The spotlight today is on Marry Me at Willoughby Close, the latest in the bestselling Willoughby Close series by Kate Hewitt. I’m thrilled to bring you a fascinating guest post from Kate all about the challenges of writing a series.
Plus there’s a giveaway (INTL) with a chance to win a £10 Amazon giftcard (Kate will convert the amount depending on the location of the winner). To enter the giveaway, click here.
About the Book
Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
Alice James has been a drifter her whole life, working her way through several foster homes before ending up in Wychwood-on-Lea, feeling anchorless and invisible. When a chance encounter leads to Alice accepting a position as a caretaker and companion to Lady Stokeley, she starts to feel as if she might finally be able to put down some roots and live the way other people do. Then, Lady Stokeley’s nephew, city banker Henry Trent, storms into Willoughby Manor, seeming to find fault with everything, including Alice. As the next in line to the manor and title, he threatens to upturn everything she’s started to build. But Henry is hiding his own secret fears and weaknesses, ones he’s desperate for no one to discover. A surprising and inconvenient attraction that simmers between them leaves Alice feeling more confused than ever, and Henry torn between duty and desire, fear and love. When circumstances become even more difficult, both Alice and Henry must decide who they really are, and what they are willing to fight for. Could Alice possibly the next Lady of Willoughby Manor?
|Publication:||18th July 2017||Genre:||Women’s Fiction|
Find Marry Me at Willoughby Close on Goodreads
Guest Post: ‘Writing a Series’ by Kate Hewitt
I’ve written several different series before, but the books have been loosely linked and completely stand alone, so I haven’t really considered them a series in the truest sense of the word. While each story in Willoughby Close is stand alone, more or less, there is an overarching story to do with the fate of Willoughby Manor and its lone resident, Lady Stokeley, so readers would benefit from reading all four books in order.
Writing a series that is so connected definitely has its challenges. I’ve had to remember to get minor details consistent in each book – for example, Oliver’s father was a baronet in Meet Me at Willoughby Close and then was called a viscount in Find Me at Willoughby Close. Thankfully my copy-editor picked up on the discrepancy!
Another challenge has been writing characters from different points of view. The heroine of Meet Me at Willoughby Close, Ellie Matthews, is seen differently by the other books’ heroines, Harriet, Ava, and Alice. At first Harriet pities her, Ava is annoyed by her, and Alice is overwhelmed. They all become friends in the end, but I wanted to make sure Ellie’s character stayed the same even when it was perceived differently, and the same for the other characters and how they are perceived.
It has also been a challenge to write the overarching story of Lady Stokeley through all four books, and keep her character moving forward without seeming inconsistent. Writing Lady Stokeley’s story has probably been my favourite part of the series – and she received increasing page time as the series progressed, which was somewhat of a surprise to me and not what I originally had planned!
All in all, I was sad to say goodbye to Willoughby Close, and am tempted to revisit Wychwood-on-Lea with a story about Olivia, the woman who runs the café. In the meantime, I am working on a new four-book series, The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite, so I must like writing series, despite the challenges!
Thank you, Kate! Authors – some great tips here, not least the importance of a good copy-editor! Readers – it’s always good to be reminded, isn’t it, of the work involved for an author in adding to a favourite series.
About the Author
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of romance and women’s fiction. An American ex-pat and former diehard New Yorker, she now lives in a market town in South Wales with her husband, five children, and overly affectionate Golden Retriever.
Connect with Kate