Off to Napa (and returning characters)

Napa1It’s off to Napa Valley tomorrow– my first time!  So excited.  Can’t wait to sit back and relax, and of course drink some fabulous wine.  What’s great is that I’ve got a scene in my head for Book 4 that takes place in Napa– so I can count this as research.  (At least that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.)  And who wouldn’t be inspired by scenery like this?

Good news for me:  Book 4 has moved beyond the “nugget of an idea” stage and into the plot-outlining stage.   And I’m strongly considering bringing back a couple characters from an earlier book…  I won’t say anything until I decide for sure, but I’m thinking this book will have scenes in both California and Chicago, so well… it could be anyone.  😉

Napa2That’s a question I’d love to hear from you guys on:  do you like seeing characters from earlier stories in later books?  Or do you prefer to think of your characters living in their own world, so to speak, with no overlap?

12 thoughts on “Off to Napa (and returning characters)

  1. Carolyn Crane (CJ) says:

    I like seeing old characters as long as they don’t play too big a role as a happy couple. Like, they have to be doing something else. Or, if they just appear, that’s okay, if it’s in a different mood or context. Megan Hart brought characters from Dirty to Stranger and I absolutely loved that. There were two instances of it, in fact, and it was immensely satisfying. One where a minor popped in as a major, and one where majors popped in as minors. I love her books. I’m now reading Tempted and sort of hoping for somebody to pop in.

    Also, Kleypas does it – frex, A minor character from the Nick Gentry book appeared in Devil in Winter. I really enjoyed that. I guess when I don’t like it is when they are just this boring, happy couple who appear for the heck of it. they have to do something or their appearance has to utilize something I know about them. But when it’s good, it can be like seeing old friends. Have fun in Napa!

  2. cursingmama says:

    I don’t mind when characters from other stories show up in new stories but they must have a purpose and sometimes I need to be reminded why I am supposed to love or hate them. One reason I like to have them pop up is to know that they are still “alive and well” so to speak.

  3. Stacy ~ says:

    I love seeing “old” characters appear in newer books. It’s fun to be reunited with them. I don’t care so much in what capacity as long as they don’t take away from the main characters.

    Have a great time in Napa and take lots of pictures!

  4. Dottie Taylor says:

    Hi Julie

    I loved to see old characters reintroduced in new books, sometimes it helps us get acquainted with the new characters and sometimes the old characters were quite finished with the readers yet. I loved to hear how their lives are progressing, is it similar to what our imagination tells us? Almost like looking in on a friend and seeing how they’re doing in their lives. Who would want to check on an old friend to see how they’re doing, how their kids are?

    Dottie 🙂

  5. Elyssa Papa says:

    Napa Valley sounds gorgeous and a fabulous vacation. Have lots of fun!

    I’m all for including characters from previous books into a new one. I’m really curious to hear what book four is about. Feel free to let me know! LOL

  6. erika says:

    I enjoy seeing characters that I already know and love as long as seeing them in a different book doesn’t change their character. Does that make sense? It did in my head…

    Anyway, I’m still looking forward to book 3. I’m really glad that I happened upon JTSMA in my local library, I’m really enjoying your books.

  7. Lea says:

    Hi Julie!

    I hope you have (are having) a wonderful time in Napa!

    I like to see returning characters in books as long as they are seconday and don’t take over the story as it were. Now you have me extremely curious! lol

    Congratulaltions on book four, and book three is eagerly anticipated.

    Warm Regards

  8. Venus Vaughn says:

    I love seeing old characters, but I like seeing them living a real life, not just showing up to kiss, show off their kids and make us all gag on their happiness.

    Give me a happy couple in a new or old fight. Give me a pair of previous characters who are happily-ever-aftering it by working on their marriage in counseling. Hell, give me a couple that spent $20,000 on IVF and have worked their way through the final miscarriage they are going to put themselves through.

    I’m not saying give them their own subplot, I’m saying show them in ALL their marital strength and glory, not just the parts that make it into a photo album.

    (Why does that sound bitter? I don’t mean it to sound bitter. I just want to see more than 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket white fence.)

  9. Kim says:

    I like seeing previous characters in a new book. We already know them, so the author doesn’t have to go into a lot of character detail. Plus, it’s a great way to catch up with them and see how their lives have changed or remained the same. Needless to say, if you’re bringing back a hero & heroine, we get to see that they’re still together.

  10. Rowena says:

    LUCKY! I hope you have a great time in Napa, you’ll be hours away from me instead of light years…or whatever. LOL. Have fun sweets and drink lots of wine, oh and stomp on some grapes too while you’re out there. That would be so frickin’ great!

    As for returning characters, I LOVE THEM! I love seeing characters from previous books return for small roles in other books or starring roles in their own stories. It’s always fun to revisit with old favorites!

  11. Maya M. says:

    I love seeing old characters again.

    And I loved ‘Sideways’ with Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, and Sandra Oh! Very funny and poignant.

  12. Liz V. says:

    Absolutely love seeing old characters resurface. It’s almost like an epilogue.

    Napa is a magical place!! I’d love to do the wine train.

    Thrilled to hear book four is coming along.

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