When I typed the end of To Save a Viscount, the final book in my Regency romantic suspense Spy Series, I cried. I had spent the better part of ten years crafting and telling the adventures of the smart, dangerous Blacks as they spied for Mother England during the Napoleonic Wars. It was hard to let these characters go after spending so much time with them, but I knew the story was finished. Napoleon had been captured (again!), and the family was starting a new chapter (with the birth of a baby). I had only to finish their story and let them go.
But it is in the letting go that a story is really finished. For me, the Spy Series had been about a family of spies that existed all in my head. I had laughed with them. I had cried with them. I found Sarah’s cursing inventive and Nora’s strength resilient. I found Jane amusing and Richard calming. It never occurred to me to realize how readers saw them. I never fully realized that others were discovering these characters that had become such a part of me over the ten years of writing their stories.
That was until I started hearing from those readers.
I began to hear from readers who loved Jane, who thought Nora’s world was brilliant, who wanted to hear more about Alec and Nathan. I even had one reader tell me she spit tea through her nose at the end of A Countess Most Daring. These stories were not stories until my readers read them and in that, they became finished.
But not really.
What I hadn’t expected was the response I would get from readers. When I typed the end on the Spy Series, I had thought that was it. I mentally prepared myself for moving on to a new series, a new set of characters, maybe even a new world. But my readers weren’t ready to let them go. My readers wanted more. They wanted more of Jane’s antics and Sarah’s cursing. They wanted more of Alec and Nathan. So while I had visions of embarking on a new series of fresh characters and conflicts, my readers told me not to.
Readers are important for this very reason. One may see reading as a passive activity, but it’s not. Writers write for readers to read, and in the reading, we are guided to our next story. It’s not about how many books our readers buy. It’s about how many readers bring our stories to life.
The adventures of the Black family are far from finished in my readers’ minds, and I have accepted this as a challenge. As I embark on the Shadowing London series, I realize although a chapter may have closed on the Black family’s legacy as spies, a whole new story has begun thanks to my intrepid readers.
To Be a Spy: A Christmas Spy Series Short Story by Jessie Clever
Samuel Black must make a decision: to be a spy like his father or follow his heart.
Either is likely to give his mother chest pains.
For Samuel is no longer a lad with the ambitious and noble wish of being a lamplighter to keep the seedy streets of London safe. About to embark on university, his mind stirs with the thoughts of creating a policing force in London to safeguard its citizens. Held back by his family’s legacy as spies, Samuel does not make his ideas known.
But when he stops a would-be purse-snatcher, his path unexpectedly veers into that of one Miss Penelope Paiget, and suddenly, Samuel must make a choice.
The short stories in the Spy Series:
1. To Be a Spy
2. To Be a Duke
3. To Be a Lady
4. To Be a Debutante
The Spy Series short stories take place after the conclusion of the Spy Series.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Xo4cXb
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1bOGy3O
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Fxl3QC
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1EG1vc2
About the Author:
Jessie decided to become a writer because the job of Indiana Jones was already filled.
Taking her history degree dangerously, Jessie tells the stories of courageous heroines, the men who dared to love them, and the world that tried to defeat them.
Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds. For more, visit her website at jessieclever.com.
Connect with Jessie…