Saturday, February 4, 2017

Future Fiction Families?

Mrs. M is so honored by all of the warm responses to this "last" (never say "last") book in the Circle C Milestones series. Yes, Andi gets . . . [oops, better not spoil it] well, you know how it ends. Your overwhelming comments are "We want to read more about her future family." (Okay, this is awkward trying to post and not have spoiler alerts).

Read on if you don't care about spoilers, because this whole post is a huge spoiler. STOP reading if you want to be somewhat surprised.

Believe it or not, my publisher expressed the very same sentiments as you have, as have my editor(s). "Wouldn't it be fun to have some tales about Andi's kids?" Uh . . . okay . . . but what?

I'm open to all kinds of ideas. Feel free to bombard me with ideas here on the blog. One idea I had was for Andi to have twins--a couple of girls that are total opposites from each another in looks and personality. I remember those old MANDIE MYSTERIES, and while my daughter loved them, they are probably 30 years old. I think it's time for a new mystery-type series (with twins this time) and a little more dramatic action.

I'm thinking mystery only because--to be totally honest--I have about drained the reservoir of ranch, horse, and 1880s dramatic plots. I can only watch Big Valley or Bonanza so many times to glean new slivers of ideas. There is a reason those shows finally went off the air. The episodes all start looking alike after awhile. And that is where I am with continuing the Milestones. I need a new category, I guess. Mysteries would be totally different, yet have the same 1880s feel.

You have plenty of time to share ideas--be detailed too! I have two more Stepping Stones books to write, and then I believe I must give in to parent pressure and write six Goldtown Beginnings books for the younger boys. The older boys want MORE GOLDTOWN, but I'm thinking a continuing "Andi-type" series would be easier to write.

So, go for it if you're serious about another series. Flood me with ideas, because that's the only way you're going to get it. :-)

55 comments:

  1. I like the twins mystery idea very much! I hope Mrs. M goes for it (:

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  2. You could do a Carter brothers series!

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  3. Perhaps...the twins could be could be friends with Cory's children (Both boys?). They could investigate bank robberies, or anything. They could be the type that couldn't stay away from a mystery no matter how much trouble it got them into. Just an idea! (I think it would also be cool to have Andi, and Cory go out of town and Uncle Chad babysat...?) Just sayin...LOL

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  4. Mysteries with Andi's kids would be awesome!!!!!! Twins would be a cool idea. And maybe some of the people they get into adventures with could be someone like Cory's future kid(s), kinda like when those two were young. :) Or maybe Chad or Justin's???

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  5. Hey, I'm lovin' these ideas. BOTH of you thought of a similar scenario. I LOVE the idea of Chad babysitting. LOL I'm glad I have this as a category post so I can find it again. The ideas will be SAFE here on the blog, but they would get lost anyplace else. Keep 'em coming!

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  6. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO A SERIES ON ANDI'S KIDS!! I just finished reading Courageous Love and I am already missing Andi. It would be fun to have a series where Andi has twin daughters that are like Melinda and herself. Maybe she can get a taste of what was like for her mother to raise her! A mystery would be ok, but please try not too make it TO unrealistic. Andi's adventures are already boarding on that. It would be great to have Cory's kids in it to.

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  7. I think twins is an awesome idea! :D And I have also been reading an absolute TON of mysteries lately. I definitely think you would write some unique ones, Mrs. M! What I've found is most mystery books are set in modern times or in the 1940s or something - a mystery series in the 1880's would be interesting to read.
    Also I love the idea of Andi's kids and adventures with Cory's kids. Andi and Riley could have Cory and whoever over for dinner a lot and the two families could be pretty close. (I've always loved Cory, I would love to see more of him :])

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  8. I really like the mystery idea. I hope you write more books I don't know what I would do without more books! I have a special spot for them on my night stand where I read them every night. They are my favorite books! Are you doing the writing contest this year?

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    1. Absolutely! I'll post about it later this summer. Stay tuned! Are you going to enter?

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  9. I like the ideas about Andy and Cory's kids being friends. You could also try to incorporate Jem's family into the story...

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    1. I like that idea about with Jem's family.and Cory's family... What if Andi had twins and they are a boy and girl and the boy could be like Andi (you know rushes in to things, not thinking before acting, I'm not your boss syndrome but will do anything for those he loves ECT..) and the girl more like Riley (stubborn, patient and thinks before acting ECT..)...i like The mystery idea as well. :)

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    2. Here is a idea for a blog story: Chad and Ellie's courtship, and I wonder does Chad keep in contact with the Coulter's after he met them in the goldtown books..

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    3. I would have to say YES, Chad keeps in contact with the Coulters. Ideas churning here, but I have to put on the brakes, as I have a contract to finish two more Stepping Stones books before I can go gung ho on this filler stuff.

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  10. This all makes me so sad. After finishing Courageous Love in one night (oops!) I miss Andi. I don't want to move on to another character and forget all about Andi. I think everyone can agree that Andi stole our hearts and we want more with her. Maybe, in the mean time you can post more stories here on the blog about her to fill in that time gape of before her-(I don't want to spoil it)? <3

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    1. Finally! Somebody who feels like me! To be honest, I'm a little surprised more people don't feel this way. When I get attached to a character, I get REALLY attached. And I have never gotten near as attached to anybody as I have Andi. She's a huge part of my world. And I am not willing to ever "move on". But I think what I would like best, is for you (Mrs. M ), to talk about Andi on the blog like she's still here... and, yes, I think it's a great idea to fill in the gap. I don't know about everybody else, but I feel like that whole thing was a little rushed in the book. I'm sorry if this sounds a little silly, but, I'm having a hard time trying to communicate in a way everybody understands right now... kinda a hangover, I guess you could say. Anyway, I hope I'm getting at least some of how I feel across to you, Mrs. M. Thanks for bringing Andi to life, I can't imagine life without her.

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    2. So, what "whole thing" was rushed, so I can fill it in better for you guys here on the blog? You mean that whole year that went by between the last two chapters? LOL Her getting married at the end? LOL

      Hey, that was hard enough for me to write THAT MUCH! LOL News Flash: I am NOT a romance writer. I get all squirmy just thinking about it. I'm an adventure/drama writer but my DD (who does like Christian romance) "approved" the scene. Hey, because of HER, you all got the wedding chapter. "Mom, you MUST end the book with Andi getting married . . .not just engaged." Yeah, Okay. (She homeschools her 8 kids).

      I went well over my contract's word count as it was. To give more of the "year in between" I would have had to cut out something else.

      You are right. The best place for those "fill in the gaps" is here on the blog and not in the novel. The novel has to end . . . and quickly once the conflict is resolved. I could not have devoted two or three chapters to the year between. My editor would have cut it all out. :-) END THE STORY is the rule. At least you got the wedding--a little of it, anyway. I wanted to add a bit about their honeymoon in Yosemite, but I frankly ran out of word count (it's supposed to be 50,000 and I ran over to 55,000. That's a lot of extra words already.)

      Hey, I could do a short story about their honeymoon. Hmmm. I better write this down, I guess, before I lose it.

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    3. Ohhhhhh. Yes please!!!!!! Since trouble follows Andi around everywhere, it would be interesting to see what she could get into on her honeymoon. 😉

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    4. I am the one who wrote the original reply (just so we're not getting confused here about which "Anonymous" is which). Thank you, Mrs. M, for trying to understand me...to be honest, I was confusing even myself as I wrote it. I kept asking myself: "Well, what DO you want, then?" So anyway, just to clarify, I do not like "Romancey" things either. Well, at least, I'd say it's very easy to overdo that kind of thing. I am the adventure type, too. And I understand you completely about the "end the book" thing. I think to much more in the book would have just slogged things down. It's definitely a better idea to just fill anything in on the blog. Speaking of which, I have a few questions that I think only Mrs. M and Andi would know the answers to.
      To start with, what ever happened to Andi's locket? It never gets mentioned again. Maybe you could write a blog post about it? Anyway, Thanks, Mrs. M...for everything.

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    5. I completely understand all of you. I LOVE Andi!!!!!! ( I think I was seven when I first started reading Andi's books) I feel like I have really grown up with her and it makes me want to cry just thinking that there are not going to be anymore milestones about her. I just honestly want to say that I love the idea about Andi's twins but I am REALLY REALLY REALLY going to miss her. ~Cheyenne

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  11. You guys are killing me! LOL Great ideas! I do need to write some blog stories (in my FREE? time.). That one about Chad and Ellie is a good idea. And you do realize the contest is coming next fall. YOU guys could write them too you know and get PUBLISHED.

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  12. The new series sounds fun...it would be funny that Andi and Taffy both had twins! :P
    I would love to see a new series that a more complex over-arching plot rather than being more episodic...just a thought! Good luck with the new writing endeavors! :)

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    1. Do you mean an over-arching plot for the SERIES, as in each book ends but is not a complete story in itself? Like being "left off"? Hmm, I doubt my publisher would go for that. And I personally do not like books that leave me hanging so I am "forced" to buy the next book to see what happens.

      But maybe you mean something else? Can you be more specific?

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    2. I didn't mean cliffhangers...I dislike those as much as you do! :) What I meant is that rather than the main focus of the story being a short-lived conflict like stolen cattle, being trapped in the hills etc, the stories could focus more on Andi's (or her kids') lives, personalities, and daily occurrences...I don't know if that made sense either...

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    3. Oh, yes, that makes perfect sense now. What you are asking is if the stories can be more character-driven rather than plot-driven. Character-driven novels have a place, but my publisher would probably not go for one, especially in the "Andi" series of books. They are plot-driven but with well-rounded characters, whose personalities come out during the course of the overall problem of the book.

      A story involving everyday occurrences is like the Little House books. This happens, then this, and then they go to town, and then school and a few conflicts with Nellie, but overall it's more like a journal-novel which Laura Ingalls fictionalized. Clearly, there is a place for those books, but I (sorry) as a young reader found them to drag after a few chapters and would skip huge portions to find something exciting that would happen. (Yay for Nellie and Laura's conflicts! My favorite part of the stories).

      Farmer Boy, especially, I could never get through until I grew up. I liked it much better as an adult--when I was reading it for "1800s" research. Other parents have told me that Farmer Boy as a read-a-loud puts both them (the reader) and the listeners to sleep.

      There is no way I would make that mistake.

      However, ANYTHING GOES on the blog. I could write all kids of character-driven short stories of daily life and ranching as newlyweds. But most readers would probably want SOMETHING interesting (beyond the daily chores) to happen.

      Hope that made sense.

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    4. Yes, that makes sense! Books without enough action can be boring, but I would love to see more character driven short stories on the blog!

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    5. I think the blog is a perfect place to do it too. And thinking up exciting plots is tough! This might be much easier for me. :-) Thanks for the suggestion!

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  13. I love the mystery idea! I do wonder if both Taffy and Andi having twins is a little too similar? Maybe the "twins" could be a year apart? Having a girl/boy set of twins would also be less like Taffy's twins.

    I also like the idea of involving older characters. Andi's brothers and friends (Cory, Jack, Levi, etc.) were always my favorite characters. If a series about Andi's kids didn't work out, maybe mysteries with one of these characters would? Or Andi's brothers when they were young? I always thought a book (mystery?) from Cory's perspective would be fun.

    Thanks for asking for ideas!
    --AJT

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    1. I think that having the 'twins' a year apart is a great idea!

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  14. I thought the twins and mysteries are a GREAT idea. I have another idea also. Melinda's version of toddler Andi.

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  15. Could you write more posts in the journal? Because in March of 2013 you made a list of hints you were going to write about, and I think you haven't wrote about a lot of them. And the last time you wrote in it was July of 2015. Just wondering.....

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    1. *red face* I'm sorry! This past couple of years have been a roller coaster of finishing Courageous Love and starting the new book series. I barely have time to breathe. I need that journal list again . . . Can you copy and paste it here in the comments of this newest blog post?

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    2. Um...I don't exactly know how to do that, but if you go on Andi's Journal and go down like four or five posts down you will find it. But I'm sure there is a more questions people would like to be answered. It's fine I know life can get crazy.

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    3. Um...I'm not sure how to do that..But if you go on Andi's Journal and go down like four or five posts you should find it. But I'm sure there is more questions people would like to be answered. I get that life can get crazy.

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    4. Okay, I printed it out. Most of these numbers I have addressed in other posts (but not necessarily the Journal category). I've done the Animals one (two parts), the snake one, the Annie Oakley one, the hotel one, and others. I guess I need to update the list. LOL

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    5. Hey Andi, I don't think you ever wrote about the time Jack asked you to the dance. lol

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  16. YES!! A Melinda's perspective of Andi as a toddler is a great idea!

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  17. Ok, I'm not reading all the comments to see if anyone has already come up with this (sorry if I'm just repeating) but... what about making the twins a bot and a girl? That way the series could appeal to both boys and girls. :)
    (We'll I also might be a bit biased since i have a twin brother XD)

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    1. He-he, Kaitlyn. :-) That would be fun, but if I wanted to send the girls to get into a mystery mischief at a girls' school, how would that work, exactly, if one was a boy?

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    2. I like the boy and girl idea, too! If there was a boarding school or something, perhaps the boy can be at a boy's school in the same town/city. If they're used to doing everything together, they might sneak out at night to meet each other. (Lots of trouble there if anyone found out). Or have two different POV's and therefore different clues to whatever mystery they get into. They could compare clues they've found on the weekends.

      Regardless twins is a great idea. It could mean double the trouble. :)

      -Ann

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  18. Could you guys please pray for the people in Burley, Rupuet, and Malta areas in Idaho there is a lot of flooding. We have rain and snow and there is 'lakes everywhere. Please pray..

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    1. Oh, dear! Yes, arrow prayers going up.
      It's snowing here too, but not as much as the panhandle is getting and any areas east of Colville, WA. It's a mess!!!

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    2. Thanks, yes it is a mess.

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    3. WOW! Will be praying! Missouri weather is so unpredictable, it has been 66 recently, then dropped to 22! No snow this year for us!

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  19. I would love to see a story about Andi's kids! What ages would you do? I was thinking like 12-15 or so. Mrs. M., will you be putting more pictures of the characters from Courageous Love? I love seeing them!

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    1. If I did a series based on Andi's kids it would probably be geared for Middle Grade (ages 9-13) so her kids would be 11 or 12 or maybe 13.

      And I'm happy to post pictures. Who do you want to see? (if I can find them, LOL)
      And should I post them on the website on the Character link or here on the blog somewhere?

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    2. I was wondering if you could do her kids like ages 6-9 and then another series that is like 12-15? ~Cheyenne

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  20. I think the blog would be good :). I would like to see Vega, Ellie Coulter, Jem Coulter, and Johnny Wilson (I'm not sure if there is already a picture of him).

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  21. I love love love the twin idea!! That would be awesome. It would also be super fun to see Andi and *ahem* her PARTNER raise their kids. ^_^ Also, it would be cool to see (spoiler alert!) Sammy and Gracie in the stories too. Or any other cousins. :)
    And yes, more blog stuff would be awesome. I know that you are beyond busy, Mrs. M, but stories, character pictures, etc., would be super fun. <3
    BTW, I have finished Courageous Love, and I won't give anything away, but I just wanted to say that I love it. It's perfect. Actually, it's probably my new favorite. ^_^ <3 So thanks, Mrs. Marlow, for another spectacular book!!

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  22. What happened to Macy's brothers?

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    1. They went to jail, but I'm not sure what happened after they got out. I'll "add" it to the list of things y'all want to know about.

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  23. Hi, I have a question and I don't know where to ask it.
    So, Andi and Riley are having twins? If so, are they there first children? If they got married in 1886, would the girls be almost 2 years old in 1888? I mean, would they be born the next year? Sorry if I'm confusing. :/

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    1. I'll try to answer:
      1. I think they're having twins. Haven't totally decided. :-)
      2. I don't know if they'll be their first children.
      3. No, if they got married in 1886, the twins would be a year old (if they're first) in 1888, as it pretty much takes a baby about a year to grow before its born.

      Hope that helped!

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Let Andi know what you think!