I’ve received loads of questions via social media, some through email, and in-person about my many series. In case you haven’t noticed, I do like to genre hop a little, but I do tend to stick with young adult and fantasy. In my upcoming blog series, I will explore each of my book series, so readers will know what they’re getting into when they pick up one of my books (don’t worry, that sounds worse than it is!)
Over the next few weeks, I will spotlight one series with my thoughts and a more in-depth look at why I started it, what readers will find in the story, and why the themes are universal.
Let’s just dive right into the first series, shall we?
This week’s series is THE SECRET AUTHOR SERIES.
My very first published book was The Yellow Note. Sometimes I still cringe when I reread it, but that’s true for any author. Show me one who doesn’t at least wince a little, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t honed their craft. It’s a process like any other hobby or job, and it takes hours upon hours and thousands upon thousands of words to improve—which I still do every day.
The Yellow Note was supposed to be a stand-alone novel. I put it up on Wattpad just to see what people thought. I was surprised to find they liked it, and when Wattpad put it up as a featured read, it got over three million reads in just a few months. People asked for more, so another book was born—The Postcard. After that, it seemed simple to keep up the theme—a secret person using some sort of correspondence to communicate with the main character… and the rest is history (actually, the rest is The Secret Author Series.)
Here are some commonly asked questions about this series:
What is the target age group?
That’s difficult to pin down. The themes are certainly universal to any age, but some of the stories are better suited for middle-grade to high-school age (about 13-18), where some are suited for a young adult to new adult age (about 15-25). I’ve had readers in their forties rave about the books, while some even as young as twelve enjoyed the more adult themes.
What are the ages of the characters?
It depends on the book, but most are between the ages of 15 and 25, with a few outliers for supporting characters such as parents, older or younger siblings, mentors, etc.
What is the content rating?
To me, it’s solid PG. There is no sex or heavy petting (there are kissing scenes, but nothing overly heated), no cussing (perhaps the occasional Hell referencing the actual place), no graphic violence. However, in some installments, I do discuss trauma and other intense situations. For example, in The Letter, I discuss PTSD both from combat and from child abuse. In The Text Message, we tackle grief and depression after the death of a sibling. But no matter what the content is, you can rest assured it is managed with care, and to show hope and love.
Why did you start this series?
Amidst all the oversexed, overly vulgar young adult novels out there, I wanted to offer readers something with emotion and feeling, but without all the bad influence and trauma portrayed as a positive thing. I’m not a huge fan of novels that depict abusive relationships as a good thing, or that those people can be changed with just the right amount of love from just the right person. I believe in redemption, but when I write about it, it is hard-earned and deserved. Basically, I wanted to show people that hope can be found in almost any situation.
Should I read the series in order?
No, not at all, unless you want to. I wrote each one to stand on its own, but if you do read them in order, you’ll find a little surprise. Each book is linked to a previous book in at least one way. For example, Conor Hudson is the main character in The Yellow Note. You might catch in book one that her mother’s maiden name was Garrison. In the Postcard, Mark and Hope Garrison are Conor’s first cousins! It’s not directly mentioned, but if you’re careful, you can pick up little gems like that one and many more!
How far have I written in The Secret Author Series?
Well, that’s a loaded question. I initially (after writing The Postcard) decided on a ten-book series, primarily because I couldn’t think of any other forms of communication that would work in a full-length novel. But, as fate would have it, people were intrigued by side characters and stories, and they wanted to know more about them. I found I did too! So, I have also written some spin-off novellas and will continue to do so as long as my alpha and beta readers keep saying things like, “Hey, this would be a cool short story!” or “I’d really like to know more about this character’s life!”
Here’s what we have so far:
The Yellow Note, Book One – follows Conor Hudson as she unravels the mystery of her secret note writer. Along the way, she discovers family secrets, the value of friendship, and a love that lasts forever.
The Postcard, Book Two – follows Aria Scott as she seeks X, the mysterious person sending her postcards with challenges that push the introverted girl way out of her comfort zone.
The Letter, Book Three – follows Penelope Scottsdale as she navigates life with an abusive mother, a tyrannical sister, and a past she’s eager to forget, all while communicating with a deployed soldier—who thinks she’s her sister.
The Text Message, Book Four – Emily Waters navigates a text messaging situation gone wrong, which places her in a tight spot when her deceased brother’s best friend shows interest in her.
Starting Over – A spin-off novella born from a deleted chapter in The Yellow Note. Atticus Stillwell was a bully, but someone took pity on him and saw the truth. Now he pays it forward.
Biology 101 – A spin-off novella from The Yellow Note, this is the history of Jacob and Delilah, two of the book’s most beloved characters.
Falling For Elizabeth – a second-generation novella, this one follows the next generation of The Yellow Note
The Forget Me Not Pact – a surprise prequel novella that dives deep into the lives of a beloved character’s parents (I can’t tell who! I’d rather you be surprised.)
War Changes Everything – a prequel novella that gaps The Postcard and The Letter and follows Walter, the loveable war vet from The Postcard.
New installment coming soon:
The Telegram, Book Five – Easton Long finds a box of telegrams in her deceased great-grandmother’s attic. She never expected they would take her on a cross-country road trip to uncover family secrets and lost love.
Future books include the following in the primary series and planned spin-off prequels, sequels, and novellas!
I hope you have enjoyed our walk through The Secret Author Series! If you read one of the books and have an idea for future installments, including novella side stories, prequels, or sequels, feel free to send me a message! I’m always open to developing new books with reader input!
Next week we’ll dive into one of my new series, the I’m Pretty Sure About That Series!