Friday, April 20, 2007

Party Post Number 19

Robyn Donald trained as a teacher – which is probably why she teaches writing with Daphne Clair in between producing her own books – 74 at last count, with another waiting in the wings.

It’s lovely to be here, not only to celebrate Tessa’s book with her, but to admire the cover – especially the hero!

One of the things I really enjoy about reading is meeting old friends from previous books, something I discovered in one of my all-time favourites, Georgette Heyer’s An Infamous Army. Naturally, I’ve followed in the magnificent Georgette’s footsteps. It’s been fun allowing my previous heroes and heroines little cameo appearances in later books. Virgin Bought and Paid For, out some time next year, even stars the son of the protagonists in my second book, Dilemma In Paradise.

I get letters from readers who say they enjoy meeting people again five, ten sometimes fifteen years after their stories have been told. I often wonder why they are so popular.

Equally enjoyable to me, are linked stories, like my trilogy set in Illyria – By Royal Demand, The Rich Man’s Royal Mistress, and The Prince’s Convenient Bride - stories about royal siblings. Again, I’m not able to pin down exactly what makes these books so much fun to read, but if you have any ideas on why you enjoy books that are linked in some way, I’d really like to hear them.

I can also be found at: www.harlequinpresents.com


Blogger Tessa Radley said...

Welcome Robyn!!

The Harlequin team did a wonderful job with my cover - the hero is just as I imagined him.

And I LOVE reading linked books. I think it has to do with the pleasure I get from visiting a familiar world where I KNOW that everyone will have a wonderful life. And I'll have the reassurance of bumping into old characters that I've met before and seeing that it all worked out happily for them.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Robyn, how lovely to see you here. Tessa has invited some of my favourite people to her party. I don't think I want to go home! I'm going to be that annoying guest who moves into the spare bedroom and doesn't leave.

Actually, I've got an idea about why linked books are popular and it's something that's only struck me since my book came out. I'm used to my characters being real in my head (they live in an alternative world but they're as much flesh and blood as you and I). I've noticed readers seem to make that same imaginative jump. I've had questions about whether my heroine is pregnant and what happened to her brother and whether the kids are going to be OK. You name it. And all in the same sort of terms that I'd ask after a friend's sister or brother. The first time it happened, I was so chuffed and I continue to be chuffed because it means those characters have a developed life for readers outside the pages of the book.

So long live linked books, I say!

3:56 PM  
Blogger Annie West said...

Hello Robyn, how great to see you here.

You've got me thinking about linked stories and characters reappearing. I agree with Anna's comments - I believe the characters become real to us and we have an emotional investment in them. It's good to see that things turn out well for them later - like running into old friends and discovering what exciting things they've been doing.

I've even had a reader asking me to write a book about a sibling who didn't make an appearance in a story, but who had an interesting story of her own.

I recently wrote my first linked books and was fascinated to discover I didn't have to ponder on what had happened to Rafiq and Belle by the time they made an appearance in a linked story. I just knew and it was such a delight to share that with the reader.

Do you find it very complicated to write a series of linked books, like your royal trilogy?


4:20 PM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

I love reading linked books. There is just something comfortable about reading about a world you already know of and characters that you have gotten to know so well that they feel like old friends. Anna put it so well, they become so real that you want to know what will happen to them next.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I do enjoy linked books. I think it's like visiting old friends and seeing them doing well that makes it fun.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hi Robyn....I enjoy linked books, but I like them when they can stand alone as well. If an author can write a book, but give me glimpses of couples I have seen before, that is fun!! Especially when they have had babies and really moved on from whatever problems or issues they may have had. Honestly, I just LOVE books....:)

5:14 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

It's nice to hear about people you already know when you read linked books. You always want to know what has happened to them since you last saw them.

5:33 PM  
Blogger catslady said...

I like the flexibility of linked books. You don't have to have read about them previously but it's such an added bonus when you do get to hear about them.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

I really like linked books. You get to know characters and each story adds a little depth to the character.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Kimberly L said...

I love reading linked books. They give you something to lokk forward to. You can't wait for the next book to come out. I love how you make the characters feel so real.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

Hello Robyn

How lovely to 'see' you here. I just want to say how much I have admired and enjoyed your books - for far more years than I'm sure either of us cares to remember. I have a large stack of your titles on my keep shelves.

And I have such special memories of meeting you and your lovely husband - all too briefly - when we were in New Zealand. They're memories I treasure. As I treasure the hours of enjoyment your books have brought me - and the amount I learned from them of the craft of writing romance in the time before I was published.
Thank you



3:47 AM  
Blogger jennybrat said...

Hi Robyn, I enjoy linked characters because it brings back fond memories of their stories and gives me a chance to be updated on their life after HEA. Btw, your book A Durable Fire has my fav romantic cover ever. Mine's the M&B version so I can better appreciate the effect. Do you happen to know who the cover model is?

4:53 AM  
Blogger Leif D. said...

i don't just read any book from any author so it's important to me that the character is someone i've learned to know and get acquainteed with. it's especially hard when you are always trying to know "who" that character is. Being familiar with the character gives you a feeling of being "home with him/her".

7:20 AM  
Blogger Karen G said...

In real life I am very curious to find out how well someone I knew is doing today. I often call old friends and distant relatives. I want to hear about new babies, marriage, jobs and other things. I want to know they are okay. It is the same for me in books.

8:12 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

I enjoy linked books, you get to find out what happens to characters further than from just reading the one book. I f I read a book I always look forward to reading about the characters more in different books.

9:19 AM  
Blogger robynl said...

Hi and welcome Robyn; boy that was easing typing your first name as it is also my first name, lol.

I like linked books because one can continue to find out what happens to the friends one made when reading the first of the books. The characters become our friends and we like to journey on with them.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Lois said...

Oh, I looooove series books! :) Firstly, when you know it's a series, you know automatically there will be another book to look forward to sometime in the future. Second, sometimes, you really don't want to say good-bye to the characters, and with linked books, you don't always. There's at least one character that comes along for a longer ride. But sometimes you get to see more of the others, and that's always fine with me! :)


1:18 PM  
Blogger Tessa Radley said...

I loved reading everyone's comments about linked books.

Jennybrat, I just fished my copy of A Durable Fire off my keeper shelf. The heroine is wearing a pink sweater on my cover, is that the one you have too? This story is one of my favourite Robyn Donald books--and that is saying something, because I think I own every book Robyn has ever written *g*.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Tessa Radley said...

Blogger is not letting Robyn Donald in to comment - so she has asked me to post on her behalf. Robyn says:

Lovely to read so many comments - thank you all. You reinforced my feelings exactly - that as women and romance readers relationships are really important to us, so we like to know how many children old friends have produced, and also, I think, to be reassured that there is such a thing as a love that lasts a lifetime, which I've always felt is the main belief that romances address.

Annie West, no it wasn't difficult to write the Illyrian trilogy as I deliberately made the Considine siblings as far removed from each other as I could. What does cause me some tension is keeping up with Fala'isi when I write those books -I can't believe that #7 is coming up next year! I do have full notes on my own tropical island, but the map is the most important thing; I update it after every new book, or I'd get lost.

Kate, it was so great to meet you and your husband when you came out to New Zealand. Any chance of a repeat visit?

Jenny, alas, I have no idea who the model for A DURABLE FIRE was. Were you referring to the man or the woman(g)?

Thank you all. And thank you Tessa, for asking me to do this. It's the very first time I've blogged, so I hope my nervousness didn't show!


6:10 PM  

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