MARKED – Writing the Trilogy
The idea of writing a story about a girl, who dies and becomes a guardian angel, came to me while I drove home from work. I thought it would be cool and a lot fun to have her go on missions to save mortal souls and fight against demons. I believed it to be somewhat original (a little strange perhaps), so I started to flesh out the story with all the characters and gave them conflicts. Then I started to work on an outline. That’s when I realized that my brain had so many more ideas to go with the story. It was full of them. There were so many things I wanted my heroine to accomplish. I didn’t want the story to end. With that in mind I worked on my outline. I did some research and spoke to my writer’s group about writing for young adults. What I came to realize, is that most young adults and younger readers get attached to the main characters. They care for them, and they don’t want the story to end. When I started working on the first draft, I spoke to my editor about doing a series—and he agreed with me. He told me a series was an important element to attract potential agents or publishers. He made me realize that the way the first book was written, it was perfect for a series. A heroine that could die at the beginning of each book, becomes a guardian angel, and then is sent back to the world of the living at the end of each book – only to be summoned again when needed – really appealed to me. So as wrote up the outline for the first book, I then did an outline for the second and third books. I believe it’s important to know how the story ends, before you start writing. Especially for a series that are all connected to each other. It made sense to me to throw in some questions for the readers and having them answered in the second or third installments.
As I polished my manuscript with my editor, I started to explore the world of self-publishing. My research confirmed that I had a better chance of succeeding as an indie author if I wrote a series instead of a standalone book. If I had more books out there, I had a better chance of being found by readers. And that appealed to me. I had all these ideas for different storylines for a series, so I thought this was a great opportunity for me to write my story. If the traditional publishing road didn’t work out, then self-publishing a series was the next best thing—which is what I did in the end.