Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Writer Wednesday: To Series or Not To Series?


Like many writers I know, I tend to have more than one book "going" at a time, both in writing and in reading. I've currently got 3 books I'm reading - one on the Nook, one on my computer and one paperback. In terms of writing, I have one release coming up in May, working on writing the sequel to that, and have another manuscript out on submission. Threes seem to be my thing...

But getting back to my topic. Series and sequels.

Do you like to read books that come in a series? Where you get to know the characters better over multiple books, where there can be a larger arc and growth? (I know I've discussed my love of Charlaine Harris many times on this blog...)

Do you like to write books in a series? Investing yourself in your main character and then giving him or her new challenges to face? Or do you prefer stand-alone books, with a completed story arc and definite ending (HEA or otherwise)?

My kids - like most kids, I think - like series YA. My daughter couldn't get enough of Judy Moody when she was younger, and then Meg Cabot's Allie Finkle, then Heather Brewer's Vladimir Todd books and Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series. My oldest child also totally prefers to read books he knows have follow-on stories. He wants to invest himself in characters that he can read more of.

The paperback I'm reading is his, the third in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. The main character is a Druid, centuries old and living in modern day Arizona with his wise-cracking Irish Wolfhound, interacting with a whole slew of supernatural creatures and all manner of gods, demons and whatnot. 

Kind of like Charlaine Harris for guys.


Like I said, I'm working on a sequel to my mermaid book that's scheduled for a May release. I think series are a good thing for readers, especially for kids and teens. And I still love my main characters and want to take them to new places and new oceans, and give them new challenges to overcome. I don't have a defined story arc for a series, like J.K.Rowling and the number of years at Hogwarts (one book per each year of school, even though Harry didn't attend his final year...) But I know that my main character Shea has more that he needs to do.

Opinions? Do you read or write series books? Why or why not?