Monday, May 23, 2011

The Del Carter Calendar Series: Introduction

One of the things I hear most often, and this is also something that seems to be repeated in the many excellent reviews about January Moon, is that readers say they want to jump right into a sequel. Obviously, there can be no greater praise than hearing "Wow; I want more!"

I'm not sure it gets any better than that for an author, ever. Think of it as Fireworks for the Soul!

January Moon is the first book in the Del Carter Calendar Series and the second book, March Storm, will be released late summer/early fall 2011. And before you ask: there is no February.

I was in the middle of writing January Moon when I realized the story had enough fascinating and compelling characters, as well as interesting sub-plots, to spawn several books and so I began to structure January Moon as the first story in a continuing saga about the key families in the book and their interwoven lives. Additionally, as the story continued to develop it became very clear that there were some issues that could be left open and developed in future books, and so I began to see January Moon as the first in a trilogy.

However, I quickly realized, based on the wonderful feedback and numerous questions I received from readers, that January Moon could be the incubator for more books than three.  Although I seriously doubt I'll write twelve, I'm fairly confident I can write four to six. So, at some point in time I decided to take a leap of faith and decided to publish January Moon and whatever sequels may follow under the bold and broad umbrella "The Del Carter Calendar Series."

Del Carter is a central character in January Moon and obviously I'm naming the entire series after him. He is one of the characters who generates the most curiosity; readers ask me if he was patterned after a real cop (at first, no; later, yes); if he's my favorite character (I have no favorites; they're my children and I love them all, even the creeps); and (I love this question!) who I'd choose to play Del Carter in a movie (maybe John Cusack).

One of the most common questions I receive concerns whether I would ever turn the book into a movie and to be honest I don't know anything about making movies or writing screenplays so certainly that's not something I'm going to be able to steer forward by myself. Certainly I'd welcome discussing it with someone who does possess that talent but from the little I know about the movie industry I'd say I'm not holding my breath. Folks have asked me if I can see January Moon as a movie; my answer is "of course!" but at the moment I'm fully focused on the next two or three books in the saga.

The absolute hands-down most common question about January Moon concerns the heroic dog, Wolf. Everyone loves Wolf!

Wolf gets a lot of fan mail and he’s received two marriage proposals, too.  There’s a well-built Golden Retriever with a two-story dog house and an owner with a bass boat somewhere up in Minnesota who has her eye on him and she’s been coming on strong. Then there’s a real sweetie-pie Border collie in Pennsylvania who has the run of a 100-acre piece of property and responsibility for a small herd of sheep and she’s also in hot pursuit.

I routinely pass this kind of information on to my real dog, Shadow, who was my inspiration for Wolf and he's quite impressed with himself now; he’s getting a real fat head actually. We’ve noticed that at book signings he doesn’t correct anyone when they call him Wolf and I’m sure he expects to play the part if January Moon is made into a movie but I didn’t realize how seriously he was taking the marriage proposals until he asked me this morning, "so, which way's Minnesota?"

I told him "Fuggetaboutit; you ain't leavin' the yard" and now he's sulking next to the gazebo as I type this; my guess is he’d rather have access to a good bass boat than a bunch of sheep (or maybe he just prefers blondes). 

You can read more about Wolf and Shadow and Trooper -- the dog who tied Wolf and Shadow together for me -- in the short story titled "Trooper, Shadow & Wolf" right here on this blog (there’s a tab titled “Trooper, Shadow & Wolf” at the top of the blog).

Down the road I'll probably discuss Wolf more fully but right now I'm going to introduce you the other major characters in January Moon -- beginning with Lt. Franklin Delano Carter ("Del").

Beginning Wednesday – stay tuned!

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