I miss posts all the time–no harm, no foul. First, thank you for your kind words. Next,I have often struggled with the sense that Phoebe’s role has always been a little too secondary, so i plan to put her front and center soon…
And last, I think with this first book in the Cross-Pollination series, I just knew which ones I wanted in the story and then just started asking how they could wind up in the same place, and then let the characters take it from there, based on the previous storylines in their books.
As for the intricacies of plotting and maintaining flow with each storyline within the book…that’s usually the hardest part…not sure how I manage to do it–some magic combination of creativity (what-iffing,whatthefucking, and flipping assumptions) experience (I’ve had lots of practice plotting after all these years at it) and maybe happy accidents (love it when something just lines up, and solves a problem or enriches the story without me concocting it). And most recently, a lot of it is due to brainstorming with my wife (brainstorming is always a great technique, and it helps if you can do it with another person, instead of just inside your own head). Throw in some eye of newt and hair of the dog, and maybe that’s how. And by hair of the dog, I don’t mean more alcohol, LOL. I’m not one of THOSE writer-cliches. I mean going back to it the next day, with another fresh cup of coffee.
From the After Words of Pooly Fall:
I had to give some thought to where I would be taking these series characters, as they, too, mature and move into other stages of their lives. And I didn’t want to fall prey to the usual trajectory of series characters and plots becoming stale. Thus, I am always looking for changes that will breathe new life into the characters and the challenges they face.
One of those changes is the introduction of this new series of tweener books called the Cross-Pollination series, which will gather certain characters from my books into one storyline like this one. I hope it will serve as an hors-d’oeuvre; an interesting segue between the next books in any given series, while providing my readers with a little taste of those literary people they like the best, since it’s impossible for me to write four books at a time, and inevitably, I have to choose just one.
I’m sure other authors have had this idea, although I’ve had trouble finding many examples, so at least this type of book isn’t saturating the market. I like being a pioneer. Jenny Bhatt said it best: “The best fiction, for me, is that which supersedes genre distinctions and stands apart as a unique hybrid.” That’s what I try to do with all my books.
It’s also what I’m doing with my revamped Lesbian Literati Press. It’s diverse, inclusive fiction for all orientations. I have readers from many different demographics, and psychographics, and I want to deliver quality fiction to all of them, based not on where they live, who they love, or how much money they make, but on what their emotional needs are for the books they read.
Although I almost always have gay and lesbian characters, I seem to have entrenched myself quite naturally in books that are always nestled in the adventure genre, regardless of the other genre-elements they might possess. My goal is always a tight, logical, quick, unpredictable plot filled with challenges to flawed and lovable characters. It seems to be the core nature of the stories I tell.
In relation to Pooly Fall in particular, I am launching a new idea in marketing strategy, problem-solving, and evolution as a writer. Crossover fiction has several definitions, only one of which applies to this new series. “A crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings,or universes into the context of a single story.” I haven’t read any authors who’ve done this. My wife mentioned that Jayne Ann Krentz does this in her books.
I’m not sure how often it’s been done in niche-markets like lesbian fiction, which has been my primary category and reader-base, but perhaps it matters little. The point is, that’s where my body of work is moving since I began doing series fiction, and I didn’t want it to be like most other series fiction.
But for me, it is more than characters merely crossing over like a cameo appearance in our
favorite shows. I think of this Cross-Pollination series as tweener books, special editions, like TV programs do when they air Christmas specials not related to the overarching storyline of all the books; except these Cross-Pollination books of mine will be related, and serve to set up the individual storylines of the next book in each series.
That aside, my biggest obstacle is which series book I will focus on next. Ultimately, it has to be the one that pulls me the strongest, regardless of which one readers might want to see first.
My attempts to finish Frequent Crier Miles resulted in trashing the whole idea and pulling out the last portion of it and making it a whole new story. This resulted in bestselling Go.Leave.Stay. which was the first co-authorship of me and my wife Melissa.
It remains to be seen which story and characters will pull the hardest on me. Ultimately, an author must write what speaks the loudest to be written.Thank you all for your continued support, and for reading. I’ll do my best to keep you entertained, rattle your cage a little, and provide hours of meaningful communion.