I'm back today with the last Feature Friday in the series about series! Sarah Morgan, author of the Snow Crystal and Puffin Island trilogies joins me this afternoon for the first time on Erin's Choice! Read on to see what Sarah has to say about the two trilogies and her latest novel out next week!
Hi Sarah, welcome to Erin's Choice! First of all, for any readers who may be new to your books can you tell us a bit about the Snow Crystal trilogy?
The Snow Crystal trilogy (also sometimes known as the O’Neil Brothers series) is a series of three books set in the fictitious mountain resort of Snow Crystal, Vermont. Snow Crystal has been in the O’Neil family for generations, but now it is under threat and the three stories follow the efforts of the three O’Neil brothers, Jackson, Sean and Tyler, to rescue the family business and their childhood home. Each story is complete in itself, but the books are linked and readers can follow the lives of all the characters. I wanted the focus to be three brothers, but I also wanted to explore the complexity of being part of a big, loving family. I’ve always been fascinated by how family impacts on a person, how it can produce both conflict and support. The dynamics within the close-knit O’Neil family certainly influences the choices of all three O’Neil Brothers. Jackson, Sean and Tyler O’Neil have different temperaments and life goals, but share the powerful bond of brothers. I loved writing about these three strong, sexy heroes!
There are so many things I loved about these books – the location, the characters, the men!! Do you have a favourite book/character in the trilogy?
Sleigh Bells in the Snow will always be special to me because it was my first full length novel after writing many shorter series books for Mills and Boon. It was the culmination of a dream, and seeing that book on the shelves across the globe has been a real high point of my career. I don’t really have a favourite character – my favourite character is always the one I’m writing at the time and I love all three brothers.
What inspired the location of this series in Snow Crystal?
A few years ago my family and I broke with tradition and instead of staying at home for Christmas, we rented a log cabin near a lake. It was snowy and perfect but I realized that although for us it was a wonderful place to spend the holidays, it would equally be perfect for someone who found Christmas a difficult time of year and wanted to avoid the craziness of the holiday season. That gave me the idea for the first book, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, and the rest developed from there.
If you could dream cast any of your men in a movie about Snow Crystal who would they be?
Probably Chris Pine or Henry Cavill J
What do you think the essential components of a great series are?
Without doubt the characters. It’s the characters that draw readers back, but the setting is also important. I’ve had numerous emails and messages from readers asking me if Snow Crystal exists (it doesn’t, sorry) and whether they can visit. It’s wonderful as a writer to receive that feedback because you know that it seemed real to them while they were reading.
How do you find writing three books in a series compares with writing a standalone, if at all?
Writing a standalone gives you more flexibility. You don’t have to think about books that have gone before or might come after and you’re not restricted by a setting. With a series, it’s more work initially because you have to plan more than one book (for me, it’s usually three), and each story has to be interwoven. And you have to keep your facts straight! But I love it. Once I fall in love with my characters they become very real to me and I never want to let them go. Writing a series means I get to stay with them for a while J
Your new trilogy is called The Puffin Island Trilogy. What can readers expect from it?
Puffin Island is a series about three friends, Brittany, Emily and Skylar who are always there for each other in hard times. Brittany owns Castaway Cottage, a beautiful beach house on Shell Bay on Puffin Island in Maine. Over the course of the three books, each of the friends has a reason to retreat to the beautiful coastal sanctuary of Castaway Cottage. The stories focus on friendship, community and, of course, romance. The first book, First time in Forever, was out in March, the second, Some Kind of Wonderful, is out in July, and Skylar’s book is a winter story and will be on the shelves in October. I’m excited!