All of you who like reading linked books, raise your hand.
All of you who like WRITING linked books, raise your hand.
I think there might be LOTS of raised hands at the moment.
As long as there are secondary characters, there will never be a dearth of story ideas for an author.
I've read many articles lately on the lure of the series, and I for one am glad. There are benefits and drawbacks, and to hedge my bets I love series that are all connected but that stand alone as far as reading. One of my favourite series ever is Nora's MacGregors. All of them could be read separately, but you really want to read them all. I've read lots of Nora - from suspense right down to the category stuff, and the MacGregors are still my favourites.
Of course sometimes series need to be read as a series and the downside to that is if you miss one, you might not buy the rest.
As a writer, I'm always happy when I get to write linked stories. I often feel at the end that while my hero and heroine have found a happy ending, there are always a few characters that are left. They are open questions. So when I wrote HIRED BY THE COWBOY, there was a character, Mike, that wouldn't let me go. He became the hero in the follow up, MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M.
Officially, these two books weren't a series, but they were linked by the ranch, Windover. And in doing Mike's backstory, another question was raised. Who was this woman, this cousin Maggie that took Mike in from foster care when she was still so very young herself. And where was she now?
That question led to Maggie's story in FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS. It's set in the same general area of south-central Alberta. Maggie has a teenage daughter and runs a bed and breakfast. And she likes things just the way they are. No muss, no fuss. No rocking the boat. She's been hurt one too many times. But when US Marshal Nate Griffith arrives on her doorstep, he challenges all of that. And in the end, he'll challenge everything she thinks she knows.
FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS is out this month, and in my mind it was the end of the "Windover" books. But then I had an e-mail the other day asking if there was going to be a sequel. And of course my mind kept spinning around one other character - Grant Simms, the RCMP officer that worked with Nate. Who is Grant? Why is he where he is? And the lure continues....
Readers AND authors...what do you like or dislike about series?