Writing Within a Multi-Author Series
by Linda Carroll-Bradd
This week saw the release of my western historical, Libbie: Bride of Arizona, which is Book 48 in the American Mail-Order Brides series. I feel lucky to have been include in this historic (at least we think it is) collaboration of 45 authors who came together to write a mail-order bride story connected to each of the 50 American states.
One author had the idea and she put out feelers to other historical authors she knew, and they jumped on board. To make the whole series work, additional authors were notified. I received my invitation from friend, Debra Holland, who writes the successful Montana Sky series. Initially, contributing authors just needed a heroine’s name and the state. The original idea was to include only the states that existed in 1890 and then so many authors wanted to join that the territories were included. The prequel story was shared that set up the kick-off point from a factory fire in Massachusetts that put 100 women out of work. A template was used for the covers so they all had a similar look.
Many authors joined together to create friendships among their heroines or shared correspondence to link their stories. Because I wanted to write an “outsider” heroine, I didn’t have as tight a connection to the factory as some other stories. In my mind, Libbie is the baby of the family, a bit spoiled, and, with three older brothers, has lived a tomboyish life. She also has been raised in both South Africa and Australia, due to her father’s business interests.
But at the last minute, Debra and I worked a scene together where our heroines met on the train in Boston and traveled to Chicago together. Viewing the same meeting from two perspectives was fun. The greatest benefits of the whole experience were the support from the other authors during the plotting process and the cross-promotion as each book released (starting November 19, 2015 and ending January 7, 2016).
My title climbed the Victorian Historical list to the #3 spot overall during the day. Part of this was due to the post, regarding my title's release, being shared by 45 people who followed the Facebook page built for the series. I also received 7 reviews on release day!
I can only encourage others to say “yes” when a similar situation comes their way.
LIBBIE: Bride of Arizona American Mail-Order Brides series
Amazon short link: http://amzn.com/B017L14VS2