Since returning to Winters in December, Tamsen Schultz has been very busy.
Not only has she released a book, “A Tainted Mind,” she’s also editing another, “These Sorrows We See,” set for release Oct. 15.
Starting with “A Tainted Mind,” which hit bookstores in May, Schultz’s work will be part of a series.
But here’s the thing: They don’t have to be read in order. In fact, there isn’t even a name for her series. And the books are even being released out of order.
“You don’t have to read one (book) to understand the others,” said Schultz, a three-time finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association writing contest. “It’s really fun to write.”
Before starting these intertwined books, Schultz wrote “The Puppeteer” (2012), which takes place in Portland, Maine. “The Puppeteer” hit No. 1 in the suspense-romance section on free Kindle days.
Her newest stories all take place in Windsor, a fictional town set in New York’s Hudson Valley. While in “A Tainted Mind,” Vivi and Ian are the main characters, they may show up as secondary characters in other books, such as “These Sorrows We See,” which was written before “A Tainted Mind.”
“I just felt that Vivi and Ian not only had a great story but were a good vehicle in which to introduce the town of Windsor,” Schultz said.
Schultz is OK with not being well known around the country. By day, she works at home as a contract lawyer for Microsoft and enjoys being able to switch gears and go from legal writing to working on her latest suspense-romance novel. Her legal writing, however, does help Schultz with the writing process for her novels.
“It helps me plot how I want a story to unfold,” she explained. “Not exactly by using legal knowledge, but the way of approaching a problem or situation that comes up while I’m writing.”
Schultz hopes that because of the interwoven storylines of her next few books, her readership will begin to increase.
“Writing in a genre is about building a readership. I really believe that these initial books are important for building one,” Schultz said. “The more books you have out the better your numbers are.”
Schultz noted that with genre writing, if someone picks up one book by an author and really likes it, they likely will buy all of that author’s books. She hopes readers who pick up book seven and like it will go back and read the six before.
With all her novels’ action taking place within the same universe, Schultz and her editor are constantly making sure the characters in her stories stay consistent.
“My editor will be reading and then say, ‘Didn’t she have dark brown eyes? This says she has light brown eyes.’ She’s really key in checking details,” Schultz said.