Wednesday, January 31

#WriteTip: Putting a Continuity Together ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

 Almost a year ago, I was invited to start a new project, a romance continuity - you know, books with the same family and/or a continuing storyline but written by different authors. My friend Elley Arden wanted to set a family saga on real-life Anna Maria Island, Florida, and I was thrilled that she asked me to contribute! Little did we know the challenges that would come from our little idea.

You see, Elley lives in Pennsylvania, I'm in Ohio, and our third partner, Katie Kenyhercz, while also in Ohio, is in a totally different area. Pennyslvania and Ohio are big states, people, big. Plus, we were tackling three different sports (baseball, football, hockey), plus there was the saga aspect, a thread that had to go through all three books. Also, Google Docs/One Note/DropBox is great for sharing documents, but when you're brainstorming via text/messenger apps, some of that detail naturally doesn't make it into the series bible you've created. It just doesn't.

In the end, though, I think the series has turned out fabulously, and that brings me back to the reason for this post: tips for putting a continuity together. I asked Elley and Katie to join me here today so we could tell you about the most rewarding/challenging parts of this process! Here we go.

Tip One: Embrace the camaraderie

Elley Arden:  The most rewarding part of working on a continuity was having two other writers available nearly around the clock to bounce things off of. I loved brainstorming together. I felt such a rush from the exchange of ideas and then making decisions to proceed one way or the other. And whenever I had questions about anything, my writing partners were there to guide and unstick me. Working on the continuity made me realize how lonely the writing process can be and how beneficial it is to have a knowledgeable and trusted ear throughout the process.

Tip Two: Definitely, definitely use some kind of group doc (Google Docs, Microsoft OneNote, DropBox) that each of you can add and change. And, in addition to document sharing, ask questions, even the silly-seeming ones!

Kristina Knight: I hinted about my biggest challenge above! The thing is, my 'biggest challenge' was also part of my 'most rewarding' of this whole continuity: having Elley and Katie on-hand to ask questions about Gavin and Luc helped to cement Colby's brothers (and their love interests!) in my mind. It also helped to give me a better overall grasp of Colby's character. And those cheat-sheets in Google Docs definitely got a workout, too. All the brainstorming via Messenger and updating our Google Docs helped to cement this family in my mind, and they are one of my favorite families. Like, ever.

Tip Three: Look at a continuity as a partnership

Katie Kenyhercz: The most rewarding part of working on a continuity for me was having plotting partners! Plotting is the hardest thing for me, and it's so helpful to have brainstorming buddies and friends who will catch plot holes when you don't see them. It'll be hard to go back to writing by myself!

Blurbs for the Sullivan's Sons Continuity: 

Home on Anna Maria Island by Elley Arden: 

Pittsburgh Privateers third baseman Gavin Sullivan is home on Anna Maria Island with a lot on his mind: his mother’s recent battle with breast cancer and, now, the surprising news his oldest brother, Colby, is a twin. Gavin has a sister he’s never met, and worse, he’s sworn to secrecy while his parents try to find her. Is it any wonder he shows up to spring training thirty pounds heavier than last season? Armed with a complicated diet and a warning from Coach Zee, Gavin feels wrecked, until he finds a half-naked goddess on his parents’ stretch of beach. Funny how the body that has been making him feel so miserable lately suddenly has him flying high.

Curve model Emerson Raye wants to prove the naysayers back home in West Virginia wrong. Big is beautiful, too. All she has to do is land a spot in the Sports Unlimited Swimsuit Edition by convincing America to vote for her. When pro athlete Gavin Sullivan stumbles onto her oceanfront photo shoot and asks her out for drinks, Emerson and her assistant concoct a plan to leak photos of the date to the media and create the vote-getting buzz Emerson needs. Soon, Emerson realizes there’s more to Gavin than meets the eye, and their temporary, no-strings relationship heats up. But can something lasting survive under harsh media scrutiny when secrets threaten to sabotage everything?

Lost on Anna Maria Island by Kristina Knight: 

Florida Warriors star defensive end, Colby Sullivan, is the best in the business, but since his parents dropped the news that he not only had a biological sister but a biological twin sister, he’s been on his heels. He feels like he’s in the middle of a cover defense with no one backing him on the strong side. Colby knows, as the eldest, it is his job to keep the family going, but he can’t figure out what all this means to him with the daily interruptions from either his well-meaning parents or his rallying brothers. A flirtation with the girl next door is the perfect distraction, but all too soon she’s way past his defenses and heading for a touchdown that his heart just isn’t ready for.

Between her baby sister’s wedding and her job rehabbing Colby’s image, Madalyn Hunter is holding on by a thread. Mad understands football, cover defenses, and option offenses, but dealing with sneaky paparazzi, her sister’s obsession with the perfect wedding, and Colby’s not-friend-like kisses has her ready to throw a Hail Mary. The more time she spends with Colby, the harder it is to resist the gorgeous man who has always been her best friend. It’s fourth and goal with love on the line, but can Madalyn teach this star defender that the best way to protect his heart is to give it to her?

Found on Anna Maria Island by Katie Kenyhercz: 

Tampa Thunder hockey player Lucas Sullivan’s world took a hard check when his parents revealed he had a sister they gave up for adoption when she was born. His mother’s recent health scare brought the truth to light, and a search for the lost Sullivan began. It seems to be one step forward, two steps back, and Lucas is still trying to wrap his head around it all while battling to win the Cup, and he’s so close. To de-stress between games, he heads home to Anna Maria Island every chance he gets, looking for relaxation and peace of mind. What he finds instead is a beautiful, new surf instructor who dekes past his defenses and gets dangerously close to his heart.

Skylar Avery’s sister Scarlet has always been her best friend even though they aren’t biologically sisters. When Scarlet’s search for her birth family hit a wall, she stopped looking. Sky didn’t. Finally, the dots connected and led her to the Sullivan sports dynasty family and their home base, Anna Maria Island. Taking a job as a surf instructor puts her in the right place at the right time to meet middle brother Lucas Sullivan. He’s her ticket to getting to know the whole family so she can decide if they deserve to know Scarlet. One problem: he’s kind of perfect. Without meaning to, she starts to fall for the hockey player. Can their sweet connection survive the truth?


  1. What a great post - and great feedback - about working together. I’m about to do something like this as well, and will be sure to take it to heart! (And congrats all on your new books!)

    1. Thanks, Ava! Messenger is so amazing for quickie communication...and some kind of doc-sharing is a must! Good luck with your project!

  2. This is so interesting! I had to go ask the other Heartwarming authors if Christmas Town stories were a continuity series. They're not--they're a "collection." But I loved reading this!

  3. Very interesting! I'm so excited to read this series. Congratulations ladies!

  4. Great post. Fun to see how you all worked it out! Congrats on your newest adventure.

  5. This is so exciting, Kristina! I love the premise of your continuity series. I've done this a little bit with a series I participated in with The Wild Rose Press. The books were all set in the same town with some some of the same characters, so we had a bible with all the details. But all the books were individual and didn't flow together like yours. It was fun to work together and share some of the marketing, but it was also a challenge. I wish you much success, Kristina!