The Taking

The Story Behind the Story: “The Taking”

All my life, I had loved reading fairy tales and myths.

As a child, some relative (likely one of my grandmothers but I can’t remember now) had bought me the original Grimm’s fairy tales, which I devoured. (I’m not sure if whoever bought it realized how dark some of them were, but quite honestly, it probably wouldn’t have mattered as some relative also gave me a copy of Stephen King’s The Shining, which I read way too early, at about nine year’s old.)

From there, I went on to read a variety of folklore from other countries, including Greek myths, and, of course, the old, original faery tales, including the story of the changeling.

I knew some day I would write my own version of the changeling, which is about how faeries steal a human baby and leave one of their own in the baby’s place, but it wasn’t until the end of 2019 when the story of The Taking came to me.

At the time, I had assumed it would be a standalone book. I had wanted to write another book in The Riverview Mysteries series, and my original intent was to make that series be a series of standalone books. I had also just finished The Third Nanny, which is also a standalone book in the Secrets of Redemption series, so it seemed like God was directing me to write a few standalones before I returned to writing in a series.

Ahem. Let’s just say all my assumptions were wrong.

I started writing The Taking in 2021 after I finished writing The Third Nanny. At first, everything seemed fine. The writing was humming along and I was confident I would be releasing it in October or November of 2021.

But, then a funny thing happened. I got what I thought was 75% done (although I now know it was closer to 60%) and I started having issues finishing it. There was something off with the book. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but it felt like I had taken a wrong turn at some point in the writing.

And, to make matters worse, I was feeling a lot of pressure to get it wrapped up quickly because Charlie was bugging me to write a Christmas book (along with needing to get A Grave Error written for an anthology I was part of in October).

So, at the end of July, I finally realized I just had to stop working on it. It was taking me way too long to finish it, and I couldn’t afford to keep going when I had these other hard deadlines I had to meet.

In retrospect, that was the best move I could make.

It wasn’t until March, 2022, that I went back to The Taking, after writing three books in the Charlie Kingsley Mysteries plus the prologue and a novella. By then, I not only was able to return with a fresh perspective, BUT I had used the time to mull about the story and the characters in the back of my head.

And, OF COURSE, I realized this was actually book 1 of The Riverview Mysteries, with The Stolen Twin and Mirror Image being moved to related content (similar to how The Third Nanny is related to the rest of the Secrets of Redemption series.)

But, that wasn’t the biggest revelation.

The biggest revelation was how deeply the backstory of The Taking impacted ALL of my Redemption stories, from the Secrets of Redemption to the Charlie Kingsley Mysteries.

I’ll have more to say about this in the coming months, as you’re already going to see those elements start to emerge in Murder Among Friends, which is Book 4 of the Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, but suffice to say, I’m pretty excited about how the Redemption/Riverview universe just opened up big time with lots of different directions to explore and characters to meet.

I also have more backstory posts and character family trees planned to help explain how everything fits together.

In the meantime, you can check out The Taking right here.

Every story has its own story. The behind-the-scenes story of how it got written. This is the story of The Taking. Click To Tweet

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2 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Story: “The Taking””

  1. Barbara Fiedler

    So, ahem, if I understand this correctly, they are all tied together in some way or the other? If that is correct, then where would you recommend that we start reading? I haven’t read any of the series yet! But, I would love to get started. I have read one of your books and loved your writing style.

    1. Michele Pariza Wacek

      Hi Barbara, great question. I would say starting with It Began With a Lie is the best book to start with. Once you go through the Secrets of Redemption series, then you can move to either the Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, which is the cozy series, or The Taking in The Riverview Mysteries.

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