From Medical Romance to Mystery: Spinning Off a Series
by Jacqueline Diamond
In writing a long series, challenges include keeping track of the characters, varying the storylines and making each book fresh. Given all those issues, why would an author (me) who’s written a successful 17-book romance series want to spin off a mystery series?
Hold on while I backtrack a little.
My career began 100 books ago. Lady in Disguise, a Regency romance, came out in 1983. Since then, I’ve sold Regencies, medical romances, romantic comedies, fantasy and paranormal novels, and mysteries including Danger Music and The Eyes of a Stranger.
I love the tension and puzzle aspect of mysteries but, despite excellent reviews, was never able to connect with a consistent publisher for them. I was luckier with my romances, which found a home at Harlequin.
An area of interest for me and readers has been the medical field. I wrote a five-book series called Downhome Doctors, inspired by my father, who was for many years the only doctor in a small town.
A few years later, in 2010, when I began the Safe Harbor Medical® series with The Would-Be Mommy, I planned to write three books. Ideas sprang up until, in February of 2016, the series concluded with entry 17, The Would-Be Daddy (the related titles were my suggestion).
I’d been eager to return to writing mysteries. However, I loved my fictional hospital and town, and enjoyed the medical research.
So I drew on them for The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet, the first of my Safe Harbor Medical mysteries. The hero is young, widowed obstetrician Eric Darcy, who’s taken over his late father’s medical practice. In Chapter One, the mother of triplets stuns him by claiming she had a fourth baby, a quadruplet who was stolen from her. Is there a deadly secret hidden in an old file… which has just disappeared?
When someone murders his patient, Eric believes the police are dismissing a vital clue. As bodies pile up, he turns amateur sleuth, partnering with his quirky sister-in-law, a private investigator. He never imagines that his own life might be in danger.
The publishing world has changed dramatically since I entered it more than thirty years ago, and I’ve chosen to self-publish the new series. It’s great to have the freedom to write exactly what I want, without worrying about whether my books fit into a publisher’s mystery “line.” Whether I’ll earn more or less remains to be seen.
How many books will the mystery series include? I plan at least three, and have jotted ideas for three more. Who knows? Could be a lot more.
I hope you’ll join me!
USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond’s 101st novel, The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet, launches a new cozy series, the Safe Harbor Medical® Mysteries. A spin-off from her popular Safe Harbor Medical romance series, the books feature an obstetrician who solves crimes affecting his patients. Following a career as an Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie has sold medical romances, mysteries, Regency romances and romantic comedies to a range of publishers, including St. Martin’s Press, William Morrow and Harlequin.
Young, widowed obstetrician Eric Darcy is stunned when a patient, the mother of triplets, claims to have borne a fourth baby, a quad, that was stolen from her. When someone murders his patient, Eric believes the police are dismissing a vital clue, and teams up with his PI sister-in-law to investigate, never imagining his own life could be in danger.