Please join me in welcoming the author of "Solid" and "Settling", Shelley Workinger, to Socrates' Book Review Blog. I had the pleasure of reviewing both of her books and enjoyed them very much. And now for Shelley's guest post...
I have to start by saying that I never planned to write a series. I also never planned to leave New Orleans or fix up houses, but – as with “Solid” – life happens. And there are also plenty of things I’ve walked into eyes-wide-open that did not work out well, like my first tattoo (dumb), dating my boss (dumber), and dropping out of college for a boy (dumb-finity and beyond). So it might be a good thing that the “Solid” series is making its own plan, and that just I’m following along with my notebook and some pens :)
The initial idea for “Solid” came from a dream that eventually became the twelfth chapter of book #1. The character from that scene who really stuck with me was Jack – a completely perfect boy who for some reason felt inadequate. It made me wonder where he could be and how “more perfect” the others could be to make him feel that way. Then, of course, I had to ask about the girl who would become Clio, “Who is she, and what about her makes her the perfect counterpart for him?”
Every time I asked a question, the answers involved more people. My central 2 quickly grew to 5, then 6, then 8, and now, by the end of “Settling,” I have 11 characters in major roles, all with stories to tell. (Characters can be annoying like that.) It wasn’t long before I had to create Excel spreadsheets for each person, noting where they were from, what they looked like, even what they ate, just to keep track of everybody! I kind of feel like hendeca-mom without all the dirty diapers :)
And now – I almost feel like I should apologize for this – I’m not sure I can get to the “end” of the series in three books like I planned. (There’s that fickle p-word coming back to bite me again.) I do listen to the readers and I know that they want answers – all of them, like now – but I also can’t tell the characters to “zip it” so that I can move on to the finale.
So, I hope I’ve given you a real sense of how my Franken-series really took on a life of its own and that you’ll continue with me into book #3 (“Sound”), and perhaps #4, which may or may not need to be written and that a tiny voice in the back of my mind wants to call “Surge”….