There is no better way of starting this blog post, other than by a HUGE congratulations to author Marnie Riches! Today is the day that Marnie’s FOURTH book, ‘The Girl Who Had No Fear’, is released and available for you all to buy (more details further down). To help celebrate the fact that #GeorgeIsBack, HarperCollins have set up a blog tour!
Popping her TWG cherry, Marnie has written a guest post about writing a continuing series, hope you enjoy!
Three’s company, four’s a crowd? : Writing a Continuing Series by Marnie Riches
I’m lucky. I have a successful series with a wonderful cast of returning characters. It’s like playing God over your own private soap opera or, more appropriately, long-running TV crime drama. George McKenzie has evolved into a satisfyingly complex character in the course of four books, with an often entertaining extended family to bounce off or clash against.
One of the wonderful things about writing a series is that you have the space in which to allow your main character’s backstory to keep unspooling, revealing new surprises. Certainly, where George is concerned, I hope never to run out of character arc with which to frame an entire series. As her hidden past unravels, her future unfolds before us too, so the possibilities for story-telling continue. The same can be said for Van den Bergen. He too has all sorts of conflict and pain buried in the past. The past has a way of catching up with you and influencing how you behave on your day-to-day present, so I am lucky to be able to explore fraught and broken relationships that I had only hinted at in The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – such as Van den Bergen’s relationship with his dying father, and George’s relationship with her own father – in subsequent George books.
But you have to keep things fresh, don’t you? Consequently, I’ve striven to shift some of the focus onto lesser characters in each book, so that we get to know people better. In The Girl Who Broke the Rules, we learn a great deal about Aunty Sharon, with whom George lodges for some of the year. In The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows, Marie, Van den Bergen’s IT specialist, plays a much more important role. In The Girl Who Had No Fear, Elvis, Van den Bergen’s sidekick junior detective is a key player when the stakes are raised, revealing much about his private life.
Each George novel has similar themes within it – family, sexuality and the effects of trafficking, for example. But though there are flashbacks to previous novels and George’s personal story continues, each instalment has a different, standalone main plot. And this is what keeps the series fresh, I hope. In The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, the story was about an apparent suicide bomber. In The Girl Who Broke the Rules, George and Van den Bergen were on the hunt for a possible serial killer of trafficked people and sex workers. In The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows, the mystery revolved around two missing toddlers. Now, in The Girl Who Had No Fear, we’re dealing with another apparent serial killer of gay men – or is it?
Well, I don’t mind telling you that you’re in for a surprise, some sex, a lot of drug-taking and a trip to Central America in search of…well, not just the killer of six Dutch men! You’ll have to read it and tell me if I’ve managed to keep it fresh!
A big thank you to Marnie for writing the guest post and featuring on TWG. If you fancy nabbing a copy of Marnie’s latest book, all the important details are below:
The fourth gripping thriller in the Georgina McKenzie series.
Amsterdam: a city where sex sells and drugs come easy. Four dead bodies have been pulled from the canals – and that number’s rising fast. Is a serial killer on the loose? Or are young clubbers falling prey to a lethal batch of crystal meth?
Chief Inspector Van den Bergen calls on criminologist Georgina McKenzie to help him solve this mystery. George goes deep undercover among the violent gangs of Central America. Working for the vicious head of a Mexican cartel, she must risk her own life to find the truth. With murder everywhere she turns, can George get people to talk before she is silenced for good?
Buy now from – Amazon UK