It’s Day Three of our Week of Secrets party and today we have Kate St. James sharing…
Secrets of Successful Threesomes
Hah, thought I was talking about menages, didn’t you? I wish I could enlighten you about the secrets of sexual threesomes in erotic romance, but I’ve yet to write one. I might tackle a menage this year, though, so if you’d like to share your Do’s and Don’ts for successful menage stories, I’m all ears. We can make this a dual subject blog!
However, I’m primarily here to talk about how much I love writing related stories and trilogies. Or, I should say, I love to dream up related stories. Getting the chance to write them is another matter, dependant on my commitments, the fact that I am not a Speedy Gonzales writer, and the often finicky inclinations of the market. Whenever I write a manuscript, my mind naturally spins the idea or characters into sequels and trilogies. In fact, in a roundabout way, my December 2008 release, Exes & Ahhs in Secrets 26: Bound by Passion, is a conceptual sequel to Good Vibrations, which appeared in Secrets 21: Primal Heat in December 2007.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard the phrase “conceptual sequel” before. I think I might have just made it up. In case the idea already exists, I’ll explain that, in my mind, conceptual sequels are similar to thematic sequels and trilogies, but conceptual sequels and trilogies share a loose concept rather than a theme. Make sense? I hope so. If not, ask me questions and I’ll do my best to fake an answer.
Those of you who’ve read both Exes & Ahhs and Good Vibrations might be scratching their heads by now. How are the novellas related, you ask? Through setting and character professions. Both stories are set in Canada: Exes & Ahhs in Victoria, British Columbia and Good Vibrations in Calgary, Alberta. Both heroines work in or own businesses that either do or can revolve around sex and sensuality. In Good Vibrations, grad student Lexi O’Brien works in her aunt’s love shop, and in Exes & Ahhs bakery owner Risa Haber needs to create several erotic desserts to serve at an important catering client’s sexy birthday party. I didn’t brainstorm the connections after writing the novellas–the idea for Exes & Ahhs popped to mind while I was conceiving Good Vibrations. And because my mind loves working with trilogies, yes, I have a third related novella idea I may or may not get a chance to write, because now my muse has not only provided me with the bare bones of a plot for a third erotic romance novella set in Canada and revolving around a sexy business, but she’s also provided me with two sequel ideas to Exes & Ahhs! Gah, a writer could get exhausted.
I know I’m not the only writer plagued by sequel and trilogy ideas. I think it’s only natural to introduce a secondary character in a story and then that character begs you to tell her story. Can you guess which character in Exes & Ahhs really wants her own story? For those who haven’t yet read Exes & Ahhs (for shame!), it’s Kyla Jackson, Risa’s bakery employee. Kyla has the hots for Dante Ferraro, an Italian chef who works in hero Eric Lange’s restaurant. I discovered Kyla’s attraction to Dante while writing Risa and Eric’s story. In fact, the pair go on an off-the-page date during Exes & Ahhs. And it’s a disaster. Why? Because Dante’s ex-girlfriend has hexed him. The ex-girlfriend isn’t named in Exes & Ahhs, but, believe me, she exists. And she wants her story told after Kyla and Dante’s. Yi-yi-yi.
With luck (and time!), I’ll get the chance to write both sequels. As a writer, that would satisfy me very much. Once I’ve created a world, the urge to return to it is strong. Not to mention fun. However, for my readers, I’d like to know how you feel about sequels and trilogies. Do you enjoy reading them as much as writers love creating them? If you learn that a story is the second in a trilogy or that it is somehow linked to another story, does that make you more or less inclined to want to read it? If you haven’t read the first story yet, will you also buy it and read them in sequence? Or does the order in which you read the stories not matter, as long as each story can also stand on its own?
By the way, if you ever come across a secondary character that you wish had her or his own story, write the publisher and let them know. If the writer hasn’t considered writing a sequel for that story, her publisher might ask her to. Keeping her very busy writing successful threesomes, even if they aren’t menages. 😉
Readers, Kate’s next release, Kiss Me at Midnight, is slated for a December 2009 Secrets volume. Yes, she already has two sequel ideas for Kiss Me at Midnight, much to her combined distress and delight.
To read excerpts and reviews, please visit Kate on the web at www.katestjames.com. You can also find her on Facebook and MySpace. Her Red Sage books can be found by clicking here.
Go ahead and answer her questions…don’t forget that one lucky commenter this week will win their choice of a Red Sage book. Details can be found here.