Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome Kelly Jamieson, Meg Benjamin, Sydney Somers and Erin Nicholas, authors of the Promise Harbor Wedding series.
Thanks to Sophia for having us here today to talk about our Promise Harbor Wedding series (Book #1 Jilted by Kelly Jamieson, #2 Bolted by Meg Benjamin, #3 Busted by Sydney Somers, and #4 Hitched by Erin Nicholas).We had a lot of fun working together on this project and we thought we’d share some of the background about how the project came to be and how we worked together on it, so we did a little reminiscing – and wow, this goes all the way back to 2010!
HOW THE IDEA GOT STARTED
At Rom Con in Denver Colorado in 2010, Lindsey (Samhain Publisher Lindsey Faber) and I were chatting in the bar and she said she’d always wanted to edit a multi-author series and would I be interested in writing something like that with two other authors she was editor for, Meg (Meg Benjamin) and Syd (Sydney Somers). She knew that we knew each other, and thought it was really great that we had that relationship from the Nine Naughty Novelists. I, of course, immediately said yes and she said, if you want to ask someone else too and make it four books, I’d be okay with that. I right away talked to Meg about it and Kelly’s name (Kelly Jamieson) was one of the first to come to mind for both of us! So we jumped right in… two years later! J
I was really intrigued about the idea of working with three other authors on linked stories, especially since those three other authors were all friends.
I remember being so pumped when I talked to Lindsey right after everyone got back from RT and hearing about the plan. I ended up taking a little break from writing shortly after that and with everyone having different schedules it was tough at first for us to make it work.
And I was super excited to be invited to participate! Lindsey wasn’t my Samhain editor, but I was excited to work with her and with the other three ladies who are such talented authors and also great friends.
HOW WE DEVELOPED THE SERIES
In 2011 at RT (RT Booklovers Convention) Meg, Erin and I threw a few ideas around about how we could do connected stories. Unfortunately, stuff happened and real life got in the way of moving forward with the idea for quite some time. Then we picked it up again and started to really get to work and set some deadlines.
We spent hours in a chat room brainstorming ideas for the stories. Right from the start, we all wanted the stories to center on a specific event, but each story would go its own way, rather than a true “series” where one story would pick up where the other left off.
We knew it had to be some kind of important event so that it would have a real “ripple effect” on the people involved.
We tossed around ideas like a funeral bringing some siblings back together, a restaurant idea and a few other things, and ended up with the wedding. A wedding that goes all wrong. Then we each took a member of the wedding party and developed our own stories.
I remember siblings and a restaurant and the death of their… father? Was there a wicked step mother involved too? I’m 72% sure there was a fire in the restaurant. I’m 96% sure I was going to get to write the black sheep, estranged brother’s story. I remember thinking he was going to come home and break up his ex-girlfriend’s current relationship. I’m 100% sure I was fine with that! 😉
That estranged brother was a ski bum, Erin. J And there was a slimy ex, a large competing food chain and arson investigation too. Oh and we were gonna call the family the DeLuca’s.
Yes! The DeLucas! And my heroine was going to be an Italian sommelier! I may still have to write her book!
And then there was a conversation about fish as we tried to come up with the name for our fictional New England town. Obviously we went in another direction for that LOL
*Kelly, Meg and Erin look at Sydney*
What? You guys didn’t remember the fish conversation? How much wine were you drinking the night of our chats?
*Meg snatches copy of chat transcript away from Sydney*
Okay, back to the wedding. Who got each character sort of grew out of the order of publishing as I recall. Kelly volunteered to go first (to loud cheers from the rest of us). She decided to use the groom as her hero. Once that was set, we decided the bride’s story should tie everything up at the end and Erin took that the bride as her heroine. Syd and I chose people from the wedding party. I went with the matron of honor because I had an idea about a terrible bridesmaid dress.
Once we had the wedding idea, and I was writing the story of the jilted groom, I immediately began thinking about reunited lovers because we planned these stories to be shorter (about 60000 words). Because there’s less time to develop the relationship in a shorter book, I thought it would work well to have a hero and heroine who already knew each other.
60,000? *looks at Erin* I think we both forgot that part J Once we ditched the Italian family restaurant business on fire, the only thing I knew about our new direction for sure was that I had the best man’s story. The next thing I knew, I had a scene playing in my head of my reformed rebel heroine (now a cop) at a wedding—that you just know isn’t going to end well—and her fixating on her date—the hometown hero who she’d just arrested. I was off and running after that.
I went the other direction from Kelly. My hero is a total stranger and somebody who knows nothing about Promise Harbor or the wedding. So I guess mine fits in the “Strangers When We Met/ Love At First Sight” category.
I have no idea why but I’ve always wanted to write a story about a bride that was stolen away from her wedding to another man. It’s shocking and scandalous and has the potential to be soooo romantic! (Okay, not for the jilted groom… but that was Kelly’s problem J)
Yeah, that was my problem. J Hopefully I handled it. We had to do more brainstorming around the things that were common in each book, like the location, details of the wedding, and some minor characters who appear in each book. Even as we were doing edits, I was emailing them questions like “Do Devon and Hayley know each other?” and “How long ago did Allie and Gavin break up?” There were a lot of little details we wanted to get right – hopefully we did!
Yes! I distinctly remember sending an e-mail with the subject line “did Josh and Allie have sex?” and then starting the e-mail with “and was it any good?” Lots of back and forth on details. (And not just about the sex they did or didn’t have!)
LOL I think I also sent Erin an email that said, “Did Allie use birth control?”
And we’d send sections to one another to be sure that it sounded right… like something their character would really do or say. Kelly and I had a lot more back and forth since Josh and Allie are, after all, in a close relationship and have to show up in each other’s books. We had to collaborate on their backstory and how much did they each know about the other’s ex and what led to their engagement and how did Josh propose and what were they like as a couple and… well, you get the idea.
Kelly and Erin both did versions of the wedding scene that would show up in all four books. Once the order of events and the dialogue between bride, groom, and significant others was set up, we had to make sure that every change in that scene was cleared by all four of us. I remember Erin revised some dialogue that she didn’t like and suddenly all the rest of us were scrambling to make sure our versions still matched hers!
It was like playing Jenga. If anyone moved a piece of their story we all had to make sure it fit with our story and didn’t mess up a backstory or a timeline or change something we’d already written.
I think the connections between all our characters is really the heart of the series (and the romances too, of course). But it was really fun getting at the personal history between siblings and friends. For example, I would get an idea about Hayley and Gavin’s troublemaking days (you guys didn’t think stealing the bride was Gavin’s first offense, did you?) and I’d just run with it and then email it to Erin afterward. Later she’d come up with another escapade or idea and send it to me, then I’d go back and weave the new details through mine.
There really was a lot of playing off each other and I’m sure these stories would have turned out radically different if there had been different authors involved or had we gone with Deluca’s and Cape Grouper. Cape Cod was already taken. 🙂
Into even the best-planned wedding a little chaos must fall…
Join the residents of Promise Harbor, Massachusetts for the wedding of the season! Or, at least, for the most entertaining wedding of the season. The groom’s been left at the altar, the Maid of Honor is MIA, the Best Man is in handcuffs and the bride has been swept off her feet–literally.
There’s definitely love in the air, but things are going to get a little crazy before anyone gets to happily ever after.
Jilted, Promise Harbor Wedding book one, Kelly, Jamieson, March 19, 2013
Bolted, Promise Harbor Wedding book two, Meg, Benjamin, April 2, 2013
Busted, Promise Harbor Wedding book three, Sydney Somers, April 16, 2013
Hitched, Promise Harbor Wedding book four, Erin, Nicholas, April 30, 2013
Kelly, Meg, Sydney and Erin would like to give one lucky reader their choice of ebook from any of their backlists. To enter, share a wedding memory. Your wedding, a friends wedding, or even a wedding from a movie!
Open to ALL. You have until end of day March 29 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
This giveaway is sponsored by: The Promise Harbor authors
No purchase necessary to win. You must be 18 or over to enter, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement, they forfeit their prize(s). Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.
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Kelly Jamieson is a best-selling author of over twenty-five romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. Where you can find Kelly: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Nine Naughty Novelists, Pinterest
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and paranormal romance for Berkley InterMix. Meg lives in Colorado with her hubs and a couple of Maine Coon cats. Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1).
Sydney Somers, author of paranormal and contemporary romance, spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. Visit her on the web http://www,sydneysomers.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sydneysomers
Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).You can find Erin on the web at www.ErinNicholas.com, www.ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com, on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ErinNicholas) and even on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/erin.nicholas.90)