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author’s blog

A return to Solvang

July 17, 2017

I did not realize it had been so long since my last author’s blog entry. I’ve been busy and a lot has happened in the last twelve months … I guess I’ll begin with the writing.

Solvang has returned. I think of it as a summer series. So, you can expect another mystery next summer. And the summer after that. I’ve got ideas. All I need is time to write. Let’s begin with a few questions about this summer’s mystery.

What is the deal with Felicia and her brother?

Well, that is a tricky question. Her brother is a character in one of the books I’m releasing next year. (Next April, to be precise.)  What he did is a major plot point in the book. So, I can’t discuss it here. But the important take-away is that with the impending 15-year anniversary of their parents’ deaths, he’s ready to repair their relationship.

But his sudden arrival has thrown Felicia off her game. In her first day of this  investigation , she is missing the obvious. (Does that help you figure out the mystery?)

Is there a reason everyone’s parents are dead? (i.e. Pablo’s, Felicia’s, Chef’s…)

Well, that was my  brilliant solution to a dumb problem. I didn’t want to create parents for my characters this time around. So, instead of just naming them and not using them. I killed them all off. A few of them rather violently.  Solving the problem created a new one. Now I have this history and I ended up naming them anyway.

But the solution-problem-solution gave me backstory in defining the characters. With the notable exception of Aliana Cooper, the characters are adult orphans. They didn’t lose their parents until they were adults. The when and how of the loss of their parents shaped the characters and their personalities. It doesn’t matter how old you are, loss is never easy. The loss has changed each character differently. (Not that you knew them before it happened.)

This story seems to have more drama than mystery.

Well, that is not a question. But it is true. The Michaels-Hoffman family dynamic creates tension and drama. Paul’s arrival throws Felicia off her game. And before he arrives, there is a bit of a rift between Felicia and her husband. This time around, I wanted the drama and her family to get in her way a bit more. (And I didn’t want them to come across as the perfect family, because no one is perfect.)

So, what’s coming up?

Tomorrow is the Book Birthday for Come With Me Now, the Kerry Page Mad Dog Chronicles spinoff. So with next week’s installment of Solvang, there will be another Author’s Blog entry about the long-promised spinoff.

And I’ve been crazy busy writing. I have a couple completed novels I’ve been holding to release next year with what I’ve been writing this year. It is my The Broken Road series. I’ll talk more about it when we get closer to the release of the first book, but it will be a 6-book series. Think romance and twisted modern-day fairy tales.

And I’ve been prepping the next Mad Dog Chronicles spin-offs. In 2019, there will be three. One will feature Donna Bauer-Donnelly, The Princess, who is a descendant of Ancient Nubian royalty. Do you think that comes with perks or problems? The second one will feature Andrea Cannone, Daniela Blanchi’s husband. It will take a deeper dive into the infamous Cleaning process and detail his struggles to start a new life after learning the truth about his wife. The third one will feature The Italian herself, Daniela Blanchi. Curious to know what made her the way she was? I certainly am.

And as I stated above,  Solvang will return next summer and the following. Consider it renewed for at least two more seasons. And probably a Christmas mystery (in 2019).

I’ve got enough in the pipeline to keep you reading through 2019. So just keep reading!