Friday, June 21, 2013

Zoe Archer: Book Series

Book series.  They’re pretty much everywhere nowadays.  Almost every romance novel is part of a series.  Sometimes the series centers around a group of paranormal warriors.  Sometimes the central idea is a workplace, like a bakery.  Sometimes, the books are about a group of siblings.  But it’s nearly impossible now to find books that aren’t part of an ongoing series.

Standalone romances used to be the norm, but at some point, they became more and more rare.  How did this happen? 

I can’t cite specific statistics or point to a particular year and say “This is when series began to dominate romance,” but I do remember as far back as Jude Devereaux’s Montgomery novels, and Mary Jo Putney’s Fallen Angels series that they already had a foothold in the ‘80s and ‘90s.  but why did they become so popular?

We can be cynical and say that book series are just marketing ploys to get readers invested, and compel them to pick up the next novel.  Part of that is true—books in series seem more effective in prolonging an author’s readership. 

But that’s not the whole story.  Readers really do seem to enjoy books that feature characters who show up in later novels to have their own story.  They like the continuity, and how a world (even a historical world) can be developed over many books instead of just one.  And then there’s the anticipation of waiting for the next book, which can be a mixed blessing if you just can’t wait! 

SWEET REVENGE is the first book in my new Nemesis, Unlimited historical romance series.  The premise for the series is fairly straightforward: Nemesis is a secret organization that metes out justice for those who can’t get it for themselves.  And in Victorian England, where the rich and powerful rule, there are a lot of people left without recourse when they are wronged.  I have to admit that part of my inspiration for these books came from television series, including Burn Notice, Leverage, and the original A-Team (with George Peppard and Mr. T!).  So I was already thinking in terms of a group of people who worked for the cause of justice, and each of them would eventually get their own book.

Of course, because these are romance novels, each Nemesis operative finds love in the midst of the action and adventure.  Even two characters as dissimilar as Eva Warrick, a missionary’s daughter turned tutor turned Nemesis agent, and Jack Dalton, a street-raised bare knuckle brawler who’s also an escaped convict, can discover explosive attraction.  And if you just so happen to be intrigued by the other members of Nemesis, well…so much the better. *wink*

So, my question to you is this: do you prefer books in series, or do you miss the days of stand-alone novels?  One commenter will win a copy of SWEET REVENGE (US and Canada only).

Sweet Revenge: A Nemesis, Unlimited Novel
Book 1
The first in a breathtaking new series about the dangerous business of undercover revenge—and the undeniable pleasure of passion…
In the business of vengeance
When Jack Dalton escapes from Dunmoor Prison, he has only one thing in mind—finding the nobleman who murdered his sister and making him pay. But when he reaches the inn where the Lord Rockley is rumored to be staying, three well-dressed strangers are there to meet him instead. And the pretty blonde is aiming a pistol right at his head …
Desire is always dangerous
Joining Nemesis, Unlimited has made Eva Warrick much more than the well-mannered lady she appears to be—one who can shoot, fight, and outsmart any man in the quest to right the injustices so often suffered by the innocent. She’s not afraid of the burly escaped convict, but she is startled by their shared attraction. She and her partners need Jack’s help to get to Rockley, but Eva finds she wants Jack for scandalous reasons all her own…
Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, created the steampunk world of THE ETHER CHRONICLES together. Her new gritty Victorian romance series, NEMESIS, UNLIMITED, launches this Spring.  Zoë and Nico live in Los Angeles.

To buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Chapters Indigo, Books A Million

***Zoe's winner is Nancy Fields!  Please email with your mailing address!***


Nancy Fields said...

I love a series..I want to read about all the characters in a book! I'm such a bookslut! But it's great for the author because I will automatically by the next book! Great post. Tweeeted

Maria said...

I enjoy book series--and I'm almost finished with the fabulous and exciting Sweet Revenge--but don't like reading them out of order. I don't like reading about characters whose stories have already been told for some reason. I realize that most can be read standalone, but I don't like to. How about anyone else? Or is it just me?

Pat Cochran said...

I like both! Stand-alones can be picked up
and read at any time, but a series gives more
detail to stories and situations!

Pat C.

Julie said...

I love 'em both, but starting and continuing a series takes a bigger investment in terms of both time and money.

Jane said...

Congrats to Zoe on the new release. I'm a series fan, but sometimes with the never ending series I do long for a stand alone every once in a while.

Martha Lawson said...

I like them both, but I always find characters in stand-alone books that I want to read about! This new series looks awesome and I can't wait to start reading it. Thanks for the chance to win.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Sharon said...

I like both, but I do enjoy the continuity of a series. It's always sad when a story you love comes to an end...with a series, you get that continuation and you don't have to say goodbye to the characters you've grown to love quite as quickly :)

mod2011 said...

It depends on the type of books. For steampunk and paranormal I prefer series because it's like getting together with friends over a good bottle of wine!

Chrisbails said...

It depends on the book and the author. I much prefer series, but still love reading a good stand-alone. I always like to see where the story takes the main characters, but also love to see what happens with secondary characters.
christinebails at yahoo dot com