Monday, May 7, 2018
NEW RELEASE—AND HOW I CAME TO WRITE A SERIES by J.L. Guin
My new novel, Lawman's Gun was released by Sundown Press on May l. Lawman's Gun is Volume 2 of the James P. Stone series. Volume 1, Pushed Too Far, was released January 23. Volume 3, Bounty Poachers, will be available in August of this year. It is planned as a four-volume series. I am currently writing the final volume.
I never really had the idea of writing a series in my mind—one day, it just came about.
I always liked a good challenge. When I first began writing westerns, I had it mind to just write short stories. After doing over three dozen “shortys”, I felt that I was ready to do more, so I challenged myself to step up to the next level. I wrote a couple of novellas, then further challenged myself to write novels. I'd have to say that writing a series has been at the top of my list.
When I first began writing this tale, I didn't want to do another fast gunman story; so, I came up with an ordinary guy (James P. Stone), a freight driver, running his freight between Missouri to various points in Texas. In a night-time camp, out on the prairie, in the Indian Territory, Stone awakens in time to witness an intruder shoot his partner. He is able to hear the name 'Laird' spoken, by a second intruder, just before being knocked unconscious. The next morning, Stone awakens to find his mentor partner Eldon Greyson murdered; their wagons, mules and the entire camp has been cleaned out of anything of value.
Stone does the best he can to bury his friend, then walks fifty miles to Denison, Texas, to report the crimes. When he learns that the local authorities have no jurisdiction to chase after someone in the Indian Territory, he swears a vendetta to find Laird, the killer, and exact his own justice. Volume one is the beginning of Stone's quest for vengeance.
When I was fifty thousand words into the story, I could have had Stone somehow locate his nemesis and, in a cloud of gun smoke, end the tale. But, I didn’t want to have my hero find the man so quickly. I felt so strongly about the story that I decided to continue with a second book. I ended the first story by having Stone, while serving as a temporary deputy county sheriff, meet with Deputy U.S. Marshal Jackson Millet. The federal lawman suggests that when Stone’s tenure as a county deputy is completed, he might give consideration to becoming a fellow deputy U.S. marshal. He gives Stone an address to contact him.
In the sequel, Stone meets with Jackson Millet at his Dodge City office. Stone is sworn in as a deputy U.S. marshal, as well. Both men agree that locating Laird will be on their mind while doing their deputy duties.
A second book made more sense to me than stretching the original into a ninety-thousand-word tome.
By the time I was near the end of Lawman's Gun, volume two, I saw the opportunity to turn Stone's hunt for Laird into a mini-series, so volume two's ending was written as the lead-in to number three.
I contacted Cheryl and Livia at Sundown Press to see if they might have an interest. Fortunately, for me, they agreed to take a look at my presentation. Sundown Press, headed up by Cheryl Pierson and Livia Washburn Reasoner, does exceptional work. They were very helpful in everything from editing to the cover of the book. The ladies are hardworking, supportive, tolerant, understanding, and very professional in their presentations. I am very pleased to be included in the Sundown Press line up.
How about you? Do you plan a series out before you begin your story? Or, like in my case, take advantage of the opportunity to turn the tale into a series as the story progresses?
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Jerry, I admire anyone who can write a series. I know it's beyond me. You did a super job with this series, and I'm really enjoying it. I have turned a short story into a novel, so I do understand that lengthening process, but to create a series, keep the action up in each book, and write a satisfying ending to each story while at the same time carrying it on to the next book is something I am not sure I could do. Great post, and food for thought!ReplyDelete
This is all new to me as well. Previously,I had no idea to write a series. When I began the second book, it then became a personal challenge to see if I could actually carry the story on.
Thank you for the support.
First, let me congratulate you on the latest release. I love when a character just has so much story to tell and finds the author to tell the story.ReplyDelete
I've not written a series, but I don't like to say never. I do have a collection of stories set in an area, but...
All the best and I look forward to the next in this series. You are correct, it is a wonderful experience working with Cheryl and Livia. They have been very supportive of my career and I can't thank them enough. Doris
Thank you, Doris.Delete
You are right, I found that my character,James Stone, had so much story to bring to light that I just couldn't end the story in one volume.
Your collection of stories set in an area are prime candidates for possible expansion. The best to you.
You are a better man than me. In all my published and many unpublished manuscripts, I have NEVER written a series.
Glad to see you getting novels into print.
Thanks for sharing your story about these books.
Thanks,Charlie. Do not underestimate yourself,sir. I had no idea to write a series, but when I got so far into the story, I began to see the possibility. The real credit goes to the folks over at Sundown Press. Cheryl and Livia are tops.ReplyDelete
Ahh... The Series. The idea of writing a series intrigues me, but the closest I will come is when I finish writing a set of related stories. Congratulations on this latest book in your series, and I'm looking forward to reading the continuing exploits of your characters.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kaye. This is all new to me.Delete
Hope you enjoy.
Good going on the series Jerry. I know story continuity and character details can be difficult to keep track of. It used to be many publishers didn't like series until an author was proven to be popular. Now they like for authors to have a series in mind. Readers today often want a series if they like the story and characters, especially since e-nooks are lower cost than paperback. Even if you have just single book they often ask, is there a series in there?ReplyDelete
Thank you Gordo.Delete
I have been caught in that trap on another of my books. "River Whiskey"
Been asked, more that a few times, if
a second book is coming.
I'm not sure why the buy link won't show up for me on LAWMAN'S GUN. I've tried several times to make it "stick" and it won't. :((( It's available at AMAZON, y'all!ReplyDelete
What I mean is, I went in and tried to post it several times on this blog and it won't take. It looks like it's on there, but when I click to VIEW THIS BLOG it's not there. So, everyone jump over to Amazon.Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Jerry, I can relate how a story idea can turn into a series. When I began my current release, it started out as a stand-alone, but I fell in love with the secondary characters and a trilogy was born. So I total appreciate how your story became a series. I want to read this series. When characters grow on you, it's wonderful to meet up with them time and again.ReplyDelete
You are spot on, Elizabeth. I relate to my main characters. I want them to succeed.Delete
Thanks for stopping by.
Jerry, congratulations on your release! I've done related stories, since a wrapped-up, satisfying ending is necessary in a romance, but not a series. At least not yet. Thanks for sharing how it's done.ReplyDelete
That's why the second then others following were written. I couldn't or rather did not want to formulate an ending.Delete
Thanks for stopping in, Tracy