Indie Author Weekly

061: Author commentary of Polyamorous Passions (Part 1: Books 1 - 3)

May 26, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 62
Indie Author Weekly
061: Author commentary of Polyamorous Passions (Part 1: Books 1 - 3)
Chapters
Indie Author Weekly
061: Author commentary of Polyamorous Passions (Part 1: Books 1 - 3)
May 26, 2020 Episode 62
Sagan Morrow

Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. Today we're doing something a little different than usual… I want to share author commentary while rereading my Polyamorous Passions series that I wrote. 

I typically reread my previously published works at least twice all the way through, every single time I write a new novel in the series: I skim over the books before I begin writing the new book in the series, so I can have a general gist of the idea of the storyline and characters, and then I do a more thorough reread after writing the first full draft of the latest novel. I usually like to do another skim through each previously-published book before publishing the new book, just to do a final double check. This is a good practice to do if you write a series of connected books, so there's consistency in the plot, characters and storyline from one book to the next. 

Given that this Indie Author Weekly podcast is all about the behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the author life, I thought it'd be fun to share with you my internal commentary on my books, during my most recent reread of them! 

For context, I'm currently writing Book 7 in the Polyamorous Passions series, Her Bad Idea. If you haven’t read these stories yet, the first one in the series is free, AND you can get the entire boxset of current books which will also include ALL future books in the series for a steal of a deal, at SaganMorrow.com/books

This episode features the first 3 books in the series. The series is divided into 3 trilogies: Books 1 - 3 follow Emma’s story, Books 4 - 6 follow Helen’s story, and Books 7 - 9 will follow Scarlett’s story. 

Author commentary of the Polyamorous Passions series… starting with Emma’s story in Book 1: A Choice Between Two. This book is about figuring out that polyamory exists & starting the discussion about it in general. TUNE IN for the author commentary! 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. Today we're doing something a little different than usual… I want to share author commentary while rereading my Polyamorous Passions series that I wrote. 

I typically reread my previously published works at least twice all the way through, every single time I write a new novel in the series: I skim over the books before I begin writing the new book in the series, so I can have a general gist of the idea of the storyline and characters, and then I do a more thorough reread after writing the first full draft of the latest novel. I usually like to do another skim through each previously-published book before publishing the new book, just to do a final double check. This is a good practice to do if you write a series of connected books, so there's consistency in the plot, characters and storyline from one book to the next. 

Given that this Indie Author Weekly podcast is all about the behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the author life, I thought it'd be fun to share with you my internal commentary on my books, during my most recent reread of them! 

For context, I'm currently writing Book 7 in the Polyamorous Passions series, Her Bad Idea. If you haven’t read these stories yet, the first one in the series is free, AND you can get the entire boxset of current books which will also include ALL future books in the series for a steal of a deal, at SaganMorrow.com/books

This episode features the first 3 books in the series. The series is divided into 3 trilogies: Books 1 - 3 follow Emma’s story, Books 4 - 6 follow Helen’s story, and Books 7 - 9 will follow Scarlett’s story. 

Author commentary of the Polyamorous Passions series… starting with Emma’s story in Book 1: A Choice Between Two. This book is about figuring out that polyamory exists & starting the discussion about it in general. TUNE IN for the author commentary! 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romance novels, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to do something a little different than usual… I want to share my own author commentary while rereading my Polyamorous Passions series that I wrote.  

Okay, here’s the thing: when you write a series of books, you 100% need to reread your previous published works, to ensure that you don’t have glaring plot holes or character inconsistencies. And honestly, if you aren’t in the right frame of mind, it can feel… weird, or uncomfortable, to do this.  

I typically reread my previously published works at least twice all the way through, every single time I write a new novel in the series: I skim over the books before I begin writing the new book in the series, so I can have a general gist of the idea of the storyline and characters, and then I do a more thorough reread after writing the first full draft of the latest novel. I usually like to do another skim through each previously-published book before publishing the new book, just to do a final double check. 

This is a good practice to instill in yourself if you write a series of connected books. I mean, think about it: if a reader comes along and picks up the first book in the series after all of them have already been written, they’re going to enjoy the series that much more if there’s consistency between all the books! Likewise for anyone who has been reading your books from the start. You owe it to your readers to have consistency in the plot and characters and storyline from one book to the next. 

Sidebar: if you’re finding it unwieldy to keep track of writing a series of books, then I share some tips for managing it in Episode 48 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast. End of sidebar.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still sometimes feel weird to reread your own published works on a routine basis. So, given the transparent nature of everything in my business, and given that this Indie Author Weekly podcast is all about the behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the author life, I thought it would be kind of fun to share with you my internal commentary on my books, during my most recent reread of them!

For context, I am currently writing Book 7 in the Polyamorous Passions series, entitled Her Bad Idea. This is the longest I have gone in between writing any of my books in this series since I started writing it in summer 2018, so I was reminded of all kinds of things I’d kind of forgotten about while I reread the series.

I definitely had a glass of wine while I started rereading the series and making notes, so grab your own glass of wine or your favourite beverage, and let’s go through the Polyamorous Passions series together…

(By the way—if you haven’t read these stories yet, the first one in the series is free, AND you can get the entire boxset of current books which will also include ALL future books in the series for a steal of a deal, at SaganMorrow.com/books.)

For today’s episode, I want to share about the first 3 books in the series, which covers Emma’s story. The series is basically divided into 3 trilogies: Books 1 - 3 follow Emma’s story, Books 4 - 6 follow Helen’s story, and Books 7 - 9 will follow Scarlett’s story.

Each trilogy is also dedicated to someone different. The first trilogy, feature Emma’s stories, is dedicated to my dear friend Fiona, who is the person who first got me into reading romance novels back in high school, and who has been so supportive of my polyamorous lifestyle and my romance author career right from the beginning. 

If you want to learn more about the background to this series, I answered some FAQs in Episode 51 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast.

Okay, grab your favourite beverage of any kind and let’s sit down for my author commentary of the Polyamorous Passions series… starting with Emma’s story in Book 1: A Choice Between Two

This story is about figuring out that polyamory exists & starting the discussion about it in general.

Chapter 1: The meetcute between Emma and Carlos is legitimately adorable! And, fun fact, *the cornbread incident* is based on a real-life incident of me accidentally taking too big of a bite of an appetizer at a networking event. I love taking inspiration from random real-life events. 

Chapter 2: Wow, you can totally see how I’ve already incorporated bits of myself into my 3 main characters: Emma loves sitting with her back to the wall at any establishment so she can see the door, and Helen is super single-minded, and Scarlett is dressed very inappropriately. That’s all me in a nutshell. Also, fun fact: even though I am not like Helen in much of her personality, I also have a scarf collection!

Another fun fact: I am a huge fan of the chai tea lattes at Forth Cafe in Winnipeg, which is partly what my Aces & Spades cafe & wine lounge is based on in the Polyamorous Passions series….

Chapter 3: If you live in Winnipeg, you might be interested in knowing that the park that Emma and Carlos hang out in is loosely based on Munson Park. And by the way: Emma is named after two of my favourite characters, Emma in the Jane Austen novel, and also Emma from Once Upon a Time; her last name is Jones, a nod to Bridget Jones’ Diary, which I’ve read countless times over the past 15-ish years. And Carlos is named after another favourite character of mine from my extremely beloved Resident Evil movie obsession. 

Getting back to the content on this chapter… Emma thinking about furniture in this sentence about her apartment: “If she didn’t look at it lovingly, then it wasn’t allowed in the door. The same, it seemed, was true for men.” 

Obviously, she lets Carlos in.

By the way: Frank is named after my old roommate’s female snake. He was wonderful. And I adored his snake. She was the best. Her name was Frank, and Emma’s cat is named after her in an homage. You might have noticed that I’m really into homages. 

Last comment about this chapter: Emma’s favourite flowers are buttercups, which is a TOTAL nod to The Princess Bride, which will always and forever be one of my most favourite stories of all time.

Chapter 4: I really love how this contrasts the differences between our 3 main characters of the Polyamorous Passions series, Emma, Helen, and Scarlett. The most consistent feedback I’ve received from readers is how much they enjoy the interactions between these 3 very different people, and I think chapter 4 of this book is a great exploration of the beginning of that.

Also, SO MUCH FORESHADOWING at the end of this chapter about what’s to come with Helen. 

Chapter 5: Okay, by now you know that I like naming my characters after my own favourite characters from other stories. Worth noting here that Yvonne is named after the character in Casablanca, and Glenn is straight from The Walking Dead. 

The conversation between our three main characters about being a “bad feminist”? Yes. Very into it. 

ALSO: This is just such a great reminder of how completely different the experiences are between Emma, Helen, and Scarlett. It reminds me about why I wanted to tell their stories, with their completely different backgrounds. 

Chapter 6: I’m pretty sure this is the first reference to the concept of *make your own rules*, which is the tagline of this Polyamorous Passions series, AND also my entire business philosophy with the productivity side of things, too. This is when Emma also figures out about the concept of polyamory! And she identifies some absolutely fantastic real-life resources, FYI.

Chapter 7: OMG we find out about Scarlett’s unrequited crush for the first time, which totally comes up again and again throughout the series. Very into this. Her crush is named after Westley from The Princess Bride, but of course.

Chapter 8: I think the way Emma describes polyamory to Carlos and John, in the context of having more than one child or more than one best friend, is SO important. A really pivotal moment.

There’s a great nod to the differences in love languages between Emma and John in this chapter, too. 

Also: Siren Smoke is totally based on Winnipeg’s own Dirty Catfish Brass Band. 

Chapter 9: I love how much this chapter emphasizes the sincere value of female friendships. 

Moving along to Book 2 in the Polyamorous Passions series, Gaming the System

This story begins a few months after the previous book ends, it’s about coming out as polyamorous and making mistakes along the way.

Chapter 1: The comment about Emma needing alone time to figure stuff out is a big thing—alone time matters, even if (or perhaps especially when) you’re polyamorous.

Chapter 2: John asks some common questions about polyamory: “who do you think about the most?” “What is or isn’t okay to do in public?” By the way, Oliver’s Cocktail Company is based on Langside Grocery here in Winnipeg. And I don’t think I mentioned it, but John is named after Mr Big in Sex and the City.

Chapter 3: Emma and Carlos are also both starting to realize they need to create more defined boundaries around their relationship… Also, I remember being hungry when I wrote that restaurant scene. Usually if food is involved in my novels, it’s because I’m hungry at the time.

Chapter 4: Sexting two people at once is the most Emma thing ever. This chapter includes a nod to the title of the book, when Emma “comes out” to another friend! And, go Emma for taking disapproving reactions in stride. The knee-jerk reaction that her friend has about what’s “normal” or “the right thing to do” is a pretty realistic response when many people hear about polyamory for the first time. 

Chapter 5: Aw, the friendship between Emma and Glenn makes my heart happy. That’s a relationship I’d like to explore more in a future set of short stories featuring Polyamorous Passions characters. The risks that Emma mulls over regarding polyamory and her career aren’t trivial, either—there are many considerations to explore. 

Chapter 6: Ooh, Carlos wants to meet John

Chapter 7: Helen mentioning that Emma makes polyamory look good might be a bit of foreshadowing for what happens a couple books later… and, aw. Emma recognizes her own fears and decides to face them. 

Chapter 8: In the final chapter of this book, John and Carlos bond over a shared appreciation of a book that me and my spouse love. You’ll have to read Gaming the System to get the inside scoop on that… and you can grab your copy at SaganMorrow.com/books.

Finally, we have Book 3 in the Polyamorous Passions series, Make Me Forget

This story begins a few months after the previous book ends, and it concludes Emma’s trilogy. It explores dating as a means to get over heartache and I would say it’s the most emotional in the series.

Chapter 1: No, John! No no no! Aw, poor Emma. He’s leaving her.

Chapter 2: Of course Emma runs into John when she is so not prepared for it

Chapter 3: Okay, poor Emma AGAIN, because her first rebound date is just… yikes. Good thing Scarlett can be so assertive when she wants to be.

Chapter 4: I wrote these scenes in Paris shortly after my spouse, Mr Science, and I went on a trip to Paris! Couldn’t resist incorporating our vacation into one of my novels. Emma shutting down a guy when he comments on her appetite is delightful. And I like the conversation Emma and Helen have about relationship goals and life goals.

Chapter 5: Fun fact: Vesper martinis are one of my all-time favourite cocktails. Emma, Helen, and Scarlett assessing men on dating apps is a pretty accurate portrayal of what happens among friends. I think it was just a few months after this book was published that I had almost that exact same real-life experience with a couple friends of mine! 

And Emma’s whole problem with people who have last names as first names, or who are named after celebrities—yes, I’m definitely making fun of myself, since the famous person I share my name with is Carl Sagan. I mean, if you can’t make fun of yourself while writing a book, then what’s the point? (For the record, I really do love my own name, even if Emma wouldn’t approve of it, ha) Lastly, the STI advice Scarlett gives Emma is EXCELLENT and everyone should follow it. Go read the last couple pages of this chapter and take it to heart.

Chapter 6: Awww, Emma meets Troy! I really like Troy. He’s such a sweetie. And their interactions during this chapter are pretty cute. 

Chapter 7: Emma is definitely putting out a particular vibe these days that attracts a lot of different people. Goodness. Towards the end of this chapter, when Helen calls Emma out on her drinking, this is touching on a pretty relevant societal issue.

Chapter 8: The fantasy erotica that Scarlett is “caught” reading is actually something I wrote a draft of, years ago! I’m looking forward to rewriting and publishing it in the next couple years. Stay tuned for that!

Chapter 9: Aww. Poor Troy! Don’t worry, I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll make an appearance toward the end of the series… Also, the Relationship Rebel shirt that Scarlett gives Emma is a real-life shirt you can grab for yourself! I wear mine all the time. You can order yours at SaganMorrow.com/shop.

Chapter 10: I am trying so hard not to squeal out loud right now, but… yay John! It’s a bit of a fun twist, what happens with John in this chapter. A very satisfying ending to Emma’s story.

Okay, there you have it! That’s Part 1 of our author commentary while reading the Polyamorous Passions series. You can read these books at SaganMorrow.com/books, or search Polyamorous Passions on your favourite e-bookstore. 

That concludes Emma’s trilogy in the 9-book Polyamorous Passions series, but of course we see more of her on the sidelines in the rest of the books

Next week, we’ll do Part 2 of our author commentary, where we’ll discuss Helen’s trilogy, which are the next 3 books in the series: Books 4 - 6

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this: Did you enjoy this author commentary? Which of these 3 books was your favourite to read? Do you have a particular scene that you really loved?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my books and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.