Sequels and Series
They say that one of the ways to improve your chances of making an impact as an author is to write a series. Any one already familiar with my work will know that I specialise in standalone novels and short stories. I still have many ideas in my head (and scribbled in notebooks) but all seem to be one-off stories where I can’t see beyond that first book. However, if any of my ideas are ripe to be made into a series it is Theory Unproven.
The research station where Eric works is owned and funded by a privately run organisation called The Foundation. The Foundation is an institute concerned with investigating and helping animal populations in the wild, be it animal behaviour, the protection of rare species, or the cessation of poaching and illegal trade. It’s owned by a flirty billionaire who never seeks publicity and his assistant, who may or may not be handy with a gun.
How do I know so much about an organisation that is only ever really in the background of Theory Unproven?
Any author will tell you backstory is the spine of any novel, regardless of whether the information is used in your story. But that’s not the only reason. I already have scribbled notes for four other ideas involving The Foundation. Now I just need to find the time to write them.
Do you prefer standalone stories over a series? Once you are hooked in a series do you by the rest of the books regardless of reviews?
Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.
But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.
Sooner than he thought. Apparently the gods were smiling on him, because a large silver plane and the man from his dreams waited for him at the clearing.
“Tyaan, good to see you again.” Eric stuck out a hand, hoping the pilot would be impressed he had taken the time to remember his name.
Tyaan’s gaze dropped to the outstretched hand, seemingly unmoved by Eric’s overtures of friendship. Instead of reaching out to complete the gesture, Tyaan tapped the top of the nearest crate.
“I am?” Eric asked in confusion. He tugged his hat from his head just to have something to do and swiped an arm across his forehead to collect the sweat that had formed there during the short journey in the jeep. He lowered his arm, his fingers finding the stiff brim of his hat and picking agitatedly at the heavy suede in an attempt to hide the embarrassment of his welcome gesture being so blatantly rebuffed. It didn’t help that just those two words in Tyaan’s gravelly tone made Eric want to lower other things. His trousers. To his knees. The possibilities were endless. Shame Tyaan had to act like a complete dickhead.
“Eleven am delivery. Been that way since I’ve been doing the job. Unless somebody radios ahead to let you know otherwise. Normally me.” Tyaan’s clipped delivery and angry glare gave the impression that he was barely holding his emotions in check.
Not willing to lose a client through an angry confrontation. Although Eric had to wonder how much influence he would have in getting Tyaan replaced if it came to that.
Tyaan’s gaze briefly dropped to the hand plucking at the stitching of Eric’s hat—Eric made a concerted effort to still his fidgeting fingers—and when the pilot looked back up, Eric caught a flicker of uncertainty in Tyaan’s features.
“You did know about the delivery?”
“Sure, but in the information pack it said supply drop at eleven. I thought…” Even as his brain formulated the words, he realised how stupid they would sound if he dared to say them out loud. He clamped his jaw shut, allowing nothing to escape except a soft—and telling—“Oh.”
“Thought what?” Tyaan obviously didn’t intend to let it go—even though Eric had turned an interesting shade of crimson if the heat on his cheeks was anything to go by—and barely concealed sarcasm dripped from Tyaan’s next words. “That I put the plane on autopilot and pushed the crates out of the cargo hold door?”
That was exactly what he had thought. Although, maybe he hadn’t considered the logistics of it when he envisioned the sight in his mind: crates floating to earth until they landed in the dusty earth with a soft thud, each cocooned in their own silk parachute by the time he found them dotted across the clearing. Okay, in hindsight that sounded ridiculously impractical, a highly romanticised version of life in the bushveld that would only ever happen in a work of fiction.
Sale Links: Love Lane Books
An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.
Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.
Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.
In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.
You can read more about Lillian here:
I would like to give a big Thank You to Lillian Francis and RJ Scott at Love Lane Books for letting up take place in this Book Spotlight.