Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanagh, so we can release our writerly insecurities into the ether.
Two of my favorite historical romance writers released new books this week. Julia Quinn's Because of Miss Bridgerton is a prequel to her Bridgeton Family series, eight books about eight siblings meeting their spouses, marrying, and living happily ever after. Jo Beverley's The Viscount Needs a Wife takes place in the same Regency world as Jo Beverley's Company of Rogues books--a fifteen (or so) book-long series of single-title romance based around a large group of schoolboy friends, now all grown up.
Now, Viscount is not another Rogues book, Beverley has said---it takes place in 1817, therefore, it's in the same universe as her Regency historical books, which are all Rogues books.
I haven't read the new books yet, but I know there will be a certain familiarity.
Perhaps because of the influence of these kinds of expansive fictional worlds--(and because I have far too much backstory for my characters), when I scrapped The Keegans of Banner's Edge, I couldn't let it go. Pearl was like, "But you know you want to help me find my brother, miss! Besides, I'm more interesting than Mr. Keegan, begging your pardon."
She was right.
The next thing to be published, coming in late May, is "The Disappearance of Miss Mary Dawkins" in the anthology The Thing That Turned Me--and that, too, is an offshoot of the Keegans and their drama.
So, the insecurity? I'm writing a novel right now in a completely different universe, different setting, time period, characters. And that's great! But there are still stories in the Keegans that could be written...so I wonder what readers think about shared story worlds. Do you like them? Do you even pay attention to them? Have you writers written any?
I wonder if it's indicative of a large imaginative story universe or...a bit of a crutch?