Tomorrow the final book in Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster Sisters trilogy comes out, The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae. We are happy to have Stephanie Laurens stop by and give us a little insight into writing this series.
This is the final volume in the trilogy. What were your thoughts when you sat down to write it?
My principal and most imperative aim was to do justice to the previous two books and then make this final volume something extraspecial, a crowning delight for readers. I wanted the trilogy to end on a high note, so to speak. With such a trilogy, one that contains an overarcing story, each volume has a different job to do with respect to that overarcing storyline. The first book had to introduce it, show it getting underway, and reveal a little bit about that story and its principal protagonist without giving too much away. The second book had much more of that overarcing story in it, with more action, revealing more motivations and character, and ending with a major confounding event – the laird falling off the cliff in order to save Eliza and Jeremy. The third book had to wrap it all up, reveal and bring that overarcing story to a complete and satisfying conclusion – and to achieve that, the overarcing story had to be an integral part of the final romance. The third romance and the overarcing story had to merge so that the motivations from one lead to actions which lead to resolutions of the other. Angelica’s romance and the overarcing story had to essentially become inseparable, and that was a challenge – one I feel very happy about, because I think I pulled it off!
Three heros, three rescues, three weddings is the trilogy tagline. You’ve spoken earlier of the challenge of writing multiple journeys, but were there any challenges associated with writing, one after the other, the tales of three sisters?
My task was made much easier because, by the time I started the trilogy, I had a very clear idea of the differences in the characters of Heather, Eliza, and Angelica. Each had to possess the Cynster traits of courage, inner strength, curiosity, and determination, but beyond that I drew on my experience of siblings. Heather was in many ways the archetypal “oldest” – although she isn’t the oldest child in the family, she is the oldest girl, and both her brothers are quite a few years older again. So Heather presents as outwardly more confident and a touch more serious that her younger sisters – she is also the sister who forges the way, who steps out first on the sisters’ path to find their heros. Eliza meanwhile, is a typical middle sister, less assertive, and quieter all around, while Angelica is…Angelica. She’s an over-the-top youngest child in a brood – she has an unwavering belief in herself, in her ability to bend the world to her cause. And in large measure she’s successful, simply because her enormous self-confidence, backed by her self-belief, carries all before it. She’s intelligent, quick witted, and observant, as many youngest children are – very attuned to the people around them. I had great fun letting these three girls evolve and come alive through their stories, and their different characters are a major part of the reason for the different feel in each of the three romance-adventures.
You’ve chosen to end the trilogy in the highlands – was there any special reason behind that decision?
Yes, and no. As always, my characters lead me into the stories, and this trilogy, and in particular the story that arcs over all three books, starts in a castle in the highlands. Clearly, that overarcing story was going to end in the highlands, most likely at that same castle, as indeed proved to be the case. In addition, I’ve always wanted to write a full-length novel set in the highlands – which is quite possibly why that first opening scene was set where it was (yes, my mind works like that – works to somehow get me to where my story-brain wants to be). My first and only previous story set in the highlands is my novella, Rose in Bloom – I’ve always wanted to return to castle, loch, and glen, and spend more time there, and this trilogy with its atmosphere of sweeping adventure provided the perfect opportunity.
Thanks Stephanie! Today I have the first two books in the series, Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue and In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster to giveaway plus a $10 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Nobles, winner’s choice.
To enter, just leave a comment. Contest open to US/Canada through February 1st.