This week, one of our foxes asked, “Are you writing the same kind of books you wrote when you first started?”
The answer for me – sort of.
The first book I started writing in earnest is the story that became The Samurai’s Garden. This is a historical novel set in northern Japan in 1870 and features a former samurai soldier. After this book was published, I had plans to make it the first in a series, and began a story about the samurai’s son. When I ran into a few snags in the research, I started one about his grandson, and actually sketched out the entire family line ending with the present. I loved researching Japanese American history, because I felt a deep connection with it. I assumed that this would be my niche, and that all my stories would include Japanese, or at least Japanese-American characters.
But I got sidetracked. In 2012, I responded to a call-out for holiday regency romance stories. The premise was interesting, and the requirements doable, and in a matter of a few months I submitted The Partridge and the Peartree. Six months later, I completed a companion story, Love’s Refrain. I discovered I enjoyed writing historical romance set in England just as much as I enjoyed writing about Japanese history. And it’s much easier to find resources about this era.
I’ve also dabbled in stories with contemporary settings, starting with Aegean Intrigue, written after visiting the Greek Islands, and Christmas Phoenix, set in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. And there are two contemporary Christmas stories set in my backyard, in West Michigan, between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan.
So I’ve got a collection of books set in different times and different places. When I started writing for publication, I never expected to have such diversity in my stories. What they have in common is that they are all sweet romances. But the types of problems they face are all different.
But then again, people are all different, and each love story is unique. Also, people grow and change, and it stands to reason that the stories I create won’t always be the same. Because frankly, that would be boring.