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The Because You Are Mine Series
Saturday, June 15th, 2013

The Because You Are Mine series

In writing the story arc that began in Because You Are Mine, grew in When I’m With You, coming to a big climax in Because We Belong, and continuing with another couple in Since I Saw You, it was necessary for me to shift my primary characters in and out of the spotlight. Ian and Francesca were the main hero and heroine in the first book, Elise and Lucien take center stage in the second, and things move back to Ian and Francesca’s unfolding story in Because We Belong, the third book which releases this November. A character is introduced in Because We Belong, Kam Reardon, whom I just knew I had to tell a story about, and so Since I Saw You unfolded. This was a unique and fun writing experience for me. I have written stories where the main characters move into secondary roles in subsequent books while another blooming romance is the focus. This is the first time, however, that I’ve had the original couple take center stage again as a result of what happened in book two.

Print.version.BYAM

One of the complications that comes from writing the same couple as the main hero and heroine in book after book is sustaining a sense of romantic and sexual tension. The last thing a writer wants to do is write the same scenes or scenarios over and over, or make the reader bored with limp sexual tension. Recently, I was watching the writers from the hugely successful television show Friends talk about why they had to break up the romance of Ross and Rachel early on in the series. With the two becoming involved early on, the show had gone ‘flat’ in their opinion. They decided to break up the couple, maintain the spark throughout the series, making the final episodes when Ross and Rachel finally get together have an even richer payoff.

It’s a tricky thing, doing what writers such as Diana Gabaldon did so successfully in the Outlander series, keeping us interested in Claire and Jamie’s romance for several books in a row. It’s a challenge most writers don’t attempt, but instead write series with a common world and characters that move from secondary to primary roles, such as in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. With the recent success of series such as Sylvia Day’s Crossfire novels, however, readers are becoming accustomed to reading the same hero and heroine across the story arc of several books, and love the consistency. I thought it would be a unique and interesting challenge to combine the two styles, allowing the camera to focus on one couple, then another, and then going back to the first, and then swinging to yet another couple.

WIWY_complete_400

The exciting thing about the series this way was that the second couple’s romance—Lucien and Elise’s—while unique and particular to them, was the spark that created the conflict that led to the camera lens swinging back to the original couple, Ian and Francesca. But it’s more than just conflict in the negative sense. Lucien’s backstory and search is what leads to an opportunity for enrichment and deepening of all the characters in the Because You Are Mine series. Yes, strife and anxiety have entered Ian and Francesca’s world again in When I’m With You, but it’s giving this special couple the unique chance to address and resolve old insecurities and heal wounds, to discover an enduring happily ever after. This is especially true for Ian, who carries deep scars and uncertainties from a tragic, shadowy past, and whom I firmly believed deserved an opportunity to present himself to Francesca, whole and free of self-doubt.

Because We Belong

The satisfying thing for me at the culmination of When I’m With You is that because of the characters moving in and out of the spotlight, I was able to end the book not only with a conflict that begged to be resolved in Ian and Francesca’s case, but a sweet, passionate conclusion for Lucien and Elise.

Balancing the two energies of tension and security is always a romance writer’s challenge, and one that I had fun maintaining while the couples moved in and out—and back into—the spotlight. What’s even more fun is to re-read the books and see the action and rising conflict going on with one couple that we weren’t aware of when in the other couple’s point of view.

Do you like series? Would you like them to feature a common world and with different main characters, or would you prefer to see the same hero and heroine in each book? Or are you a fan of the single title?

7 comments to “The Because You Are Mine Series”

  1. Cindy
    Comment
    1
      · June 15th, 2013 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Hi Beth:

    I like both. I enjoy the on-going story that spans several books and gives the reader a greater “relationship” (if you will) with the characters. I really become attached to them and crave to have a resolution — HEA, or whatever the author decides.

    On the other hand, a series like Kristen Proby’s “Seattle” where one couple is spotlighted but then reappears in additional books so that you kind-of “check in” with them, is also enjoyable. Or Tessa Bailey who introduces a character just in the background but then they get a book of their own… LOVE IT!

    Your “Because You Are Mine” series was the first thing I picked up a year ago after FSoG (which is what got me started reading for pleasure in this genre) had me so spell bound. I re-read it three times in 10 days and decided I needed to detach or they were going to have me committed — BYAM was on the list of what to read after FSoG, so I grabbed it on my Kindle. It didn’t help, though, because I LOVED Ian and Francesca’s story so much I ended up getting caught in a perpetual re-read of that as well.

    I hadn’t expected to see Ian and Francesca again in the second series, but was so pleasantly surprised, and, yes, the issues that came up with Lucien and Ian really did beg to continue Ian’s story with Francesca, bcause you clearly had more story to tell for him. I’m soooo excited about BWB…

    I am biased, however, because I’ve NEVER read anything of yours that disappoints. I haven’t read everything, but that’s just a time issue. Eventually I will, and if anyone asks me for an introduction into this genre (because they know what I’m into), I always recommend BYAM as a starter — it’s a quick read and an excellent example of what good erotica/romance writing is.

    Thanks for sharing your creativity and these characters!

    Cindy



    • JB
      Comment
      1.1
        · June 15th, 2013 at 7:19 pm · Link

      Same here, I LOVE both. I would rush home from work every Tuesday to spend my evening with these couples.



      • Theresa Perry
        Comment
          · June 17th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

        I agree with Cindy. Your doing fine, just don’t have us waiting too long between stories.



  2. adele cairns
    Comment
    2
      · June 15th, 2013 at 1:58 pm · Link

    I think its genius , iv never read a series that has 2 different storys kind of entwined , I’m looking forward to reading the second book after just finishing because you are mine, I’m eagerly awaiting it going to print , thanks



  3. Karen
    Comment
    3
      · June 15th, 2013 at 5:19 pm · Link

    Hi Beth.

    I really enjoyed both books. However, I decided to wait for all the installments of When I’m with You because I really can’t stand to wait a week to continue the story. I was pleasantly happy to see that Ian and Francesca will get another series. I too have read both types. I am not really a big fan of the cliff hangers that we are so common anymore. I know its the waiting thing. When I read FSOG, I had all three books so I could flow into each one. I read very quickly! I am not sure why authors do it and I see more and more readers having issues with it especially if you have to wait almost a year for the next installment. It’s actually really painful especially when you get so wrapped up in the lives of the characters.



  4. Emily Jane Trent
    Comment
    4
      · June 19th, 2013 at 12:05 pm · Link

    Beth,

    I think both methods work, if done well. To keep characters alive, and moving from primary to secondary, and back again – well, I have to say, not all authors could do that. It requires skill to keep it all together.

    For me, the story and liking the characters makes the difference. I’m more used to one set of primary characters in one story, but the other style is interesting.

    A series is good, because I get attached to characters and enjoy reading several books about them. Sometimes a novel with no sequels can work. But it is fun to continue to read about characters I love. It’s like watching a TV series that I never want to end.



  5. Starr Boone
    Comment
    5
      · February 8th, 2017 at 6:48 pm · Link

    I haven’t read the second book, but I will. The reason I didn’t is because it didn’t continue with the same characters. I think I really prefer going on with the same characters for at least 3 books.



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