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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Wynter Wild Family Tree (CHOOSE YOUR SPOILER LEVEL)

In true soap opera fashion, the family tree in the Wynter Wild series gets bigger and more complex as the books progress and secrets are revealed. 

Following on from this post where I described a few family entanglements revealed in the Wynter Wild books (ones I hadn't plotted out from the start), in this post I'll present increasingly spoilerific family trees as a visual aid. To avoid spoilers, you can stop when you get to the latest book you've read...

Note: The series starts in January 2013, two months before Wynter's 15th birthday.

02 Out of Tune

If you've read the first two books, this is how the family tree looks. Wynter is the daughter of Miriam and Malcolm, and has four half-siblings from her mother's first marriage to Harry. Miriam's heritage is unknown. Joy is married to Sean, and left him at the ashram.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Rule212 Playlist


I've made my Rule212 playlist public on Spotify - take a listen below. You can also follow me on Spotify to find other playlists related to the books:

I've resisted being too specific in the books about Rule212's sound, beyond a vague "indie rock" (which could mean anything these days) and a lot of electric guitars, which moves them more into the hard rock category. Or nu-metal, post-grunge... whatever new-fangled label seems applicable. So this list is "representative" of their sound but don't take it too literally.

I'll add more songs when I think of them, as there's definitely not enough riff-based music, and too many ballads...

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Family Entanglements (SPOILERS GALORE)


This post contains serious spoilers for all ten books.

I started the Wynter Wild series with five characters in mind - the three Fairn boys, the two sisters - along with a few adults in their sphere. As their world expanded across ten books, I ended it with 365 named characters (admittedly, that does include the chickens). Somewhere along the way, a few of those characters became entangled in ways I hadn't envisioned when I set out.

A primary example is Xay. I created his character at the same time as I created Wynter's past in the cult - an Aussie boy she secretly befriends who leaves her behind. But making him Harry's son was an idea that came later (although before I started writing in earnest). Other ideas came when some of the books were already complete, and it's no easy task to weave revealed secrets into the plot when you didn't even know those secrets yourself!

As an insight into my writing process, I thought I'd lay out how some of my decisions evolved.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Naming a Ten-Book Series

How do you name ten books in a series?

When I started writing the Wynter Wild books, a stream-of-consciousness half-million words covering several years of her life and written out of order, I knew early on that it would be a long series. So the necessity of naming the books in some sort of coherent manner was an issue I dealt with early on.

I wanted titles that played on a single theme, but I hadn't decided what that theme would be. I jotted down endless ideas using themes from the story - not only music, but also "threads" (a recurring theme relating to broken or frayed threads, and of course braiding of hair and bracelets), lines from classic folk songs, matching words relating to family, and others.

Having decided on music, I brainstormed phrases and then matched them up with the relevant books. The later titles weren't finalized until the earlier ones were already published, since those plots weren't fully developed yet, but I had a list to select from. 

Here's my reasoning for each title - and a trip down memory lane for those readers who have stuck with the series until book 10.

Monday, February 1, 2021

What Do They Really Look Like? Part 3

This is the final (I think!) set of portraits created on the Artbreeder website to illustrate the characters from my books. In Part 1 I showed you the main characters and their immediate family, and in Part 2 the girlfriends and boyfriends of Caleb, Indio, Jesse, Wynter, and Xay.

Here are the four Palermo cousins from Vermont: Alyssa (an art student), Jessica (who claims to look like Jesse), Paige (Jesse's favorite, because of her inquisitive mind), and little Daisy: