The Serendipity Duet: You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers

Ever since I announced my plans to write a two-book spin-off of my young adult quartet THE KING SERIES, I’ve had a lot of questions. Now that UNDENIABLE, Book 1 of The Serendipity Duet, is nearing release, I decided to share some of those, along with answers.

Free free to leave your own questions below.

  • What King Series characters are featured in The Serendipity Duet? Quite a few. Featured main characters include Rafe Brooks, Nell Massler, Cathryn Whitmore and Zoe Hamilton. There are also some surprise pop-up appearances from some supporting cast members. You’ll have to read it to see.
  • Why a spin-off series? Why not more books in THE KING SERIESBecause THE KING SERIES was Tasmyn’s Fearless | The King Series Book 1 | Tawdra Kandlestory, and Tasmyn’s story is finished, for my purposes. I am not saying I will never write another story about her again–she may have a short in my planned King anthology–but she and Michael got their happily-ever-after, and I’m finished. A spin-off series was necessary because both Rafe and Nell demanded their own books. It just happened to work out well.
  • Is The Serendipity Duet young adult? No, it’s not. It is definitely New Adult. I want to make this crystal clear! Both books include some sexual scenes as well as some swearing and other adult situations. I will repeat: UNDENIABLE and UNQUENCHABLE are not YA books.
  • Why did you choose to make The Serendipity Duet New Adult instead of YA? This was, in some ways, a difficult decision because I know so many young people who have loved Tasmyn, Michael and the other characters from King and would like to read more about Rafe and Nell. However, I had three reasons for making the books NA: one, the stories as they unfurled before me were decidedly NOT YA. Two, the characters’ ages made more sense in NA. Three, I am moving away from writing YA altogether. Although I enjoyed my time in King, I know that my passion (no pun intended) lies with NA and adult romance. 
  • Breathless | The King Series Book 2 by Tawdra KandleCan you read The Serendipity Duet without reading The King Series? You can, certainly, but you will probably enjoy the books more if you’ve read at least BREATHLESS and RESTLESS. And it wouldn’t hurt to read ENDLESS as well. So you might as well go ahead and read all four, since FEARLESS is the first book. Happily, there is a handy omnibus ebook now available on Amazon and Smashwords so you can read all about King in one place.
  • When does The Serendipity Duet take place in the timing of The King Series? UNDENIABLE picks up about three months after the end of RESTLESS and a good portion of it takes place at the same time as ENDLESS. If you include the short stories related to these two series, UNDENIABLE also crosses a little into Stardust on the Sea (from ETERNAL SUMMER). UNQUENCHABLE takes place a little during Stardust and then has its own chronology independent of The King Series. 
  • Do Tasmyn and Michael appear in The Serendipity Duet? Well. . .yes and no. They are mentioned, certainly, and they are seen, but they are not active characters. 
  • Anything else we should know about The Serendipity Duet? You should know that the first book, UNDENIABLE, ends on a sort of cliff-hanger. I don’t usually do that, but this is how it worked out. Rest assured, book 2, UNQUENCHABLE will follow shortly. 

A Writer in the World: At the DMV



A few weeks ago, I found myself in the DMV, or whatever its name is in the state of Florida. For the third time in my life, I was waiting while one of my daughters took her road test in order to earn her license.

As I sat there, it occurred to me that this is one of the most tense, anxiety-provoking situations that a parent experiences. Because, you see, there is nothing you can do. Your job is done. You cannot take the test for your child; you cannot even be in the car to provide moral support or words of assurance. You have to sit back, hope you’ve done your best to prepare her and try to keep the nerves from getting the best of you.

As a writer, I experience something similar every time a book is released. I’ve written the best story I can. I’ve revised, edited, revised again. I’ve had it formatted, chosen the best cover I possibly could. And then I release it out into the world.

I can’t go with it. I can’t be there every time someone buys my book to explain why I made the choices I did, why a character says what she does. I have to let it go and trust that I’ve done my best.

That day in the DMV, my daughter dashed back into the waiting room wearing a triumphant smile: she had passed. The hard work had paid off, and it was time to celebrate.

Since I’m gearing up to release a new book, I know I’ll be back in my virtual waiting room again soon. I hope the results are just as awesome.






Balancing Promotion and Writing

I love the world of indie publishing.  The freedom and the community is wonderful.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.

But I think we all need to recognize that finding balance between the business and the art of writing can be a real challenge.

I wrote a book.  (Well, I’ve written a series, but for now, let’s tackle one book.) As a friend recently pointed out to a fellow author, I wrote that book so that other people would read it. To that end, I am responsible for publicizing that book, getting word out about it, encouraging people to pick it up and read it.

So if I said that I am a writer, not a promoter, I would be short-changing my work and possibly negating the reason for writing a book in the first place.

On the other hand, PR is a monster that can swallow huge chunks of time without notice.  When I go on Twitter or Facebook, I run the risk of getting sucked into an endless chain of tweets and posts before I realize that it’s two in the morning and I need to sleep. Factor in real life (like most writers, I have other responsibilities and commitments), and it is a dilemma.

I’m trying to segment my PR work to the evening, when I can sit with my family watching TV or movies and still have the computer on my lap. I’m using every tool I can find to make promotion easier. Other authors have been very kind and gracious in sharing their tricks of the trade, and I am very grateful.

Right now, my writing priority is editing the third book in the series, which is completed but hasn’t been touched since I wrote the last word. Once I have Breathless launched in both ebook and print form, I’m taking a break to edit the third book and finish the fourth.

I’m dying to get back to writing, to just putting words on paper, but right now, I’m focusing on not looking at PR as a necessary evil, but as an opportunity to make lots and lots of new friends!

Random Musings of an Upwardly Mobile Indie Writer

Going the indie route means that much of time, I’m forging my own path, which can mean using a figurative scythe to clear the way.  I’m blessed with friends who always seem to be able to shine the light on the next step just in time, but sometimes, it can get a little hairy.

For instance, one of my chief jobs right now is to promote myself and my book.  Back in the good old days of traditional publishing, a new author would have a whole department of experienced folks at the publishing house to guide her along the way. Today I’m walking a fine line between continually telling people how fabulous my book is without making them sick of hearing about it.

Little things happen that keep me going.  I’ll get an email from a friend, a Facebook message from a high school classmate, a voice mail from a homeschooling pal, all telling me that they’re reading my book.  I don’t even ask if they like it; right now, it’s enough to know that they’re reading.

There’s part of me that wants to say, “I know, YA. . .I know, love story. . .I know, paranormal. . ” as though I’m trying to excuse all those elements of my book.  But guess what?  That IS my book.  That’s what I wrote, and that’s the story that I wanted to tell. I’m not ashamed of it.  It’s not the great American novel, but I am a strong believer in variety.  We all need some chocolate with our health food, and I’m proud to provide my readers with some sweet chocolate goodness!

So if you’re reading FEARLESS, or if you read it, remember that your feedback and your comments keep me going.  Leave them here, on my Facebook page, or on Twitter .  Ask questions.  I’d love to hear from you.


Do The Next Thing

I am way overdue on grocery shopping.  If you’re main food buyer in your family, you’ll understand this:  I’ve been at different stores in the last week, but I haven’t done a comprehensive, well-planned shopping; I’ve just been skirmish shopping, where I pick up those things we really need (milk, bread) and some stuff for dinner.

So I woke up this morning and realized I had nothing definitive planned for dinner and no car access for the day. That’s not good.  People in my family have come to expect regular meals.  I didn’t even have my back up pasta and ready-made sauce, because we used it last week! Yikes.

I just did a pantry patrol.  At first, I didn’t see anything promising. But as I took the time to look at everything on the shelves, I realized I had a lot of different pieces.  A box of farfalle pasta. . .diced tomatoes. . .some canned veggies. . .hmmm.  I’m not promising anything gourmet, but I think I can make dinner happen tonight.  Whew, crisis averted.

Writing is like that. I might approach the next chapter feeling as though I have nothing in the pantry that will make something appealing. But then as I look at all the pieces, it comes together.  A character surprises me.  I think of a plot option that I hadn’t considered.  And somehow it all comes together.

If meal planning has helped me in my writing, so has homeschooling.  I’ve been doing that for over ten years, and if there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it’s that no matter how much I plan, life happens.  Sometimes, on days when we’ve gotten a late start, or someone is not feeling well, or the house is a mess, I might be tempted to just let everything go and ditch school.  But if I did that all the time, we’d never get anything done.  So instead, on those days when it’s like swimming upstream, we just do the next thing.  We do a page of math. Read a little history. Write some spelling words.  Nothing elaborate, nothing earth-shattering. . just the next thing.

When I’m stuck on a manuscript that won’t move forward, I employ the same tactic.  Do the next thing.  Write mundane stuff. Sketch in some dialogue.  Even if you’re not certain that what you write is what you want to write, do it anyway; you can always improve it or edit it out later.  But do something; do the next thing.