How Did It Happen?
As you know, The Doctor’s Daughter, was released last week. It’s done all right for itself, though, of course, it could do better – they all can do better. It did rise into the Amazon top 100 in several categories when first released, though it has dropped below that mark since.
But, that’s not the point of this article. In this article, I want to talk about how this sexy, historical romance came about. It’s not a long story, but it is a little educational.
I wrote my first historical romance way back in 1990 (or so). Like The Doctor’s Daughter it was a Victorian, although it spanned an earlier Victorian period, closer to the civil war. Also like The Doctor’s Daughter, it took place out west, but the 1990 book included a wagon journey from east to west, a journey on which a great deal of action and romance took place.
For The Doctor’s Daughter, I wanted to focus on one town in the west, the fictional berg, Virtue, in Arizona Territory. No venturing out further than Prescott, and no wild wagon rides. Like Cherise Sinclair’s “Shadowlands” books, the stories in this series revolve around a single nexus: Virtue, Arizona. People come and go, and that’s what makes the stories dynamic.
I took a long break from writing this year—six months. I needed to refresh my brain and find a new focus. As I was engaged in other non-fiction pursuits, I kept having ideas for fiction stories. I wrote each of them down in as much detail as came to me. One of those ideas was Virtue. What if, I asked myself, there were sisters, all named after virtues? Would they be particularly virtuous people?
I gave it a lot of thought. The family scape came to me easily, much as the Journey Family Series did. And after a brief discussion with Blushing Books (on another topic), I was told that I was missed and it was pointed out that my historical romance, The Blacksmith’s Bride, was one of my best sellers next to the Journey books. They asked if I would be willing to write a new historical romance. In addition, when I was not writing fiction, I had more than a few fans tell me they were unhappy that I wasn’t giving them new books. I have to say, fan correspondence does sway me. Knowing that someone actually follows my work is uplifting, especially during those moments when I wonder why I’m doing it.
The timing seemed providential. I could easily use my Virtue ideas and plot them into a series of four romantic books about five naughty sisters.
A few days ago, I finished writing the second book in the series, a Christmas story involving Charity Bucknell, second of the Bucknell sisters. It’s now sitting with Blushing Books, waiting for a thumbs-up and further planning.
So, that, my friends, is how the Virtue, Arizona, series came about. A simple idea given the right time to blossom.
I hope you enjoy Virtue and its people, and especially the Bucknells, who each has a story to tell.