I've created two fictional Texas towns for my Harlequin American Romances: Ranger Springs, in the Hill Country (for information on the area see http://www.texashillcountry.com/), and Brody's Crossing, northwest of Fort Worth where West Texas begins. Each of them have their own geography, but more than that, they are inhabited by a steady cast of secondary characters who (hopefully) enrich the stories of the heroes and heroines. As I've mentioned in the past, some of these characters come from snippets of stories my Texas in-laws have told about growing up in the area southwest of Fort Worth. This is my father-in-law's homestead near Dennis, Texas on the Brazos River.
One of the frequent questions I get from readers is this: How many books will be in my Brody's Crossing series? The answer is . . . I have no idea! Perhaps my editor has an opinion on how long the series will continue, based on reader interest, but I'm not sure. (Authors don't get sales figures from our books for quite a while after they are released.) As long as I enjoy writing about these characters and don't run out of interesting plots that ring true for this particular town, I see no reason to end it. As soon as I have no more ideas, I'm sure I will move on to another spot, perhaps even (gasp!) another state.
In 2011 I'm very excited about the whole writing experience. I have finished the edits on both books, Suddenly Texan (May 2011) and The Texan and the Cowgirl (July 2011) and now I'm waiting impatiently to see the cover art. At the end of June the Romance Writers of America conference will be in New York City, a place I love. I've already reserved my hotel room; my husband and my daughter will have to "duke it out" to see which one of them is going with me, because they both love NYC.
In the past few years I haven't scheduled any booksignings, but I'm looking forward to having one (at least) at the Wal-Mart near our weekend house in Mineola, TX (http://www.mineola.com/.) They carry Harlequin American Romances and since I spend so much time (and money) there when I'm in East Texas, I just know they'll want to schedule an event! Because I mention Graham, TX (http://visitgrahamtexas.com/ ) so much in my Brody's Crossing series, I may see if I can go there for a booksigning. In nearby Weatherford, there is a very supportive independent bookstore and radio program that may be interested. I see several fun events in my future!
Perhaps I'm keeping myself busy and excited because I'm having one of those "milestone" birthdays next month. "A rolling stone gathers no moss" is the old saying that seems most appropriate to me at the moment.
I hope you feel equally excited about your prospects in this new year. Our careers and personal lives are often uncertain, but having something exciting to anticipate is very important as we move forward. Best wishes for a great start to 2011.