But then I had editors asking for a vampire story, a ghost hunter story, etc., and I just sort of plopped Will into each piece instead of inventing a new character.
He's the same guy in all these stories, just at different points in his life. By the time I realized I wanted to get serious about Will and give him a bigger life, the chronology was all over the place - and that's the current state of things. I hope to fix this over the next several years, eventually giving the series a concrete timeline, but I reserve the right to work in different periods of Will’s life as I do so. Why? Mostly because I find it more fun to be able to jump around in Will's life, and because certain stories just beg to be written before others and, most importantly, because my readers, God bless them, seem to be okay with it.
Here are the five major stages of Will’s career and the short stories or NOVEL titles that go with that period. I’ll update this whenever new material comes out.
1. Rookie U.S. Marshal (DEATH SIGHT)
2. Green River County Sheriff's Deputy (PURGATORY BLUES (coming soon), HOMEWARD DEVILS (flashback scenes))
3. Reinstated U.S. Marshal (Phoenix Blood, Island Ghosts, Cold Tide (currently exclusive to The Friends of Bain newsletter subscribers.)
4. Bodyguard for hire (None yet, but we're working on it...)
5. Paranormal investigator (RETURN TO ANGEL HILL, The Bridge, Samantha, HOMEWARD DEVILS, Nighteyes, BEWITCHING THE WEIRD SISTERS, THE HOUSE IN CYRUS HOLLER)
A couple additional notes: A few reviewers and commentators have noticed that while Will's girlfriend is named Candice in his "origin" novel DEATH SIGHT, his girlfriend is named Samantha in RETURN TO ANGEL HILL and THE CASTLETON FILES - which, in fact, features a story (at least partially) named after her.
Just to clarify - I didn't screw anything up here. Candice and Samantha are not the same person. We’ll find out a little more about the switch from Candice to Samantha in PURGATORY BLUES…. A few readers have also commented that they like Samantha just a little bit more than Candice. Well, that's good, actually, because that's the way I planned it. ;-)
Sometimes we have to go through a lot of relationships before we find the love of our life - and even then it's not always easy. I wanted Will's larger story arc to reflect that.
Also, I’m not going to tell you what it is but there is one particular detail of Will’s life mentioned in DEATH SIGHT and in THE CASTLETON FILES that adds up to one, big, fat, glaring inconsistency, if you’re a careful enough reader to catch it. This started out as my own error, but I’ve decided to leave it in and explain it (sort of) in PURGATORY BLUES… (Okay, here’s a hint: Will is a smart guy.)
So, once again - while each Will Castleton story is designed to stand on its own, I plan to eventually have a larger, relatively seamless over-arcing storyline. This will take some time, probably years. However, I also like the idea of being able to write about Will at any stage of his life, and I'll reserve the right to jump between, as long as it doesn't mess with the over-arcing story.
I love the action, romance and suspense in Will's stories, and I love the thrill and challenge of filling in the blanks in his larger narrative. So far readers have been quite supportive of Will's time-jumps, and I appreciate everyone bearing with me!
I'm in for a long journey - thanks for joining me on this exciting ride!