The Dahveed series began as three books, one on Dahveed and Michal, one on Dahveed and Abigail, and one on Dahveed and Bathsheba. That plan lasted until the summer I wrote that first book, was unable to stop writing even though it was October, and finally realized that I was writing a second book, not finishing up the first one! Naturally, the book on Dahveed and Abigail split itself in two also, and I just knew the third one would do the same! So I accepted the inevitable and made it a six-book series.
Research also took longer than I anticipated. I knew I was approaching what I call "critical mass" in research while working on Ruth, and I reached that very quickly with Dahveed. Critical mass is the point at which the research net is wide enough to "explode" and queries no longer garner five or six sources, but two or three hundred. For instance, my article query on Dahveed returned over 800 articles. I trimmed that down by limiting the results to those written in English. Now I had 500 articles. I limited that further by date, and then on-line availability. I still had over 230 entries which I had to peruse and analyze. I winnowed the amount down to over 80 articles, which I actually read, took notes on, and used for my books. Eventually, however, I simply had to call a halt to the research, declare that I had read enough, and write the books!
The other piece of research which delayed writing the series was learning Biblical Hebrew. As I had discovered when I research the book on Ruth, I was missing a great deal by not being able to read the original language. I sat in on a Hebrew class at the Seminary at Andrews University for two semesters and learned enough to begin understanding/translating on my own. With that start, I have continued to collect grammar books and other sources to aid my efforts. It has made a major difference in my understanding of the times, the culture, and the thought patterns of the biblical characters, and I have tried to reflect that in the story I write. (It has also made reading the Old Testament a lot of fun. Did you know that Dahveed did not write about the "paths" of righteousness in Psalm 23? He wrote about the "ruts" of righteousness! It doesn't sound as well in English, but it makes such a wonderful word picture! And "goodness and mercy" do not follow you. They chase/persecute you!)
Another fun thing about writing this series has been watching the characters evolve. Dahveed's brother, Abinadab, started out in my mind as very standoffish and uncaring about Dahveed. By the time I was done with book one, that had changed to the point that Abinadab was the first of Dahveed's brothers to acknowledge him as anointed by Yahweh.
I've been asked if the characters in my books come alive for me. Let me answer that this way. By the time I had written half of book two, I knew that Abner was unusually loyal to King Shaul. I didn't know why. I also knew that Shaul's son, Malchi, knew why Abner was so loyal, but he wasn't talking! I expected that sooner or later, Malchi would let me in on the secret, but it wasn't until nearly the end of book four that I learned what I needed to know, and then it was Shaul himself who told me! Yes, the characters become very real to me. And even though I'm the author, they don't always do what I want them to!
In any case, I hope you enjoy the story of Dahveed.