Five Books and a Funeral

by Rosa Lee Jude, Co-author of the Legends of Graham Mansion series

The five books of the Legends of Graham Mansion Series

The five books of the Legends of Graham Mansion Series

Squire finally stopped talking.

That may seem like a strange opening line for a blog post. It’s only strange if you don’t know who Squire is.

Revelation Book Cover

Book Five – Revelation

The final book, REVELATION, in the Legends of Graham Mansion series has just been released. This five-volume journey began when co-author and historian Mary Lin Brewer contacted me in March 2012. “I have this idea for a series,” she said. “I’ve got tons of research, legends, and stories. But, I’m not really a fiction writer. I understand that you are.” As they say, the rest is history, quite literally now. Two and half years and five books later, the series is complete. I finally shut up Squire.

For those of you who have not read the series, “Squire” is Squire David Graham. This mysterious, but brilliant, man was a powerful entrepreneur of the 1800s in Southwest Virginia. He amassed a substantial number of businesses and land holdings in a relatively short amount of time and was known for his ruthless business dealings and not-so-pleasant personality. The beacon of his success still stands today in the form of a historic mansion in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Many say that he has never left his stately home. I say he has spent the last two and a half years living rent free inside my head.

While our central character and heroine was a lovely young lady and time traveler named Grae White, Squire seemed to be the one who truly haunted me. Through the many long months of writing the series, he visited me in my dreams. Sometimes so forcefully that I would have to get up in the middle of the night and pay homage to him on my keyboard. The grave scene in AMBITION was the result of three such nights in a row.

As I tied up the loose ends of the series in the finale, I reread the previous volumes. Even an author has to remind herself, at times, about what she has written. I couldn’t leave any key elements unresolved. The more I read the previous books (REDEMPTION, AMBITION, DECEPTION, and SALVATION), the louder Squire’s voice seemed to get. He was determined that I finish his story. But, one late July evening, as the final words were typed, he grew silent. I felt like I had been to a funeral, my emotions were spent. I had laughed and cried a lot through the final story. I had said goodbye. I had finished Squire’s story. He has been silent ever since.

Writing a series is a serious undertaking. It’s not just the beginning and end that are important, it’s all those words in between that link together to convey the world you have created for your readers. It’s a commitment. The characters become family. The readers become friends. You don’t want to let anyone down. Many readers have asked how I managed to write so many words (about 450,000) in two and a half years. The answer is simply dedication. Just about every night and every weekend, words were typed. While I was at work during the day, the story passed to Mary Lin who would fill in the historical matter, legends, and some of her own twists. Weeks turned into months and like the little engine who could, we built a series—one page, one chapter, one book, at a time.

And now, it’s over. All has been revealed. REVELATION is in the hands of those who will cherish it the most, the readers. Now in its entirety, we hope that it is embraced by legions of future readers for many years to come.

The journey is over. Or maybe, it’s only just begun.
Rosa

Introduction of Rosa Lee Jude

Rosa Lee Jude began creating her own imaginary worlds at an early age. While her career path has included stints in journalism, marketing, tourism, and local government, she is most at home at a keyboard spinning yarns of fiction and creative non-fiction. She lives in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia with her patient husband and very spoiled rescue dog.

To learn more about the series, visit http://www.LegendsofGrahamMansion.com

If you would like to follow Rosa Lee’s writing adventures, like her Author Page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/rosaleejudeauthor

You can also like her Author Page on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosaleejude


Thanks Rosa for another very informative post! We hope you will leave a comment or two and will follow Rosa as she begins a new journey in writing. Word is she is working on a new book. You should post questions to her and get her to share what she’s planning for her writing adventure!

 

Living On The Edge

This week’s guest blogger for Pam’s writing blog is my good friend and colleague, Rosa Lee Jude. If I try to write an introduction on everything there is to say about Rosa, you’ll never have a chance to read her post. So, without further ado, I give you …

Introduction of Rosa Lee Jude

Living On The Edge

By Rosa Lee Jude

True writers have a consuming desire to tell a story. They want to give voice to the rumbling characters who converse with them in their heads. They want someone else to love the worlds they have so carefully created. They want readers who will hunger for their next story.

I didn’t fully realize this until after I wrote my first novel, REDEMPTION. It was the first of a five-part series entitled the Legends of Graham Mansion that Mary Lin Brewer and I Cover of Redemption, first book in Legends of Graham Mansion Series.co-authored. Mary Lin is the historian and researcher for our project. I am the spinner of the yarn, the wordsmith. Up until this point, most of my stories could be classified as singular, one story. I never seriously considered writing a series. Now, I’m not sure that I would consider writing anything else but a series. It’s an addiction—fed by the readers, the fans.

It’s all about leaving a trail of delicious morsels of information and a cliff-hanger at the end. Like building a house, you have to start with a firm foundation. Believable, likable characters are essential in a premise that intrigues readers. You must construct many layers on this foundation in the form of setting, minor characters, conflicts and resolutions, and in my case, many twists and turns to keep the readers guessing…AND, most importantly, wanting more!

I am a firm believer in cliff-hangers. While, these edge-of-your-seat morsels normally come at the end of a book, it isn’t a bad idea to have them appear within a story. For example, one of the main characters in my series is a talking feline by the name of The General. This character has a huge presence throughout the series. He is a walking, talking, tail-swishing cliff-hanger in each book. His true identity will be revealed in the last book of the series.

But, there is an interesting thing about cliff-hangers. People love to hate them. After each book is released, some fans grumble that they have been left hanging. Yet, when asked what they like the best about the story, many say it is the suspense.

Woman climbing a rock on the side of a cliff.

Will she make it?

Writers beware! Don’t push your story off a cliff with a cliff-hanger! You must be careful not to write yourself so close to the edge of the cliff that your story falls off on its own. Like a great movie scene, you want your readers to go right to the edge so that you can pull them back in for more.

And, that is truly the purpose of a series. You want these loyal readers to follow your adventure from beginning to end. You want them to love the world you have created as much as you do. You want them to buy the next book…and the next…all the way up to the final installment. Then, you want them to take a trip with you again with your next series. At least, that’s what I hope. When the Legends of Graham Mansion series draws to a close this fall, I hope that thousands of readers will join me as I explore a brave new terrain on another twisted adventure. I will lay the foundation for each book that will give them just enough to feel at home in my new world, but not confident enough that readers will feel like they know the rest of the story.

If you haven’t taken this time travel journey with me, please consider giving it a try—it’s a little history, a little mystery, and a little twist in time. I challenge those writers reading this to consider the use of cliff-hangers in their next adventure. Then “The End” really will not be so…final.

Girl reading a book.The following are links for further reading:

  • What I consider THE BEST book on writing EVER…. Stephen King’s On Writing found at URL: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Stephen-King-ebook/dp/B000FC0SIM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395787424&sr=8-1&keywords=on+writing
  • One of my favorite authors…she spins a yarn that makes you want to meet her characters…and by the end of her story, you feel like you have…Cathy Lamb. Her website is found at URL: http://cathylamb.net/
  • Reading Joe Konrath’s blog on Indie Publishing is what convinced me to have full confidence in the indie publishing route. Read about his thoughts at URL: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading,
Rosa

Pinstrip flourish

Rosa Lee Jude began creating her own imaginary worlds at an early age. While her career path includes stints in journalism, marketing, tourism and local government, she is most at home at a keyboard spinning yarns of fiction and creative non-fiction. She lives in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia with her patient husband and very spoiled rescue dog.

Thank you so much Rosa for sharing with us how you do it! We look forward to reading your next installment, SALVATION, which is book four of the Legends of Graham Mansion series due out this spring!

If you would like to connect with Rosa, you may write her through rljude [at] embarqmail [dot] com or you may follow her through her blog, Twist of a Tale (http://twistofatale.blogspot.com/).

And, for those of you following this blog, THANK YOU for providing comments, clicking the “LIKE” button, and letting the authors of the Writing Writer’s Group know you enjoyed them sharing their experiences as they learn about blogging, writing, and creating a good story! Come back and let me know you’ve stopped by, leave a comment!

Always in writing,
Pam

 

Note: Image of Woman climbing a rock by Olovedog from FreeDigitalPhotos.net