Creating the Series

Hi everyone here at Read Your Writes!

This is my first visit here and I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about creating my series. The first book in this world is The Mark of the Tala. When I wrote that book, I called it “The Middle Princess.” See, I’d always been fascinated by fairy tales, particularly the kind about the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last. In those tales, the eldest would attempt something, screw it up; the next sister would attempt the very same thing, and screw it up; then the youngest and most beautiful would succeed.

I always wondered—what’s up with that middle princess? Who is she and how come she never has more of the story than that?

So I wrote about her, my Princess Andromeda—called Andi by most everyone—who’s pretty much invisible, and likes it that way. Then it turns out she’s been secretly betrothed since birth to an enemy king and things take off from there.

In the course of writing that book, I naturally included her sisters. The youngest and most beautiful, Princess Amelia—Ami—finds the fairytale true love only to discover it’s not what she thought it would be. Her book continues the story, The Tears of the Rose. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, belongs to the eldest, Ursula, a warrior and heir to the throne, who’s never quite measured up to her father, the High King Uorsin’s expectations.

Because these princesses are the daughters of the High King of the Twelve Kingdoms, that’s what that initial trilogy is called.

But the aftermath of The Talon of the Hawk set up a whole other set of issues. There’s a novella, The Crown of the Queen, that deals with that immediate story. It’s told from the point of view of Dafne, a librarian who assisted each princess in the initial trilogy with their journeys. Dafne ended up being such a popular character that readers demanded she have her own book.

Dafne’s book is my RITA® Award winning novel, The Pages of the Mind. Because her adventure starts off a new cycle in the series, hers is the first in The Uncharted Realms. (Also, I kept “discovering” new kingdoms!) But it’s also reasonable to consider it #4 overall.

Where the original Twelve Kingdoms trilogy was about the three princesses, The Uncharted Realms is about non-royal women. Dafne is sent on a scholarly spy mission by the high queen, accompanied by warrior woman Jepp and shapeshifter and sorceress Zynda, for protection. Dafne is unfortunately waylaid on the journey by a barbarian king. So Jepp continues the mission in The Edge of the Blade. Then Zynda picks up the torch in the just-released The Shift of the Tide.

There’s more to come. I’m planning on at least one more book, The Arrows of the Heart, for next spring, and probably one more after that to resolve the great overarching conflict.

At their center, however, the books are about women embracing their destinies, taking on the challenges to do their part to save their people, and about the men who love them and help them along the way.


*previously published on Read Your Writes in 2017*