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The Joy of Prequels
I've never done a prequel before. Well, to be honest, I've never done a series before. Not one longer than three books, anyway. But somehow my trilogy has turned into a nonology? Is that right? Nine books.
The whole thing began as a trilogy, since I figured that that was all I could manage (I'm not notorious for my organizational capabilities. I think of people like Jo Beverly and my head explodes. I think her walls must look like one big genealogical chart). I meant to write about three heroines, all named Grace in their own way and call it—I know. Not original. The Three Graces. But then I realized that the Graces needed heroes, and the heroes had friends, who were spies just like the heroes, and well, suddenly I'm caught in a nine book series called Drake's Rakes.
As I said, I'm not much of an organizer. I'm also not patient. But I'm one of those people who would rather wait til the end of a series to read them all at once (it certainly worked with Harry Potter). So how do I work this so every other reader like me doesn't just blow off my books in the hopes that they'll still be available when that ninth one comes along?
I divided it up into trilogies. The first is done. The informal title is still the Three Graces. Now comes the second trilogy, which I've informally tagged, The Last Chance Academy. You see, the heroines all attended the same boarding school, which they considered the worst in England. What they didn't realize was that there was a perfectly good reason they were all sent there, and it wasn't, as their teachers kept telling them, because they were incorrigible (although they mostly were).
The girls who grew into heroines are Sarah Clarke, the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat, Pippin Knight, daughter of an earl and sister of a Rake (Alex Knight), and Fiona Ferguson, sister of yet another Rake, Ian Ferguson. They know that the men are friends. They have no idea, though, that they are also master spies for the crown.
They'll find out soon enough.
But back to the prequel. Since the trilogy starts four years after the girls graduate, I decided to write an e-novelita (my term for a story under 100 pages) that will introduce the girls, the school, the heroes and foretell a few relationships. The only thing I couldn't do was introduce my first heroine, Sarah Clarke to her hero. You see, they don't meet until four years later when Sarah comes across Ian in her barn, wounded and running from the law. So I focused instead on Ian's sister Fiona, who at sixteen, is attempting to run away from school. It is up to a young Alex Knight to bring her back.
Of course, it isn't as simple as that. Their meeting is fateful in more ways than one, and, need I say, It Begins with a Kiss.
I truly hope you enjoy this peek into the world of the Last Chance Academy and the girls who will one day bring down three—no, actually four—of Drake's Rakes. And while you're at it, stop by my website, www.eileendreyer.com and my Drake's Rakes Facebook page for contests and giveaways, especially my limited run It Begins with a Kiss trading card.
- Eileen Dreyer
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