The difficulty in writing a family saga is keeping everything straight. Dates and genetic traits become vitally important. This is especially true for those super-analytical readers who are turned off by one wrong detail. The von Strassenberg Saga spans more than 200 years. And then add to the tangled troubles of family trees the issue of historical accuracy. When you have characters who were once real people (such as the young lady featured here), you have a greater responsibility to keep your facts straight.
I have so much more respect for Diana Gabaldon now and would love to be able to buy just a smidgen of her scientific, organized mind. Fortunately, it does help that history was my original major. So I have some idea of how to conduct historical research and apply it....The scientific aspect may present more trouble but there I am blessed to have a brother who studied genetics and an aunt who's a nurse. As a writer, it helps to know people, especially people who don't mind being bombarded with technical questions! So now that we are waiting for the paperback proof, I have begun carefully plotting out book 2. Because once you put it in one book you have to hold to it throughout the rest of the series.
After next week there will be no more avoiding it though. My internship will be over and there will be no more excuses. Work on Book 2 will have to begin in earnest. For now I am working on a highly detailed family tree on Ancestry.com. It helps me organize my thoughts and strengthen the plot.