Daughter of Sherwood Guest Post by Laura Strickland and Giveaway

Laura Strickland: Daughter of Sherwood Guest Post 

What makes a writer decide to expand a single book into a trilogy or a series?  I suspect the answer to that may be as individualized as writers themselves.  Some may fall in love with a setting or a time period and be unable to pull up stakes when the first book ends.  That’s how it was for me when I wrote my Celtic series set in Ireland and Scotland, also known as the “Kintire” books.  Writing them, I traveled back in time to a world that existed before the written word, and I became hooked.   After I completed the first book, I discovered I wanted to travel there again, and my pen became my passport.

It was a little different when it came to Daughter of Sherwood, the first book in my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy.  In the beginning, I merely conceived of writing a Historical Romance set in the time of Robin Hood, using the setting of Nottingham.  I knew Robin’s story had been told and retold, but my Muse wouldn’t stop whispering at me about it so I decided to tell what happened after the death of Robin, and created a whole new set of characters with which to populate the book.  The forest changed a bit as well; my Sherwood became imbued with an ancient and potent magic, and possessed virtual sentience.  My characters, as my characters so often do, took on lives of their own, made their own decisions and spoke their own lines.  When it was finished and edited, I considered the project done, sent it off to my editor and began work on something else.

Not until my editor sent me a contract for Daughter of Sherwood did my Muse whisper in my ear again:  “Why not make it a trilogy?”  Why not, indeed?  Daughter of Sherwood is a book of threes.  Its heroine, Wren, is born three days after the death of her father, Robin Hood.  Her mother, Marian, cares for her only three days before succumbing to her grief at the loss of her husband and abandoning Wren to the mercy of others.  Three of Robin’s supporters then step up and assume responsibility for the magical circle that guards the sanctity of Sherwood and allows the Saxons to continue their fight for justice.  And, upon the death of one of those three guardians, Wren discovers that her own destiny, as Robin’s daughter, is to bond with two young men and form a new, magical triad.

How could the book not be the first of three?  But oh, what story to tell in the other two?  At that point I had only a vague idea what I would like to see happen in Book Three and absolutely no idea what needed to take place in Book Two in order to advance both the story and the Saxons’ fight against tyranny.  So after my editor got behind the idea of the Trilogy, I simply turned it over to my Muse and said “This was your idea.”  My muse didn’t fail me – Book Two, Champion of Sherwood, is now under contract and I’m hard at work editing Book Three, Lord of Sherwood.

The thing that pleases me most about this project is that each of the three books stands on its own.  That’s no surprise when it comes to the first book, since that was originally meant to be a one-off.  But I’m convinced a reader could also pick up either of the other two books and enjoy the story without ever reading the others.  However, if you find yourself wanting more after Daughter of Sherwood is finished, or if you just love spending time in Sherwood, I hope you’ll come back and complete the circle by reading the rest of the Trilogy.  But you know I can’t take the credit – it was all in the hands of my Muse!  Happy reading.

Check out more about Laura Strickland by visiting http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com/

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