The birth of a trilogy
by Mechele Armstrong
Back about a year ago, I submitted a Christmas story to Loose Id to make sure I got it in by Christmas. It was a fun quickie, The Six Curses of Christmas. I wanted to do a Christmas story because I love the holiday and started thinking about my childhood Christmas tradition of going in the woods to get a cedar tree. I thought, “What if the tree wasn’t alone? What if a woman had been cursed into it?” I played with that concept and came up with the character of Deidre. She’s been cursed into a tree for centuries by a man, so she hates all men, and wreaks havoc on Casey and the woman he just met, Brietta. Had a lot of fun writing her evil self into my story and breaking her curses to help my couple find a romance.
Loose Id accepted my quickie and said, “Hnmmm, you know, we’d love to see a trilogy about Deidre.”
I said, “Okay!” I was excited because, even though I haven’t planned on writing more with her, she was a hoot to write.
I decided her next installment should be set in spring with a boy next door kind of romance. I planned to do a story very similar to The Six Curses of Christmas with Deidre tossing out curses left and right to protect a woman from a man. Only it wouldn’t flow. It wasn’t until I changed the concept, that she’d done five curses before in the spring to keep apart Jake and Mckenzie, and this story involved her sixth curse to deal with their relationship, that the story flowed. The story became the Sixth Curse of Spring.
I wrote the third part right after The Sixth Curse of Spring and again, the story wouldn’t let me write something too similar to what I’d already done. This was Deidre’s story, too, and I had to find a way to bring romance to her. Not easy for the cranky woman presented in either of the earlier stories. In both the first parts, Deidre isn’t heard by anyone. But I couldn’t have a guy fall for a plant that he can’t interact with. Halloween is always a mystical time so I decided on Halloween, she could find a way to communicate with the owner of her tree. Again, I had to play with how she could be a part of this man’s life. A bonsai tree was the answer, and The Sixth Cursed Halloween was born. Brad is one special guy to not only fall for Deidre, but to make her fall for him.
Deidre’s character arc goes through all three. In the Six Curses of Christmas, she’s a lot more cranky and unrepentant. In The Sixth Curse of Spring, you see a human side of her. A vulnerability. In The Sixth Cursed Halloween is when you finally get to see Deidre turn from angry to more emotional.
It’s been a run ride writing these three stories. I hope to do more trilogies in the future.
Mechele author of The Six Curses of Christmas available now, The Sixth Curse of Spring, coming March 18th, and the Sixth Cursed Halloween, coming this fall