The Story Link idea came about while I was working on “That’s What Shadows Are Made Of” and was considering the back story of one of my murder suspects. Where was the character from? What was the character’s secret? Why did the character act the way they did in certain situations?
At first the Story Link was very minor and just something I tossed in there for fun, but once I got thinking about it, I realized how cool an idea it really was. Why not link ALL the stories I had in mind together in this way? Maybe the link would be really obvious, as with the first two murder mysteries. They take place in the same area of New York State. They have some of the same characters. The Greenbrier Trilogy is, of course, the same way. It’s a trilogy. They are all meant to go together. Maybe the link would appear to be just a minor scene or bit of dialog within the grand scheme of things.
Then along came “No Rest For The Wicked”, my first novel length ghost story. It takes place over 300 miles from the fictional town of Barnesville. What could these two locations possibly have in common? I already had an answer, of course. And so it was that the Story Link formed between my murder mysteries, the paranormal writings and my older, previously published erotica series. In the meantime, other links are being brought together in stories I’ve written only a chapter or two of.
How will “Dark Hollow Road”, which takes place in Eastern Pennsylvania, be story linked to any of the others already mentioned? “Ghost Town” starts and ends in Texas and the characters are Texas natives. What on earth could they have to do with a bunch of New Englanders or Virginians? Then there’s “When The Darkness Presses” which features a bunch of kids growing up in the mid-1970’s who face the unsavory (and possibly deadly) consequences of meeting up with the infamous Hag. Where will any of them fit into a Story Link?
As it stands now, only two of my completed novels are without links to anything written before or after them. This could change. I don’t know how or when, but it could happen. Stories are like that. Characters like to suddenly pipe up, “Hey! What about me? When do I get my turn?!”
So, yeah, Story Links have become my little writing quirk. I don’t claim it to be an original idea, but I am hard pressed to come up with any author I’ve read a lot of who I’ve seen do it. On the outside, the novels may appear to have absolutely nothing to do with each other. On the inside, well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out, won’t we?
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It’s been happening to me too. My Nathaniel stories and Ben stories are obviously linked, since Nathaniel is Ben’s ancestor, as well as sharing the same sire. Albert had no link, until there was a need for a troubleshooter rent-a-prince in Tavnoc and discussing with the other STs, realised that Kat (Ben & Nate’s sire) was perfect for the job, so she will become part of that story. And a few weeks ago, my Martin/Jane stories that I write in the daily dash are connected, because I needed a blues band for them to go and see, so Ben made a guest appearance…. Linking the sci-fi story set in a very distant part of the galaxy and a few hundred years in the future might be trickier 🙂
I think it is a good thing because it helps you form a consistent world background… and it’s fun for the readers too, especially if the link isn’t immediately obvious…
You haven’t actively planned for that though, have you? I am doing so now, considering how I can link “No Rest” to “Ghost Town” to “…Darkness Presses” back to “…Scarecrow” further back into the erotica trilogy. I may never link the other two eroticas into the fray, but one never knows, does one?