I have written three books and planned nine (plus a short-story-collection) in the Field Researcher Universe, but, let’s face it; I could go on and write books about them my whole life. The universe is so huge and so rich and all the people you meet in the books have a story worth telling.
In ‘In the Hands of the Unknown’, for example, we get to meet a security guard at the Museum of Natural History. In a short passage, he tells Miriam and Carl about his father who served in WWII and who later forbid his son to take part of any war.
“And how long has Professor Bruchheimer lived here?”
Mr. Swanson rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “You know, I’m not sure. Probably since the war. The big one, you know. My father served in it. A foot soldier he was. Liberated people like him.”
“Like Professor Bruchheimer?”
“That’s right. He used to say… my father, that is. He used to say, ‘Never become a soldier, son. Anything else I can accept, but become a soldier and you’re not of my blood anymore’.”
“That’s pretty harsh.”
“Well, I dunno. He saw some pretty bad things, and I know he had nightmares about it ‘til the end.”
Originally, before I decided to write about Carl in the second book, I had planned on writing the story about why Mr. Swanson’s father had nightmares until the end of his life, and what strange events he experienced during the war. At this point, I’m not sure if that book will ever be written, but just the knowledge that private Walter Swanson has a story to share, gives – in my opinion – a new dimension to the Field Researcher Universe, and, as an extension, to the book.
One of the best things about writing, in my experience, is to ask people to create a character for the books. This started 2,5 years ago when a friend of mine got the first book into her hands and fell head over heels in love with it. For a few weeks, we chatted about the different characters as soon as we got a chance, and, one day – mostly as a joke – I threw out the question if she wanted to create a character herself for the third book I was just about to start writing. That joke resulted in Scarlett and a new tradition. Now, I always ask people who read and love the books, if they want to create a character for the next book in line. This is something so fabulous that I get to experience; the chance to get to know new characters and their backgrounds and relationships and personalities. Every single one is a unique concept; three-dimensional and interesting, and I wish I could write a whole book about each and every one of them. Who knows? Maybe one day more stories crave to be heard and I won’t be able to resist the call.