September 15, 2020

Storing Up Trouble - Part 2

Jen Turano

Part 2

In order to keep everything straight with a series, I use character sheets and jot down information like physical appearance, what drives a character, and even what quirks they may possess. Unfortunately, in Beatrix’s case, I had no idea who she was other than the fact she was a young lady who balked at the restrictions placed on heiresses at that time, and that she always seemed to find herself in unexpected and unusual situations.

It was not much to work with, especially since Isadora had told me (and yes, characters do speak to me. I’m not crazy, though, it’s just how this writing thing works for me) that Beatrix was her best friend and was going to help her flee from New York City and the dastardly duke. That meant Beatrix was going to show up far sooner than I expected because Isadora leaves New York within the first few chapters. With that in mind, I just began writing Beatrix into a scene with Isadora, and thankfully, her personality took off from there. She wanted to be a no-nonsense lady, prone to taking charge of situations, even if doing so occasionally meant she landed herself in all sorts of trouble. Trouble and Beatrix seemed to work well, and from there, I began to get an inkling of just where her story was going to go.

 By the time I reached book three, “Storing Up Trouble,” I knew exactly who Beatrix was, what drove her, and why she was going to have to leave New York City and travel to Chicago – being arrested, not once, but twice, was the perfect reason to have her depart on an adventure, and once I got into her book, everything fell into place and she didn’t give me a hint of trouble. The same cannot be said about Norman Nesbit, the hero in “Storing Up Trouble,” who couldn’t decide who he wanted to be and insisted I rewrite him at least a dozen times. He finally settled down, which then, in turn, allowed me to finish the book and meet my deadline, something that does seem to keep me on track most days.

 One thing that has made writing series easier for me over the years, though, is that I have begun writing my books so that they can stand alone. Isadora, from “Flights of Fancy,” does not make an appearance in the second book, “Diamond in the Rough,” and only shows up at the end of “Storing Up Trouble.” It’s the same with Poppy, who, after her story is told, only shows up at the end of Beatrix’s story. That allows readers a glimpse of these characters if they’ve enjoyed them in the previous books but does not make it difficult for a reader to follow the last book in the series if they’ve not read the previous two books. That strategy seems to be working for me at the moment, but one never knows, I could very well return to a series where all the characters are woven in with every book. Time will tell with that.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. I hope you learned a little bit about my process, and here’s hoping you’ll enjoy Beatrix’s story if you get a chance to read it.

All the best,



Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist.  

When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. Readers may find her at - , or on Twitter at JenTurano@JenTurano.