Let’s welcome Meg Benjamin to the blog today! Remember, chat it up and you’re automatically entered into the drawings for some great prizes. Meg is also kicking in an Amazon gift card for this Saturday’s Giveaway.
My goal with my Konigsburg, Texas, books has always been to create stories that fit together but that also stood alone. I wanted readers to be able to start anywhere in the series and still feel like they understood what was going on because I know how frustrating it can be to wander into a series and feel totally lost.
But those of us who write series walk a kind of tightrope: we want to introduce new characters and situations, but we don’t want to lose track of the old ones. In fact, we can get into trouble with readers if we don’t check in with older characters from time to time.
My most recent Konigsburg book, Fearless Love, picks up some of the characters from my last two books (Don’t Forget Me and Brand New Me), but it also introduces a lot of new characters. And it’s my first Konigsburg book without a Toleffson brother or spouse. I did this sort of deliberately. I love the Toleffsons—and it was a wrench to do a book without Docia Kent Toleffson, my alter ego—but Konigsburg has a lot of citizens and I wanted to branch out a little.
Not all my readers have been happy about this. I’ve already gotten a couple of pointed comments about how much they missed the old gang and how they hoped my next book would go back to the Dew Drop Inn. I know where they’re coming from. I would have happily gone on reading about the Bridgerton family indefinitely (Julia Quinn knew enough to limit the number siblings to eight) and I was sad to finally come to the end of Mary Balogh’s Bedwyns and Jo Beverley’s Mallorens. And I also remember how annoyed I was with both Ed McBain and Tony Hillerman when they published books that didn’t feature the characters I’d come to know and love.
But I also look at it from my own point of view as a writer. You’re always in danger of repeating yourself, of telling the same story over and over. Introducing new characters gives you a chance to branch out, to move in new directions. I want to go on doing that too.
So I promise I’ll work a couple of Toleffsons into my next Konigsburg. In fact, I’ve already started thinking about it. But I’ll also work in some new people. And maybe I’ll pick up a few secondary characters who’ve been standing around in the background, hoping I’d tell their stories too. Konigsburg, Texas, is a surprisingly big small town. And I hope I can go on discovering the stories of its citizens for a while yet.
Fearless Love Excerpt:
She handed him a bottle, then headed for the back door. “We can watch the sunset if you don’t mind the chickens.”
She turned. He stood in the middle of her kitchen floor, watching her, the unopened bottle dangling from his fingers. “On second thought, I don’t really want a beer.”
She blinked. “Okay, well, there’s some iced tea.”
“I don’t want tea right now either. Or the chickens. Or the sunset, nice though it probably is.” He paused, watching her. “I mean, I came here to take you out to dinner, but on second thought, I don’t think I can wait that long after all.”
Her shoulders suddenly felt tight and there was an twinge in her belly. “Wait that long for what?”
“You.” The word seemed to drop into the silence of her kitchen. He put the beer bottle back on the kitchen table, dropping his hands to his sides.
Her shoulders ached. She took a step toward him, then stopped. What the crap do I do now? “Oh.”
He frowned slightly. “Of course, you can say no if you want to. If I misread whatever this is between us, I’ll head off home. No harm, no foul.” He watched her again, blue eyes dark in the late afternoon sunshine.
“No,” she said slowly. “You don’t need to do that.” She took a few more steps back across the suddenly broad expanse of her kitchen. She was almost next to him now. Would it look too eager if she took the last few steps at a trot?
He grinned again, his lips spreading slowly. “Glad to hear that. I didn’t want to.”
MG’s brain seemed to have gone on vacation. Have I ever made love with a man who had a beard before? Right off hand, she couldn’t think of anybody. And the list wasn’t all that long to begin with. She stood looking up at him, then placed a tentative hand on his chest. “You realize I’ve got a really crappy bed. It’s one Great Aunt Nedda left behind.”
His grin delved a dimple in one cheek. “Trust me, your Great Aunt Nedda is the last thing I’m going to be thinking about.”
“Good,” she murmured, licking her lips. “Me too.” She clasped her hands behind his neck, pulling him down toward her.
Buy Link: Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/fearless-love-p-7011.html
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, won the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and was nominated for Book Of the Year at Long and Short Reviews. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.