I'd had Jonathan
Barrett in mind for a series since his debut in Bloodcircle.
Originally he was supposed to have been vamped during the Civil War,
but my history research convinced me he was from an earlier
era. He was just too much a gentleman!
Jonathan was named
after actor Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins, YAY! love-you-love-you, woooo-hooo-hooo, yowzah!)
...and my good friend
and drinkin' buddy, writer Julie Barrett. (Gawd, can you
believe we've known each other since going to UTA? Congrats on
that diploma thingy, BTW.)
The first book took
quite a bit of effort and research on my part, and I didn't make it
easy by having Jonathan and his family Loyalists during the
Revolution. There weren't many books in the library that gave
the British side of the war!
I can thank one of my
professors at UTA for bringing the Revolution alive for me when I
did a stint as a history major back in the day. I like to
think he'd be glad I managed to remember so much from his 8 am
classes -- especially as I am NOT a morning person. Don't know
how he did it.
The four-book series
was going to be only three books, but the story got away from
me. I needed a fourth to "wind things up."
Thankfully my agent got me a contract for it!
The pacing of the
first book is a bit (just a bit) slower than for the Vampire Files.
I was using a different voice for Jonathan, after all.
Historicals tend to require more description, but there's no fluff
in mine about what people are eating and wearing; it's all about what
they're doing and saying. That's what's
interesting to me.
Going back so far in
time was like visiting another planet, but people had the same
emotions and reactions to things, which was what I wanted to show
about them. Of course, these days most disagreements don't end
in a duel of honor!
I think of the series
as being one long book divided into four sections.
Hey, it was good
enough for Tolkien! The first book sets the scene and gets
things rolling for the rest.