Writing the series and having my characters interact while working on a novel is one thing, but sometimes other things need clarification. For example, every once in a while, I need to create an artifact that Ari has received from Kai – but I don’t want to go into the story in the current novel. Enter the side journey – a nifty little way that I can flesh out the item’s acquisition while also creating content for my VIP readers.
It’s almost like a bonus for me! I love to write, but I don’t want to craft novels whenever an idea pops into my head. Using these side journeys to flesh out a character or “find” a relic is a fun way for me to develop a back story – and keep developing the relationships between the characters without a 90,000-word count staring me down.
For the Polestar (the relic from Resistant Magic), I send Kai and Ari on a little working vacation to the desert southwest. They managed to find a relic, and I had fun playing with two other Native American spirits – Iketome and Raven. It was a fun project, and let me write a little Paranormal Romance angle for Ari and Kai.
I don’t mind the rabbit holes, but I don’t have time for such frivolity when I’m working on a novel. It’s nose to the grindstone and research aplenty to get one of the Relic Hunter books done. That’s not saying I don’t make notes about the side journeys I intend to create. I write myself a brief reminder and return to it when I’m between books – which isn’t often enough! So as I work on Ancient Magic, subscribers to my VIP list can anticipate a new side journey after the release.
While I’m on the subject, I plan to spin two books off the Relic Hunter novels. In the first, Princess Tyballa Nessinger will be trying to solve the mystery of Dr. Ezra Froelich’s memory problems. I alluded to this in Jealous Magic, but I’m interested to see where Ty goes, and I’d also like to get to know her better.
The second is Sidaffri’s turn to go home and find what happened to the Sand Fire Jinn. This one will take some time because I’ll spin this off from Ancient Magic (the next book’s working title). There’s more to learn about Sidaffri and her history, and I’m passionate about getting the character’s backstory right.
The one character I probably won’t write a back story for is Kai, though. I’m not sure I want to know what he was up to before appearing in Elementary Magic. If you read the legends about Coyote, they’re rather naughty.