Thursday, December 12, 2019

How Could You! Or The Perils of Writing a Spin-off Series.

The Wrong Girl, the first book of my new series, The Adventures of Bianca Dangereuse, has been out for a month now, and let me tell you, it's been interesting. The main character in The Wrong Girl, Bianca LaBelle (nee Blanche Tucker) is a spin-off from my previous 10 book series, the Alafair Tucker Mysteries. Blanche/Bianca is one of Alafair's younger daughters, and was featured as a child in The Wrong Hill to Die On (the double “wrongs” are a coincidence...) While she was growing up in Oklahoma, one of many children in a warm, loving family, Blanche was a sweet little kid, smart and pretty. So pretty, in fact, that Alafair was a little worried about what that might mean when she grew up.

As it turned out, Alafair was right to be worried. At fifteen, naive, headstrong Blanche ran away from home with a guy who promised to marry her and put her in the movies, but turned out to be the worst kind of predator. Fortunately, Blanche is as resourceful as she is beautiful, so she manages to escape, and with a lot of luck and a lot of help, she does manage to get to Hollywood and eventually becomes a big star. But for nearly a year after she runs away, she does nothing to contact her mother to let her at least know she's alive and well. She's ashamed, she's afraid, she's half-way excited about the adventure and doesn't want to be hauled back home to face the music. In short, she's fifteen.

I've gotten quite a number of wonderful reviews and fan letters about the new book, but I've also gotten a few letters that basically say How Could You Do That to Alafair! I'm sure that there are readers out there who had the same reaction but didn't write to scold me. Well, let me say that I worried about this before I started writing. The Dangereuse books are quite different than the Alafairs, and not nearly as warm and loving. It's a whole new world. I asked my husband, “If I write it this way, will I alienate some of the readers who love Alafair?”

My husband said, “Yes.” He was right.

But let me assure you all, grown-up Bianca is really sorry about what she did to her parents, and she does make a great effort to make amends. By the time she's famous, she and her folks are very close. I'm glad some of you are so invested in Alafair's feelings! But everything will turn out all right. I promise!


Betty Webb said...

I read it and loved it. As for "poor Alafair," hey, I'm a mother myself and know all too well that our grown-up kids don't always listen to us! Furthermore, Alafair is a strong woman, and she can handle anything thrown her way -- even a daughter who aspires to be a movie actress!

Donis Casey said...

That's what I think! Thank you!