In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.
Can Alexia escape her own clock?
1. Timeless is the final book in a trilogy. Did you have this book planned out when you began Alexia’s journey in Moonless – or did this story develop along the way?
My first draft of Moonless (in 2002) was a novella. A historical love story about a woman defying society and her father. It wasn’t until the next draft that it wrapped its fingers around one of my much older characters. That was the point at which I knew it was going to evolve, but I wrote a potential stand alone, just in case. So no, TIMELESS was not in the picture at first, but by the second draft, yes. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to it if I’d leaned toward the first draft and stuck with that sweet, but simple story. Part of me still loves it and wishes both could exist simultaneously.
2. What surprises did you encounter in the writing of Moonless? (Characters who didn’t behave as planned, twists you didn’t see coming, conflicts that ended differently than you expected, etc.)
When the love interest first took off his mask, so to speak, he wasn’t who I’d been expecting. I’d been writing two different people—a sweet, simple young man toward the beginning, and an older, kindly gentleman toward the end. Then he told me they were the same person and I’d been getting it wrong the whole time. (Picture my jaw hitting the floor.) Yeah, it was like that.
And Bellezza. I had no idea this girl was going to steal the show and drive the action. She was just an instigator of the initial conflict…until she appeared again. And again. And again. She may as well be Alexia’s dark shadow, her opposite, and a hint of the wicked potential that lies in each and every heart.
3. What advice would you give a writer starting a book with series potential that would make writing the subsequent books easier?
Create a story map. Use an excel spreadsheet or story program to build a spreadsheet of names, mannerisms & quirks, places, important objects, etc. You will thank yourself in later books. Also, write up a chapter by chapter outline with each book after you’ve completed them so you have a quick reference guide for future works.