The gentle art of Continuity. Making it all line up.

posted in: News, Writing | 2

When you’re writing a series, there is one absolutely vital thing. It all has to connect seamlessly. There must be no gaps, no name changes or hair colour variations and every bit of back story has to be provable.

I say this because I’m busy writing the sixth (I know) of Andorra Pett’s adventures. Up to now, she’s been in different locations for all of them, this time she’s returning to the scene of one of her earlier triumphs for some more high jinks.

Way back in her second adventure, Andorra Pett on Mars, lots of things happened and more than a few loose ends were left, ready for a return visit.

Everyone said it was suicide, but were they right?

Andorra Pett’s ex turns up, with some bad news. Her best friend Maisie has killed herself, on Mars.

Trevor doesn’t believe it. Neither does Andorra, it just wasn’t like her. He wants Andorra to come back with him, look around and see if she can find some answers.

Despite her misgivings, Trevor’s paying and says she can take Cy with her. It’ll be a cheap holiday! What can possibly go wrong…

It soon becomes clear that there’s a lot more going on. Rival gangs, hidden messages and new friends all point Andorra towards a much bigger story.

What was Maisie caught up in?

“A plethora of eye rolls, snickers, and outright laughs! “

“Brilliant and humorous adventure”

That was in 2018, now, after a lot of other exciting adventures, I’ve finally got to the part where she returns, for what might be the final showdown. In preparation, I’ve had to re-read Andorra Pett on Mars before I can write Andorra Pett meets her Match.

It meant a voyage of discovery for me as I reacquainted myself with some side characters that I’d forgotten, as well as a setting that had a lot of specific details.

On the dusty plains of Mars and in the Caves of Tharsis, Andorra Pett is on a mission.

She has to return to where Maisie met her end, there’s unfinished business to attend to. But things have changed on Mars, this isn’t going to be the easy job that she’d hoped it would be.

If that wasn’t enough, her partner, Derek’s, daughter, the one who tried to kill her, is due to be released from prison. She’s on Mars, too.

Which means Derek will have a reunion with the wife who left him. Where more secrets are sure to come out.

Meanwhile, all the people who Andorra’s upset recently are gathering, ready for what might be a final showdown.

Is this the end of the road for Andorra Pett?

I want everything in the series to fit together and be a part of the Andorra Pett universe. I don’t want to run the risk of people reading one of the books and pointing out all the things I got wrong with reference to what has already happened. I don’t want to distract them from what I hope is a good series of crime mysteries.

When every book had a different setting, it was quite easy to ensure continuity, now I’m returning to a previous location, it gets harder.

Of course, in the intervening time, things on Mars have changed, the planet and its colony have grown up. There’s some license allowed in that but the basic facts are the same and must be consistent. All the newness must be organic.

As I like to be accurate with the science as well, so there’s also a lot of research to be done about the new things I’m introducing. Things like advances in bioplastics, hydroponics and technology. As well as everything else that comes with living on the edge of humanity’s efforts at exploration. Even if they occupy little space in the book, it’s important to be accurate with the fabric of her future.

With luck, you won’t have to wait too long for the result.

You’ll be able to find out if Andorra Pett really has met her match this time.

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2 Responses

  1. Darlene Foster

    Andorra Pett is such a cool character. Good luck with this one. You are such a prolific author, it must be difficult to keep track of all your characters.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks, she’s one of my favourites. They do all tend to merge together, I have to keep notes and re-read a lot.

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