Hi folks! I'm back with the third author in the Regency Silk and Scandal series: author Gayle Wilson. Please give her a warm welcome.
Regency Silk and Scandal is a unique 8 book author generated Regency continuity, featuring an ongoing mystery murder plot that runs through the whole series. It's about three friends, two scandalous affairs, and one secret code that leads to murder, disgrace and revenge. The stories will captivate the reader as they travel from the Cornish Coast to the heights of Hertfordshire, and from the ballrooms of London to the battlefields of Belgium.
Kari: What was it like for you in brainstorming an 8 book mystery plot?
Gayle: I loved having a group of talented and knowledgeable Regency writers to bounce ideas off of and to offer advice and encouragement. For the past few years I’ve been writing contemporary romantic suspense and am a little rusty on the period details, so I loved being able to ask questions of my fellow authors, who all generously shared their expertise. We also had a great time brainstorming and plotting the continuity points in all eight books. Writing a single title can be like walking a tightrope without a net because until the finished product gets to an editor, you never really know whether or not you’ve succeeded in pulling the reader into your fictional world.
My experience with this continuity was very much like having a wonderful critique group, always interested, always helpful, and very, very wise. Working with these particular authors couldn’t have been a greater pleasure for me--unless we had somehow managed to do our consulting around a cozy fire while sharing tea and cakes.
Kari: Oooh, cozy fire with tea and cakes...swap the tea for a margarita and I'm in :-) Can you tell us about your book in the series?
Gayle: At the beginning of Claiming the Forbidden Bride, Major Rhys Morgan, late of His Majesty's Light Dragoons, is on a journey to London, hoping, despite serious injuries suffered on the Peninsula, to continue his service for king and country. The consequences of his heroic rescue of a little girl pitch him instead into the midst of a Romany camp and into the arms of a beautiful and mysterious Gypsy healer. The last thing Nadya Argentari, my Romany heroine, wants or needs is a romantic involvement with an Englishman. When someone seems to be targeting her and her family, however, Rhys vows to protect the woman with whom he has fallen in love—a relationship they both know will never be accepted in the either of the very disparate worlds they inhabit and especially not by Nadya’s very dangerous brother Stephano.
Kari: Okay, I'm hooked. Can't wait to read tha tone. Is this something you would ever do again, and any tips for authors thinking about co-writing a book or contributing to a connected series such as this one?
Gayle: I would consider doing a project like this again, especially with the same authors. I do think that’s the key to success for something like this—working with a compatible, open-minded group. As for tips, I would say that any writer who wants to work in such a collaborative venture should be prepared to participate in the necessary brainstorming. We were very lucky to have members of the group who were detail-oriented and who were, thankfully, willing to be the record keepers for the rest of us.
I’m a “fly by the seat of the pants” writer, one whose stories evolve as I write them, so I was not accustomed to plotting in such detail prior to the actual writing. However, with this kind of connected series, that pre-planning has to happen. The other thing I’d remind authors thinking about becoming involved in a connected series is that the emotional “heart” of each book must be as strong and moving as any romance they’ve ever written. You can’t afford to get bogged down in the minutia of the series elements and neglect the central romance and tensions of your own story.
Kari: Thanks so much for being here and I look forward to reading this series.