In writing the spinoff Socko novelettes, I’ve inevitably had to address issues that have either already happened – or will happen – in the main Flick Carter novels. Characters that appear in one series must be consistent if they appear in the other. And already I have introduced new characters in the Socko stories that have gone on to appear in the “main series”. Colonel Stewart (the king’s bodyguard), and Babs Clegg of the Oxford City Watch to name just two.

Socko is several years older than Flick, and naturally his story starts before hers does. But at some point they are going to coincide, if for no other reason than that he appears in all three novels. And that means keeping track, not only of where I am in Socko’s timeline, but also where Socko is in Flick’s (and where all the other characters are too.)

Continuity. Dontcha love it? Because now I’m writing stories that are in Socko’s past, and in Socko’s future. Sometimes on the same day!

But there are some unexpected little pleasures along the way. You see at the moment I’m writing a Socko story that’s already canon. We already know basically what happens because it was told in Wanted. We just didn’t see very much of it. (this is where Socko and Barnes get left in Faringdon, while Dixon and the squad go off chasing a fugitive.)

In telling the story from Socko’s perspective, I’ve discovered some interesting things about the rest of the squad, plus some very interesting goings on in Faringdon that may cast certain events in a whole different light. Plus I’ve finally figured out the compelling reason why we need to go back to Swindon (it’s all to do with something that’s beneath Oxford. or rather, isn’t beneath Oxford. Locals will probably have figured it out already ;-)) Oh and now there’s the Keeble Compound. I think we’re going to get quite worried about what goes on in there…

And all these things probably wouldn’t have happened without those little spinoffs.

Continuity. Totes awes.