Saturday, May 24, 2014

Writing the Protectors Series- Carolyn Wren

I didn’t set out to write a series.  Diplomat’s Daughter stemmed from an idea in my head about a serious, level headed covert operative, Jared Knight, who is willing to do anything to protect a women he secretly fell in love with years before.  

However, Jared’s best friend in the story was a charismatic, cheeky, danger seeking secret agent called Simon Winters, and Simon was hugely popular with my test readers.  Therefore, Book 2, The Scientist, was born.

In The Scientist, Simon’s friend, Bryce Black, the technical genius with the wry sense of humour, also elicited a favorable reaction from readers…

It was at this point, I realised I had a series on my hands.  Sometimes an author simply has to surrender to the inevitable. 
I decided I wanted to do this properly, to have fun with it.  In real life, friends come and go, their lives change and evolve.  I wanted this to happen with the characters in these books.  If the main hero and heroine get married and have a baby in one story, why can’t we hear about their progress further down the line?
I expanded my thought process.  Why not hint at the major character for the next book, make readers try to guess who will feature as the main hero or heroine in the upcoming stories.  It was after this revelation that I really began to enjoy myself.
Lucien St John, who has a small role in Diplomat’s Daughter, and is described as someone who ‘detests men who harm women,’ has changed drastically by book 6, The Undercover Agent, to become a single-minded cynical individual, working deep undercover, obsessed with bringing down a corrupt businessman.  

Omega, the highly mysterious, enigmatic female agent in books 2 and 3 has to deal with the consequences of living such a secret lifestyle and the determined man trying to unravel it, in book 4, The Hostage. 

It was a major thrill for me when I posted the book cover and a teaser tag line for The Hostage, and one reader emailed to say, ‘I’m so looking forward to reading Omega’s story.’
Even a subtle running joke throughout the books about young agent, Peter Sinclair’s unfortunate tendency to be, ‘a target for fallen and thrown objects,’ is a major plot point for Peters own story in book 7, The Secret Family. 

There were lighter moments too.  A baby born in book 3, The Actress, makes a special cameo appearance at the end of book 6.  For people who haven’t read the other stories, it’s simply a fun scene, but for followers of the series, I’ve been told it’s an unexpected and wonderful surprise.
In book 7, the final book in the series, I wanted to bring back as many characters as possible, but there had to be a good reason.  Why not a former agent whose dark past may put all of our favorite people in danger?  It seemed like a good way to wrap up the series, and readers appear to agree. 

 Although, it has been pointed out to me that one male character remains single, and because he’s such a nice man, he needs his happy ever after too!  

Perhaps there needs to be one more book in The Protectors series, after all. 
Watch this space…
Carolyn Wren

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