“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. — Sylvia Plath
I am a huge fan of series. I think this is because my love of reading began with them: The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Five Little Peppers, The OZ books, Sherlock Holmes, Cherry Ames. I could go on and on. Once I discover characters I love, I want to read more about them. I eagerly await the next books from the authors whose work I follow hoping they will bring back familiar characters. Remember, the Harry Potter books are a series.
My goal is to write a series of books about the lives of several multi-generational characters living in a small city similar but not exactly like the one I live in – Nashua, New Hampshire. It was with this in mind I launched what I called The Lynton Series. Lynton is the city where most of the action in my books takes place. Why make up a city in which to set your novels when you have so many real cities available to you?
I love novels which evoke a strong sense of place such as Tana French’s Dublin, Linda Barnes’ and Robert Parker’s Boston. Readers love being where the action in the story takes place. The reason I decided to make up my own city – Lynton, New Hampshire – was because I thought it would be fun and it removes the imperative of making sure I put the First Church on the correct corner. People are very protective of places they know.
Lynton is a small city in southern New Hampshire that has lot of the traits seen in Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth. Formerly a mill city, it has struggled to find its purpose now that the mills are closed. Even though it is a city, among the businesses and institutions on Main Street, there is a small town feel and camaraderie. I loved creating McGonagles, The Boulangerie, The Sheerin Gallery, Namaste, Caroline’s Kitchen and, of course, Coel Agus Craic. I will be adding a few more businesses to downtown Lynton including a jewelry store and an Italian restaurant as the series continues to grow.
MacCullough’s Women, the first novel in the series, centers on the comings and goings at an Irish bar and restaurant – Coel Agus Craic – which has been on the corner of Dock and Main Street for thirty-six years. Many of the characters in these novels grew up together in Lynton: Brid Sheerin and the undertaker, Jerry McKenna, went to grade school together as did Neil Malone and the jeweler, Jack Blaine, who you will meet in the second book of the series – Francesca’s Foundlings.
Francesca’s Foundlings is about a vintage doll shop that Franny MacCullough opens on Main Street. Many of the characters from MacCullough’s Women will appear in this story including Franny’s own foundlings: Neil, Brid, Sofia, Brendan and Lilah. You will also meet some new characters like Cookie Kennedy who has a much bigger role in the yet to be named third book in the series.
The fourth book is still in my head and as a true “pantser” – a writer who flies by the seat of her pants – I only have a vague idea what it is about although I think one of the cameo characters from Francesca’s Foundlings, Mara Sorrento, is going to have a starring role.
I am asked all the time how the second book, Francesca’s Foundling’s, is coming. I am on track to have the first draft done and out for first review by the end of June. I hope to have the book available in time for Christmas.