the story behind the story part 2

As promised: The birth process of Webs of Perception, the concluding novel in the Web Series, and the reason it has taken three years to write, rewrite, and get ready for publication.

Though I will miss the many Web Series characters whom I have lived with and learned to love over the past ten years, it was time for the series to come to an end. Unlike murder mysteries, crime novels, and detective stories, murder is not at the core of the series. Therefore, the number of Taylor/Toddman family and extended family members has grown. To make Webs of Perception an enjoyable read, several of the Web Series characters have been given cameo roles in this final novel.

No two people read the same book–meaning we all bring our own perspective into whatever we read, and my readers often surprise me. For example, my best friend’s favorite from Twisted Webs was Mario, the kidnapper of a twin infant—he was a good, religious man who was forced into committing a heinous crime through love and desperation over his wife’s condition after losing her last hope of a child of their own. Another reader’s favorite in Webs of Power was Caroline—a recovering paranoid/schizophrenic who found meaning through discovering her talent in the world of art.

Working with a large cast is challenging for any author, as the enjoyment of a story depends on crafting it in ways that provide readers new to the series with all the information they need while not burdening the loyal readers with repetition.

Suspense is the cornerstone of the Web Series, which explores love and loss, career and family, forgiveness and redemption. Fast-paced chapters propel multifaceted characters through the turmoil of overlapping and often conflicting commitments. I write what I like to read, which is page-turning suspense in the style of a thriller—where readers are always a step ahead of any single character. However, having no desire to live in the mind of a killer, I am not drawn to serial killers nor to gory murders. And yet, I love stories that set me on the edge of my seat with real-life emotions. Within the series, the major characters endure tremendous challenges, tragedy and loss. However, few have disappeared, therefore, the cast has become quite extensive. To make sure each book stands on its own is a time-consuming yet necessary task. Characters must be introduced in ways in which new readers can easily relate, while not boring those of previous novels with backstory. Therefore, finding the perfect elements to bring new readers in and merely jog the minds of others for this concluding novel has taken a bit more than three years. While my large cast is not without challenges, they provide additional opportunities for unexpected, yet logical, twists.

In my first draft I generally flush out the story and get to know the characters as well as their goals and obstacles. However, this sixth and final novel in the Web Series has been my greatest challenge. Again, I do not want to make this blog too long, therefore, I will finish “The Story Behind the Novels,” in Part 3–sharing the challenges I passed on to, then worked on with my editors to shape “Webs of Perception” into a novel worthy of my readers time.

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