I’m a romance writer. I like writing about it and reading about it. The romance doesn’t have to consume the entire book, in fact, the ideal mix for me is about thirty to forty percent romance and the other percentage is mystery, suspense or thriller.
How do you keep romance in your series and keep it fresh? I like the newness of an affair, boy meets girl for the first time, learning about each other, the sexual tension, falling in love. Where is the freshest of discovery in a series? Unless your main character is a serial dater, they have to (or not) settle down with someone. In J.D. Robb’s In Death series, I enjoyed Roarke and Eve Dallas’s affair for the first three books. After that…
So that’s why I have mixed feelings about reading and writing a series.
Another problem with series:
How do you show character growth over three, four or thirty-five books? For the author, in my opinion, writing a series is a blessing and a curse. You know the main character, which makes it easier to write a story around him or her, but again, how do you keep it fresh? How do you keep the reader coming back with each book?
I interviewed my husband because he’s a big series reader. He loves John Sanford’s Prey novels and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books. He likes the characters because they’re flawed and unusual men.
Lucas Davenport in the Prey novels (of which I’ve read none) acquired his wealth designing computer games for the public and simulated police training modules for law enforcement. He only works to combat clinical depression. Sanford has recurrent characters in his books in addition to the main character. My hubby reads to find out what’s new in these characters’ lives.
Lee Child’s character, Jack Reacher (of which I’ve read two) is a homeless, ex-military, crime fighting character that travels the country with no luggage, little money and a toothbrush. He’s a white knight coming to the aid of the needy without the trappings of a boss and the bureaucracy of the police department.
Maybe it’s me. I just can’t see following one character over the life of twenty some odd books. The best series I’ve read are Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.
What about you the reader. What series do you love? Why?
For the authors out there who have written series, how do you keep those books interesting and keep that reader waiting on the edge of their seat for the next installment?
Connie is the author of The 5th Realm, a young adult paranormal novel. Coming soon is a cover reveal for her next novel, Lakota Dreaming.