My original plan while Everlasting was a work-in-progress was to include a Forward, but as the clock kept ticking and the release got bogged down by the process, I nixed that idea for a couple of reasons:
- Does anyone actually read that stuff?
- Was I micro-managing the story? (It’s funny if you think about it)
Color me embarrassed because, ‘yeah,’ people DO read that stuff! Okay, so grab a beverage and have a seat as I ramble and by doing so answer a few burning questions.
Poetic License and Family Justice
My journey as a storyteller began a long, long time ago. On a whim a couple of years back I took a stab at turning a story into a manuscript. For those who’ve heard this scintillating narrative, what actually happened was this: after 30+ years in education, I hit the wall and decided early retirement was a healthier alternative than staying to the bitter end. Right away, I started getting into trouble. By ‘trouble’ I mean, taking on new hobbies like cake decorating, chalk painting and jewelry making. My daughter wisely intervened! She gave me a new box of crayons with some drawing paper and suggested I sit down and write that book I’d been going on and on about for years.
So, I did! At a folding table in a high-rise vacation timeshare across from a beach on the Gulf of Mexico, I wrote Broken Justice. I was excited about the process and that I actually had it in me to move a story from concept to manuscript! Afterward, I assumed that was it. Time to find something else to occupy my time.
When my little happily ever after about a brooding veteran with loner aspirations who fell for an innocent lost-girl connected with readers, I was flabbergasted. People wanted to know more—about the other guys.
What’s a storyteller to do except write the tales of the other two? Fixing Justice followed and then the series came full circle with the final book, Redeeming Justice.
After the 3 Justice Brothers books wrapped up, readers still wanted more, and more, and MORE! This clamor led to the birth of Family Justice, and now here we are, six books in and the supporting details in the overall narrative have frayed.
It’s what happens when a single story becomes a never-ending saga. As more characters and happily ever after’s joined the Justice crew, an informal timeline kicked off.
Eventually ~ the timeline became a mess. The stories happened organically / weren’t conceived as an on-going series / and weren’t written in ‘real time.’
What to do? What to do? What to do?
With Everlasting up next, as Junior Justice came into clearer view, it was apparent a more precise timeline was necessary. An exhausting review of the eight previous books took place. With this information, I waved my poetic license wand (every author gets one when they publish!) and swept everything into a big ol’ messy pile. Then, using a hilarious grid drawn on a piece of cardboard from a discarded desk calendar, the relevant dates were set down. Ages, birth dates, anniversaries, time frames – scribbled, crossed out, arrows – it all came into view.
That’s what you see in Everlasting. The timeline reader’s want is coming together. I’ve moved the story as much as possible into a coherent time frame and brought in supporting characters from the Wilde Women series with matching storylines in this period.
Poetic license is defined like this:
poetic license noun the freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect: he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale.
Right off the bat, I applied this ‘freedom’ where Parker and Angie’s wedding is concerned. The ‘official’ date is March 20th. Was March 20th a weekend in 2017? No.
Now, let’s talk about where the Justice saga goes from here.
EVERLASTING IS NOT THE FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES.
There’s so much more Justice to come – including a few surprise novellas!
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other Halliday Happily Ever After’s on the drawing board. I’m hoping to finish the Affair Series later this year and have a new stand alone tentatively titled, Cupid in Heels penciled in.
What’s the takeaway from this #AuthorRant?
Family Justice as an on-going series, CONTINUES.
The loose end wrap-up in Everlasting is how the timeline and supporting details were handled.
There’s so much more to come!
Thank you for coming along on this epic storytelling journey. Hearing from enthusiastic readers who want to share their love of the quirky characters and HEA’s that I write about has enriched my #authorlife beyond words!
Much love to all,