I wanted to take a minute to talk about the reason that I use the Dime Novels at the beginning of each chapter in the Conn-Mann books. It is an interesting challenge to me–and I hope that the readers find it fun as well.
The stories in the Dime Novels are intended to have some reference to the plot of the actual novel, but not mirror them entirely. Sometimes, it is very difficult to strike this balance.
The importance of Calico Kate and the River of Gold was to show an independent heroine taking care of herself against a villain trying to take something from her. As I say, subtle mirroring, but not total matching of the story.
The Dime Novel in The Nearly Notorious Nun, Analytical Amy and the Case of the Covetous Cad, was actually the third try to come up with the perfect story to complement the action. When the first edition came out, the excerpts were from Straitlaced Sue and the House of Ill-Repute. The story was a romance set in a brothel. It was okay, but it wasn’t a good fit for the purpose. I never felt good about it. So, I wanted to make sure it was rewritten for the new edition. I originally had the Dime Novel telling the story of a woman who found a baby in the woods and needed to find its parents. This was closer to the plot of the story, but not quite there. And then, it hit me. Jo spends most of the book playing detective–so I wrote a Dime Novel about a society girl who fills her spare time solving problems for her friends. It was a lot of fun to write. It was fitting to the story. It adds a spark to the plot. This is what makes one of the Dime Novels work.
The Dime Novel for The Incredibly Irritating Irishman was actually written before Analytical Amy. It was another one that came quickly and easily. That’s how I know it works. 😉 If you want to read Practical Polly and the Village of Doom before the third book comes out, it is posted on the Facebook page for the series. It was posted daily last November, so don’t forget to go down to the beginning and read backwards. 😉
Do the Dime Novels add anything to the books? I honestly don’t know. I like to think that they do. They are supposed to be the stories that Jo is reading in her spare time. They are where she gets her inspiration. Just an extra added layer on top of the actual plot. It isn’t easy sometimes to keep the conceit going, but I think it is worth it. What do you think? If you have read one of the books, let me know what you think of the Dime Novels and if I should continue them. If you haven’t read one of the books…you always can remedy that and let me know. 😉
The Marvelous Mechanical Man can be purchased here, and The Nearly Notorious Nun is available for Kindle here. It will be in print in the next couple of weeks. I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment!