, to write some kind of Southern Gothic, intense drama that goes on for 400 pages, but I haven’t found that ability in me. Yet. Who knows? I never knew I could write a romance, a trilogy, or two trilogies.

So what was it like writing a trilogy? For me, it was like stepping into a place I knew well, liked, and wanted to stay in. There was a door into a world that I began to know intimately, and I could stay there for 900 pages. The people were like my best friends, even the ones with tremendous issues. And because I am nosy, writing trilogies allowed me to look at the scene, the world, the people from a variety of perspectives.

But when I started with my first romance novel When You Believe, it was a novel. One story, the story of a magic world and two people who meet within that world. One of the characters didn’t know she belonged to that world at all, and another character taught her that she did, plus a few other things, if you catch my meaning! It was fun, a romp, and conveniently (or so I realized later) my main male character had two brothers. Lo and behold, each of them could have a story as well.

In a plot boggle, though, I’d introduced the oldest brother as already married in When You Believe, so I had to go forward in time for Reason to Believe to tell that story. Some readers were a bit irked, but by Believe in Me, I was able to follow the plot line from When You Believe and tie up all my lose ends, end that were loosened in the other two novels. That was fun. Usually, there are loose ends in a story, one or two small items that never get tied up completely. But in a trilogy, there is time–900 pages worth of time–to right the wrongs that come of story telling.

By the time I arrived at trilogy number two and Being With Him, I had figured out the narrative arc a little bit more clearly than in my first. Meaning, I knew how a trilogy worked and I wasn’t going to mess with chronology in terms of jumping backward in time (I would leave that up to my characters!). However, I really didn’t know much about the world, discovering what it was all about as my characters did. Both of my main characters in this first novel have no clue that, uh, they aren’t from here, here meaning earth. They just thought they didn’t belong, fit in. They figured they had serious adjustment issues, and it was fun to create their understanding of where they were from and what they meant to each other. Lo and behold, one of my characters had been separated from her siblings, and thus I saw my trilogy path. Intimate Beings follows this story line, and as I wrote that novel, I learned more about the world as well. By the time I ended the story with my as yet untitled final novel in that trilogy, I’d figured quite out quite a lot, learning just about all I could in terms of my characters’ hopes, dreams, desires. I also knew the world I’d created in a way I hadn’t thought possible.

Trilogies let me sink in as I’ve never been able to before. I don’t think I could sustain a 900 page novel, but I can sustain 900 pages of writing that contain three novels. There is a difference to me, as I seem to need to shorter, quicker arc of tale.

Perhaps I will never write another trilogy again, but it was fun and interesting and a learning experience, both times. I felt happy to stay in my world for long periods of time, and I can only imagine the mourning that JK Rowling felt when she had to leave Harry and Co behind after all that world building. When you spend so much time with characters, they become people you feel you know, people you care about, and when the trilogy or series ends, so do they.



***Be sure to leave a comment to be in the running to win a book by Jessica!

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I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I waited until this morning to post the winners to give others time over the weekend to drop by and leave a comment.

We have a winner! The winner of my extra copy of VIKING UNCHAINED by Sandra Hill is……

Quilt Lady!!

Congrats Quilt Lady!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so I can get the book out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a winner! The winner of SOUL OF A HIGHLANDER is……….


Congrats Pam!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you. Enjoy!

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First, let me just say that I’m a goofball. Lisa offered four copies of BEAST OF DESIRE which I mistakenly called Book #1 in her Knights of Whites series. There was a slight booboo. *G* BEAST OF DESIRE is actually Book #2. So to make up for my mistake, I went and ordered four copies of THE BEAST WITHIN, Book #1, no, really, it is Book #1 of the series. *G* So the following winners will receive one book from Lisa and one book from me.

We have winners! The winners of THE BEAST WITHIN & BEAST OF DESIRE are……….






Congrats ladies!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the books out to you. Enjoy!

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We have a winner! The winner of HARD AS NAILS is……….


Congrats Greta!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you. Enjoy!

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