Today, as promised, I have the pleasure of welcoming Canadian author Kristina Stanley as my Guest on Writing Wings. Kristina is the author of “Blaze“, which is Book 2 in the Stone Mountain Mystery series. I recently reviewed “Blaze” and I am looking forward to the release of Book 3, “Avalanche“, tomorrow.
Over to you, Kristina.
Thank you, Roland for having me on your site today. It’s a pleasure to be here to write about writing.
Writing a Series
Can you imagine being buried alive in an avalanche? Did you know a buried person can hear rescuers searching for him but can’t speak about because the pressure from the snow is keeping his mouth closed?
This terrifying knowledge is what I first learned about avalanches when I was researching BENEATH THE SNOW. I spoke to a man who’d been buried and survived, of course. He was generous enough to share details that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
So why am I telling you about this when the title of the post is Writing a Series?
BENEATH THE SNOW was the working title for AVALANCHE. It’s the first novel I wrote. I then went on to write DESCENT and BLAZE (working title BURNT).
As I wrote the first novel, I wasn’t aware I was writing a series. When I finished the novel, I knew Kalin Thompson and Ben Timlin had more to say.
By the time I had three novels in the Stone Mountain series finished, I learned a great deal about writing. Working with my agent, together we decided BENEATH THE SNOW should be retitled as AVALANCHE and rewritten to be the third in the series instead of the first.
Kalin Thompson (the protagonist) needed more knowledge and experience at a ski resort if she was to investigate a large theft and the disappearance of her brother at the same time. The title changed because by then we knew all the titles in the series had to be a one-word titles.
THE BENEFIT OF WRITING 3 NOVELS:
Having three novels in a series written gave me the opportunity to develop the character arcs across the series, plant information in the first two novels that would lead to the third, and be consistent with the setting.
I also believe writing three novels before approaching a publisher gave me time to develop needed skills.
CONSISTENCY IN MARKETING:
The covers for all three novels have a similar look and feel. The fabulous Ryan Doan created the artwork based on the setting of the series. The font, the text placement and cover layout are the same for each book. If a readers see my books on a shelf, they will know they go together. Because we knew ahead of time where the series going, the DESCENT cover was designed with the long term goal in mind.
A Little About AVALANCHE
(To Be Released Tomorrow!):
On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.
The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?
A Little About Kristina Stanley:
Kristina Stanley is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger. Her short stories have been published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Voices From the Valleys anthology. She is also the author of THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES.
Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas.
Find out more about her at www.KristinaStanley.com.
Links to the Stone Mountain Mystery Series:
AVALANCHE: myBook.to/Avalanche (on sale for a few more days only.)