I can get an idea for a story from almost anywhere. A glimpse of an actors’ face on a TV screen while I passed through a room made me think, ‘She could easily play the part of an evil queen.’ My next immediate thought, ‘How do evil queens get their bad reputations?’ With this in mind, I started to write the novel, “The Dark Lady.” Of course, being a pantser, I went off in a slightly different direction with the story, but that is all part of the fun, with a heroine becoming more a young Elizabeth the First, than the witch in Wicked. This volume with its medieval fantasy setting, complete with murder and treachery, solves some issues, but still leaves a lot hanging, with hints of what might take place in the future.
I thought I was finished with the story, but then the publisher asked, “What happens next?” This tale turned into a trilogy. The middle book is, “Dark Days,” now with a slightly older cast. I try to write each subsequent book in a trilogy with an opening that gives the reader enough information that if they start with the second or third book they will still be able to follow along. “Dark Days” jumps the story ahead two years, and builds on the first book with treachery, assassinations, and hints of romance, while advancing the plot. The second book wraps up some issues, but then ends with a crisis that hopefully keeps the reader interested enough to continue onward.
The third book, “Dark Knights,” more action oriented, gathers all the issues remaining from the first two books, plus the latest serious treachery and invasion threats, and wraps up the adventure into what I felt was a satisfactory conclusion for more than just the main character, while leaving what might happen next up to the reader’s vivid imagination.