Consuela is the second book in the Palladia series. City of the Invaders is a prequel that introduces us to this futuristic world. The series has entry points at every book and each story is about completely different characters. Consuela has a whole new cast, so it can be read independently of Invaders.
This book began as a retelling of some of The Pickwick Papers. I turned the main leads into girls because it was easier for me to write about them that way. I couldn’t handle a cast full of guys. Pickwick isn’t as popular now, but it was a whopper bestseller in the 19th century and is constantly referenced in works by classic authors. And even if some of the situations, dialogue, and references have fallen out over the centuries, I thought some of the ideas couldn’t help but entertain someone again. I wanted readers to see why people cared about this story back then.
Turning well-meaning, bumbling Mr. Pickwick into a naïve old woman always getting into adventures she shouldn’t be a part of was extremely easy—as was turning the trio of Pickwick’s friends into young ladies. Making the legendary Sam Weller into a girl was more challenging and I often thought I’d stumbled with it, but as I read over Consuela’s snarky, pert conversations I realized it hadn’t turned out too badly.
Maybe ambling, lighthearted Pickwick turned into something a bit more unsafe in a futuristic setting, a world of more tension at times. But there really was a timelessness to this tale of a friendship between two people from such different backgrounds. Situations that divide us are just as much with us as in Dicken’s London, and as they surely will be in the future. And it always warms the heart to see those differences bridged by something so real and so human.
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Singing, dreaming, telling stories . . . I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I love to write more than I love to read, but nothing equals a book that draws me in to find its story. Most recently publication: A Year with the Harrisons, a contemporary comedy about three sisters and a family mystery. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.