If you’ve read the Rossetti Mysteries series, you’ll be familiar with a cast of characters who have each played their part in the stories. Becky and Jon from Some Veil Did Fall, Cori and Simon from The Girl in the Painting, and Lissy and Stefano in The Girl in the Photograph grew to be so ‘real’ that I, along with most other people who have read the series, wonder what will happen to them next!
That’s a question I can’t quite answer yet, but I’m sort of toying with trying to find out at some point. My stories – and I’ve written quite a few now (in total, I’ve got one novella edited and ready for publication, three more novels contracted with Choc Lit, four more novellas awaiting a response from the Panel and one on my computer as a work in progress), and the stories are mostly linked in some way, shape or form; so I hope that the Rossetti characters will pop up occasionally and you’ll greet them like friends you haven’t seen for a while, if you happen to read the new books.
I’ve already casually started introducing ‘new’ characters to readers and have been subtly linking in people from the existing stories; remember Elodie from The Girl in the Painting? She worked with Cori on a web project, and was a costume designer for a theatre in London. We find out about her and her childhood sweetheart, Hal Hartsford, in the first book in the new trilogy. And we also find out more about her rather unique take on visitors from the afterlife.
Remember Henry Dawson, Daisy’s art tutor from The Girl in the Painting, and the portrait he so lovingly crafted depicting Daisy? And then consider that beautiful, Pre-Raphaelite inspired portrait that hangs in Sea Scarr Hall, Lorelei’s home, in The Girl in the Photograph, which young Florrie so admires. Did you get the connection?
Or how about the bookshop Stef tells Lissy about in The Girl in the Photograph, when they are visiting Staithes. “I believe it is called Tempest’s Bookshop, or something similar”, according to Stef. Would it make you just a little bit intrigued if I told you that the contemporary trilogy follows the stories of three sisters – Angel, Jessie and Rosa – whose surname is Tempest? Jessie owns a bookshop, funnily enough. And Angel has a jet workshop in Whitby, just opposite a certain photographer’s studio. And there’s a little girl called Grace who keeps popping in to see her.
Maybe that’s not quite enough. Maybe we should think about the hotel in Some Veil Did Fall, Carrick Park. Maybe one of the Tempest girls – let’s say Rosa – works there. Maybe her friend, Tara, is the receptionist who greets Becky on her first evening there. And maybe, just maybe, around Christmas-time, something magical happens to Carrick Park. Maybe Ailsa, the Wedding Events Co-ordinator who we meet in Rosa’s story, has to deal with a Christmas Day Wedding and something altogether more special as well; something in 1864, just around the time that Ella and Adam from Some Veil Did Fall realise that they are indeed soulmates.
And I wonder if the novella I just edited and returned to the publisher, is linked in any way to the work in progress? I suspect it is – because when you meet Schubert the cat, you’ll know why he had to worm his way into another book about the heroine’s older brother!
I love jigsaws. I hope you do too.