It’s been a long time since I’ve started a new series, and that’s just what I’ve been working on for the past couple months.
Starting a new series takes a lot of focus, in my experience as a paranormal cozy author. There are settings to dream up, rules of magic to figure out, and characters to get to know. In this post I’ll share a little bit about the new books I’m brewing up, including the inspiration behind the main characters, setting, and theme.
First, let me give you a few basics about this new series. In the past I’ve written stories that feature witches and magic, and I’m sticking with that! It’ll star two main characters, Maginty (people call her Maggie) and Belinda Aster. They are identical twins with very different personalities.
Maggie is a real go-getter with a "type A" personality. She’s after success, no matter what it takes. She loves going after achievements. Her sister Belinda, on the other hand, is content to sit around with her nose in a book. She enjoys collecting information and knowledge, and pondering the way the world works.
In the series, the two sisters are just entering their forties. In their family, this comes along with the blossoming of magical traits. Not all women in the family experience this; it usually skips a generation.
In addition to dealing with their new and sometimes weird magical abilities, the sisters also have a habit of getting involved in investigations...
Belinda is good with investigative work because she's super smart, so people in the community come to her for help. However, she’s also clueless when it comes to common sense. She can analyze many details and connect dots like no other, but it’s hard for her to hold a simple conversation. That’s where Maggie comes in. She’s great at the practical side of sleuthing, like interacting with people, taking care of billing and other paperwork, and keeping a calendar.
The two make for a pretty great team! Add in a feisty grandmother and a loyal crow, and I’m hoping for some good times. I’m already really enjoying the writing of book one. It’s fun to be able to follow each sister along, during the various parts of the investigation. I really like that despite their differences, they are good friends and have each other’s backs.
I usually base fictional characters, settings, and events on people, places, and happenings in my real life. Sometimes one make-believe element is based on a combination of real-life things. For example, a character might be a mash-up of two or three people I know. Or, a town could be mostly based on one place I lived, with a few quirks from another place I called home thrown in. Here’s a peek behind the scenes at how I came up with the characters, setting, and theme for this series.
The twins share a middle name, Gemini. That’s purposeful on my part, because “gemini” is Latin for “twin.” Their last name is Aster, the Latin word for “star.” The constellation named Gemini represents twins. I was born in June, and within the system of astrology I’m a Gemini. My inspiration for the twins comes from looking at the two different sides of my personality. Here’s what I mean by that….
It seems to me that all of us have different sides of our personalities. That’s true for me, too. I can be very driven to go after my goals, while another part of me just wants to hide away with a book collecting facts for the rest of my days. I wanted the twins in this series to reflect this split. It’s been fun to see their conflicts as well as the times when they balance each other out.
The story is set in a fictional town in Colorado called Silver Ridge. I based this loosely on Silverthorne, Colorado, where I lived for about seven years. I’m plucking out the things that I liked about Silverthorne, like the fact that it’s near towering mountains, is located near a big, beautiful lake, and enjoys a long winter filled with plenty of snow. I’m leaving out the things I didn’t enjoy, like the traffic congestion and proximity to a major highway. In my fiction I get to call the shots, so why not?
With this new series, I’m going to write about a theme that interests me a lot, which is manifesting. In this day in age, we sometimes hear about things like the "law of attraction" and various ways to use our minds and thoughts to make real, tangible things happen out in the world that we experience. I think it's pretty fascinating stuff! In my personal life I love to read about metaphysics. When I write stories sometimes that interest comes out onto the page... I didn’t really expect that to happen with this series, but now as I’m working on book one I see it splashed all over the place! When I reflect I can see that my interest in manifesting inspired at least one of the overarching themes for this series.
I’m really excited to launch book one in this new series. I’ll be sure to post about it here on the blog, when I do! I think you’re going to love Belinda and Maggie just as much as I do, and enjoy sleuthing right along with them.
I’d love to hear from you. I love to geek out on metaphysics... thinking about how our minds work, how our thoughts interact with reality, and things like that. I could read about it for hours. What's your favorite topic to geek out on lately? What could you learn about for hours? Leave a comment to share. Can't wait to hear about it.
Amorette Anderson writes warm-hearted cozy mysteries that star witchy characters. She lives in Colorado with her husband and furbabies, pups Marley and Teddy. When she’s not writing or reading she’s dreaming up ways to make life a little more magical.