After writing “Old Promises” I found I’d left Hazel and her mother in the middle of everything. Somehow I’d found I was writing a book series without meaning to.
Series are very popular with writers. If readers like a series, they look forward to the next book. The series sells. And writers do need to sell books to support their writing habit.
The ending of “Old Promises” was based on a crime committed many, many years ago in Dover, Arkansas. In the third Hazel Whitmore novel I imagined what might have happened afterwards with the characters in the two books.
Right away I had problems. Writing book series requires lots of notes about the characters, the plots, the settings. Every detail must be right in every following book.
I did not have those copious notes as I never intended to keep writing about Hazel. All my other books had been single novels.
So I read the first two books making up those copious notes. Then I started writing “Mistaken Promises” with the premise that someone didn’t believe Hazel didn’t cause all the problems that came to a disastrous climax.
I knew who this person was. I thought I knew why. Except I didn’t.
Fictional characters aren’t real. Except they are real in their stories and the minds of their authors. And this person I thought was the villain of sorts wasn’t that person at all.
It took months for me to sort out everything. Then I did know who and why. Then “Mistaken Promises” could be and was written.
There are a few people who enjoy reading about Hazel. In some ways I miss her and would like to continue her story. There are lots of possibilities.