My new novel released last Tuesday, the third in the Chicory Inn Novels series from Abingdon Press. I HOPE by the time you’re reading this, that I have finished edits (and rewrites) for the fourth novel in the series, and am back to working on the fifth and final book.
I’ve written several sequels, and two three-book series, but this is the first time I’ve ever written a five-book series. I wasn’t sure whether I could sustain five intertwining storylines for this long, whether I might grow bored with the characters, (or worse, whether readers might grow bored!) But I’ve loved writing these books about the Whitman family, and I admit, I’ll be really sad when I write “the end” on Book 5, sometime early next year.
The idea for my Chicory Inn series came when my friend (and wonderful author!) Courtney Walsh and I were talking late into the night at a conference a few years ago. We’d started telling family stories, and at some point, Courtney said, “Deb, you have such a great family, and so many fun family stories. You should write a series about a family like yours.”
I don’t know why the idea had never crossed my mind. My grown kids will tell you that they do see our family in my books. I’ve even fictionalized a few Raney family stories into my novels. (My kids’ favorite is the one in A Nest of Sparrows where “the mom” tossed the blue Tupperware cup in the trash because the kids wouldn’t quit fighting over it. Yes, that happened in real life! And yes, I know those Tupperware cups aren’t cheap. And no, I’m not sorry.)
Anyway, Courtney’s idea took hold, I wrote a proposal, pitched the stories, Abingdon bought them, and I’ve been having a blast ever since, wreaking havoc in the lives of the Whitman family from Missouri.
Why Missouri? Because that’s where 3.5 of my real-life grandkids live and I figured it would be great to have an excuse to go do “research” as often as possible! In fact, as you’re reading this, Ken and I are driving home from a long weekend with our daughters and their families near Cape Girardeau.
P.S. We’re bringing something really fun home with us, which I’ll tell you about next time it’s my turn to blog here!