What are you writing? A novel that is part of a series or stand-alone one?
I want to talk about series. There are 2-book series, 3-book, 4-book and more. Jan Karon has written eleven books in the Mitford series. But the average seems to be three or four books. Let's face it, it's kind of hard to leave beloved characters behind after all that time you spent with them. Especially if you have a town filled with characters.
When I planned out my Chapel Springs series, there were three books, which has become four. I write the first book with two characters having POVs. My main character is Claire. Her best friend, Patsy, had a POV. In the second book, Claire has a POV again, but another character in town has the other POV.
With two books out, I had a street team, fans (I love saying that word) who populate a community group on Facebook. When I began to work on the third book, I was in a quandary about whose POV I would write this one in. My fans were emphatic. Claire had to have a POV. She was the heart of Chapel Springs.
That was my determining factor … my readers. So the third book and now the fourth all have Claire with one of the POVs and another character from the town with one. And readers like series.
But not all series are like mine. More often than not, there is a unifier that goes through each book. Sometimes it's a town, sometimes a theme of lost love or families reunited, or perhaps a job.
Ronie Kendig has written several series: The Discarded Heroes - 4-book series addressing PTSD. A Breed Apart is about military working dogs. The Quiet Professionals is a 3-book series with active duty military. The Tox Files (new, not released yet--coming out in October/December) is a 3-book series that's sort of Indiana Jones meets Jason Bourne meets her Rapid-Fire Fiction (Ronie's brand).
Susan May Warren had several books in her Christiansen Family series. Each family member was the POV character in one of the books. She has a series about Montana smoke jumpers, mountain fire fighters. A number of years ago, she did a series with a noble legacy as the unifier.
Deborah Raney has five books in her Chicory Inn series, starting with the parents changing their home into a bed and breakfast. After the first, each of their grown children had their story told.
Melanie Dickerson writes fairy talks, or rather rewrites them. She bases her novels on a fairy tale character in her fairy tale romance series. Some Biblical historical authors have based their series on the women in the Bible.
So, if you're thinking about writing a series, you first have to decide how the books will tie together. You can have an ensemble cast in a town, like my Chapel Springs series. In this type, the town actually becomes a character.
You can choose a career, like fire fighters, or the police. Richard Mabry writes medical thrillers. They are all stand-alone novels … and yet, they could be considered a series, since all have the medical profession theme.
As long as you have something that ties the books together, you can write a series. If you've written a series, I'd love to hear about yours. What was the unifier? Join the conversation.
Home to Chapel Springs
A homeless author, a theatre ghost, and a heartbroken daughter ~ there’s trouble in Chapel Springs
There’s always someone new in Chapel Springs, either coming home or stirring up trouble. Bestselling author Carin Jardine’s latest book is a flop. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life. With one of her daughters in love with the wrong boy, a theatre rumored to be haunted, and Howie Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head in a hot election, Claire gets caught in the middle.