Where to start, where to start. I guess somewhere in the middle, that’s logical.
NOTE: People said similar, yet story appropriate things about Indelible You, but since no one but me knew it was intentional, and there was only one book out, I didn’t even address it. Now that I have 2 of the 4 books out and more people are reading and reviewing and sharing their thoughts, I decided it is a good time to share some things running through my head while writing this series, and maybe give you a bit of an insight into the people of Imagine Ink.
I hate that I may lose readers because of my approach, but I am still committed to the continuity of this series. (Not all my work will follow this track.) I am learning from my readers though, and the things being mentioned that were not intentional on my part, are noted and will make the next book better. So please, keep commenting and reviewing, it matter so much, especially to me, as I am learning as I go, so to speak.
I wrote/am writing this series to be 4 books that you can read in any order or just 1 and still be able to enjoy it and not feel completely lost in a story that makes little sense without the previous one. However, I am also writing it to have a richer texture if you chose to read them in order. Rather than make them dependent on each other, or on the other side, treat the main characters of previous books as simply window dressing for the rest of the series, I took a different route.
As with Walker and Erika’s story (Book 1), I tried to tell it in a unique way, as unique as one can be in romance anyway. But, just because six letters appeared on the last page of the book, their stories didn’t end. I promise I will not take anyone’s HEA away down the line, but I will shake it up a bit from time to time. Why? Because one person’s story doesn’t end just because they find their soul mate or simply because someone else’s story begins. Not to mention, we are a part of the story of those we are close to, so it seems natural to me.
With Book 1 the main characters weren’t together for the majority of the book. Some people hated it, some loved it. I took the risk. I didn’t address Walker’s past in detail, again, there was love and hate for that. I also included a touch of everyone’s point of view. This was a cardinal sin apparently. Some people have expressed how much they love it, but the majority were not impressed. (FYI – I am working on a different version of book 1 that eliminates the additional POVs, but I will add it as a point-something maybe, rather than replace the original. See, your reviews can impact a book.)
Book 1 took place over a 5 – 6 month span with the mains having a history. Book 2 is condensed to 3 – 4 months and overlaps Book 1, and the mains had not met prior. So I did tend to put them (Tori & Michael) into sexual situations a bit quickly, for more than one reason. Love me or hate me, I did that on purpose, and you will see some effects of that play out in the future. Some already have on my Scrivener document.
If you read Book 1 you will notice that there were things seemingly omitted from that book, like Walker’s history for example. I hate to tell you, but I did that intentionally too. I wanted to add to people we think we know as we go. Because, let’s face it, no one peels back their layers all at once and exposes themselves completely. It happens gradually. People do not grow in a one season like tomatoes or peas, but over time and continually. So while you do not need to read the rest of the series to enjoy any one book and understand the general bent of the characters, it will give you a few ah-ha moments if you do, and hopefully bond you with them a bit. Some of you were left wondering at the end of Indelible You how Tori would feel about her mom making the executive decision not to bring her home during the shit storm, why is Walker so black and white on marriage, etc., however, it didn’t detract from the Book 1 story line for every reader, or so I’ve been told. Hopefully though, it added to Book 2, and even down the line as people continue to work through their issues and grow as individuals.
Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the thought that prompted this long winded blog post. It is one of those things, like Walker’s history, that had already been addressed in my head and Books 2, 3 & 4, just not that a reader would know yet. While some of these things, and others, are starting to be noticed by observant readers, if what they say is taken at face value, it isn’t a huge detractor from their enjoyment of the story, and that’s a good thing. But I do hope as the series moves along, readers will feel a bit more connected because of the way I did things along the way.
I knew the risk involved in doing some of the things I did. I know that some readers will give up after not finishing Book 1 or 2. But if I’m lucky, some readers out there will embrace the oddity and stick with Imagine Ink through it all. While some might not even notice what I’ve done, some may hate it. Others, like analytical readers, note it and either accept it at face value or wait with bated breath to see if it is addressed or not. And others still may feel a bit of a kinship with a character because that’s exactly what they would’ve done in that situation, even if it’s not typical. People deal with trauma in different ways. People deal with relationships in different ways. People deal with parents in different ways. People deal with death or near death in different ways. Not all of them healthy, mature, or socially acceptable. But, they all must live with the butterfly effect those choices create, just like us mere mortals. It is my hope that by the end of Book 4, every reader closes the covers (or powers down), holds it to his or her chest and just sits there for twenty minutes realizing all the little things that have come to light through out this journey, and enjoy the depth it added to their experience and relationship with the people in a little tattoo parlor on the Florida-Alabama line.
And of course if they think I’m fucking brilliant, that would be excellent.
NOTE TO READERS: MY BLOG HAS MOVED. You can now find it on my website at verlenelandon.com – I will slowly stop posting here.
Also, there is a GIVEAWAY on my site too. Check it out!