Linda Winstead Jones Writes RaintreeOctober 20, 2008
Authors Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones and Beverly Barton teamed up to write the Raintree trilogy, three books about a supernatural family first published by Silhouette Nocturne and now available in a single volume from HQN. RITA® Award winner Linda Winstead Jones joins us to talk about her contribution Raintree: Haunted and what it was like collaborating with two other amazing authors!
Just last week I was talking to a local readers’ group, and I told them how the Raintrees were born. I smiled the whole time. Good friends are a fabulous gift. Good friends you can sit down and plot with, friends you can plan and research and talk and laugh with are a blessing, indeed. Working on a trilogy with two other writers (and trust me, all three of us can be classified as control freaks, at least to some extent) could be a nightmare. This project was anything but. We spent years plotting and researching, and it was a blast.
The Raintree family is filled with gifted individuals. Psychics, healers, those who control the elements – and then there’s Gideon, my hero, a homicide detective who sees and talks to ghosts. He also harnesses energy, often in the form of lightning. He draws it in, he is capable of releasing that energy – sometimes on purpose, now and then, not so much. The more I wrote and plotted and planned, the more I realized how such a power would impact his life. Computers, cars with computer chips, toasters and microwaves, televisions, even a simple bedside clock…as the world around him became more and more computerized, Gideon would be more and more impacted. At one point in our planning, Linda Howard e-mailed me and wrote, “Gideon can’t fly!” My first thought was “Of course he can’t fly. He’s Raintree, not Superman.” And then it hit me. Oh, yeah. He can’t possibly get on an airplane.
So, what kind of heroine do you give a man whose life is anything but normal? What woman would be able to handle a man who fries electrical appliances, and makes computers go haywire, and on occasion stands on the beach and sucks in the lightning? How about a woman who doesn’t believe in any of that hooey? Hope Malory’s mother owns a new age shop, believes in auras and tarot cards and spirit guides. Hope does not. Also a homicide detective, she believes in what she can see and touch, nothing more. It doesn’t take long for Gideon to turn her neat and orderly world upside down.
And then there’s Emma, the vision of a child who continues to appear to Gideon, insisting that he’s “Daddy” and she’s coming. Soon. Emma’s appearances are quite disconcerting for a man who’s determined to remain single and childless.
The Raintree trilogy is set in a real world, with very real people and those who are different. Those who have special powers hide their magical abilities, they blend in among us and keep their secrets close. If you had a magical ability of some sort would you tell the world? Or would you hide it, as the Raintrees do?
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