One reason interactive serialized fiction is so fun is because readers influence every installment of the story. Readers have opportunities to do this in several ways. They might send me a quick note letting me know what they like and dislike so far. They might participate in a survey about a developing character. They might vote on an important detail. And, always, readers are right there with me in that special place where real life inspires fiction.
While reading Part Three, watch for these places where real life inspired fiction.
Allison Theodore’s boat gets a name.
In a subscriber-exclusive note, I asked for ideas to name Allison’s boat. Great ideas came in! Exceptional ideas! And one reader submitted a name so perfect it zinged right into my heart.
I could just picture Allison, on one of those nature walks she loves, pausing to appreciate blooming wildflowers like buttercups. Her bright yellow cruiser probably even looks like a buttercup!
And, in a surprising twist, readers found out the name of Allison’s boat even before her aunts did.
Aunt Amelia becomes aware of a threat to her beloved orcas.
While writing Part Three, I heard about a couple of young male orcas who were “dragging crab pots” around nearby Friday Harbor. Were the orcas playing? Just scratching an itch? Their antics provided great entertainment. But the sobering downside is that fishing gear poses a real danger of entanglement—not just to marine animals, but also to commercial fishing people. A developing technology called ropeless fishing gear might offer answers.
Traditionally, traps or pots are set on the ocean bottom and marked by a rope attached to a buoy at the water’s surface. The key difference with “ropeless” (or “on-demand”) fishing gear is where, when, and how long buoy lines are in the water. The buoy line might be coiled and stowed on the ocean bottom with the pot, then called to the surface by a computer system. Or the pot might be attached to a deflated buoy, which can then be inflated to bring the gear to the surface.
Isn’t technology amazing? Ropeless fishing gear seems like something Aunt Amelia could get excited about. Watch for the first inklings of this.
Readers influence how Allison is rescued.
Part Two ended with a cliff-hanger! Readers submitted all kinds of wonderful ideas of where the story could go. A couple of readers sent elaborate outlines for future plot development. Others suggested the orcas might help in mysterious ways. Several readers drew a line in the sand and said they were cheering for Team Virgil.
One reader said she’d be fine with things going in any direction—any direction at all—as long as it was not Allison being rescued by a man. Another reader suggested Allison might get caught up in a dream. “The aunts could be there, too, doing things that are slightly strange, even for them.”
I’d been imagining what now seemed like a ho-hum rescue. Maybe hunky Hack swooping over in his float plane. Or Virgil and Aunt Amelia discovering brilliant new location technology. My wonderful readers inspired me to up my game.
Watch for a “rescue” that will surprise and delight. (And that is all I will say about that!)
Part Three of The Wren Island Series was released on June 21, 2023. The next installment will be released on September 22, 2023.
Readers directly influence this story in real time. It’s easy and fun to catch up. It’s totally free, too! When you subscribe to receive my emails, you’ll receive a link to the parts that have already been released. Then, watch your inbox for behind-the-scenes updates and opportunities to influence what happens next!