Several years ago now, I self-published the Lakeside Hotel series, five feel-good novellas about Stacy from Cheshire and Rico from N.E. Switzerland. It was fun, and a restful contrast to my rather gloomier psychological suspense fiction, but I always felt there was something missing in these stories. You can’t go too far into character development in thirty thousand words, or there’s no space left for the story.
“You should extend them; make them full-length” was something I heard from several people, but while I agreed that would be more satisfying, there was never the time.
Then came Corona. And lockdown. And the ideal opportunity. I unpublished my novellas and set to work. The first two are finished now, the third is being proofread, and the fourth is ready for editing. They have new titles. What was A Lake in Switzerland is now Saving the Lakeside Hotel, and tells the story of Stacy and Emily who visit Lake Constance on holiday, and find themselves in a failing hotel that Rico wants to save but Ralph, his hotel-owner father, wants to be rid of. Add in a romance or two, lots of holiday adventures and a family in turmoil, and that’s book one. Do they save the hotel? In just a few weeks, you can read the end product and find out.
The books are set here in my home area, the top right-hand corner of Switzerland. Standing on the lake bank, you can see three different countries and a huge expanse of water, as well as hills and mountains. Plenty of scope for my characters to explore their surroundings and overcome a variety of challenges, and that’s before you start thinking about all the problems in the hotel.
The plan is to release the first three this spring and the fourth – the Christmas one – in autumn. Each book is now upwards of seventy-five thousand words, and while parts of the plots haven’t changed, there are new characters, more character development and lots of new scenes. More travel, too.
So, if you’ve ever fancied a trip to Switzerland but haven’t got around to it yet, my ex-novellas could be the books for you. Over the next few weeks I’ll be revealing more about the stories and the characters, and how I went about revamping them from novallas to novels, as well as what’s happening about the cover images. Stay tuned for the next trip to Switzerland!