The world of a story

Anne here. Regencyladies

Lately I've been thinking about the world of a story — I don't just mean the setting or the geographical location, but the world in which the story takes place, the world created by an author. Each author, even if they set their story in the London of Regency-era England, will create a slightly different world. Georgette Heyer's Regency-era London is different from Stephanie Laurens' or Julia Quinn's, or for that matter any of the wenches. We might use the same historical events, the same streets and buildings, some of the same activities and pastimes but still, each 'world' carries the unique and often distinctive stamp of its author.

It's seen as commercially desirable to write books in series. I know when I sold my first book to Berkley, I was shocked when my editor asked which sister was next. The editor at my previous house disliked series, and actively discouraged them, so I hadn't expected it at all. But I found I enjoyed coming up with stories for each of that first heroine's younger sisters. 

It's part of the appeal of a series — that each new story takes place in the same familiar world, often with some continuing beloved or familiar characters, and where events that occurred in previous stories have an effect that plays out in the new story or stories.

GreendressGirlSome authors are strict about the number of books in any series they write — sticking to trilogies or quartets. Others can write numerous books in a series and not run out of steam. Readers love going back to that world and love revisiting those characters and learning what's happened to them; it's a bit like catching up with the news of distant but much-loved family members, or the people of an old home town you left. Others run out of steam, or rather the series seems to.

I was at a writing festival in another state last year where one of the keynote speakers was an internationally bestselling crime writer famous for his crime series with one central main character. At the author signing the line of people waiting for his signature on a book stretched out of the door. Clearly it was a very popular series.

A few months after that event, I was cleaning out a pile of ancient writing magazines and naturally I had to flip through each one before I tossed it, and there was a picture of this author, looking much younger, being interviewed about his first book. In the interview he said he had no plans to write another book with the same main character, because what would be the point? There was no challenge in that. (I'm paraphrasing from memory.) I think he's up to book #13 or #14 in that series starring that same main character. 

But I'm sure it's not just commercial imperative and readers enthusiasm that makes writers continue to dwell in their worlds they created. I think authors fall in love with their worlds just as much as readers do. But what happens when a series comes to an end?

I was at a book launch last night where the author was launching the much anticipated third and final book in a trilogy. She was very clear that there would not be a fourth book in that series — but she also talked about the grief she felt when she sent off that final book to her editor. She wept —really wept for half an hour afterward — and she's not normally a weeper. It was real grief.  2:2:16Pacat1

Having dived into the world she created, I'm very sure that her readers will put her under pressure to keep writing stories in that same imaginary world. It will be interesting to see whether she does or not. She said at the event that she had already written a few short stories set in that world and would publish them later in the year. 

I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my "Chance Sisters" series. I didn't weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series. It's already contracted and the idea for it had been floating around at the back of my mind for ages. It's an exciting process once it gets started, but in the meantime, snatches of conversation from the previous characters keep popping into my mind.  Clearly I haven't quite left that world yet.

So what about you — what are some of your favorite "story worlds" and series? Any books you're still waiting for? (I know I wanted Elizabeth Lowell to write Eric's story — from her Untamed, Untouched and Forbidden trilogy. And yes, I know she wrote Eric's descendant's story, but it's not the same.) 

(Note: It seems that in the comment stream none of my apostrophes have come through in my replies to comments. I'm slowly going through each comment on line and adding them back in, but wanted to assure everyone that I DO normally use apostrophes.)

235 thoughts on “The world of a story”

  1. There are very few people who can pull off a series with no end. I think authors should look at it like at it like a television show: a gazillion viewers in the first couple of seasons, and about two viewers by season ten. End it while it’s still fresh.
    I think generally three to six books is a decent length. When a series hits the point where we’re only revisiting past heroines to gush over their ninety-six beautiful babies (ugh!), it’s time for the series to end.
    And THANK YOU for saying “dived” (didn’t that sound condescending?!). If I read one more Regency/Victorian romance where someone says “dove” (that’s a bird – thanks US editors!!) I’ll scream…

    Reply
  2. There are very few people who can pull off a series with no end. I think authors should look at it like at it like a television show: a gazillion viewers in the first couple of seasons, and about two viewers by season ten. End it while it’s still fresh.
    I think generally three to six books is a decent length. When a series hits the point where we’re only revisiting past heroines to gush over their ninety-six beautiful babies (ugh!), it’s time for the series to end.
    And THANK YOU for saying “dived” (didn’t that sound condescending?!). If I read one more Regency/Victorian romance where someone says “dove” (that’s a bird – thanks US editors!!) I’ll scream…

    Reply
  3. There are very few people who can pull off a series with no end. I think authors should look at it like at it like a television show: a gazillion viewers in the first couple of seasons, and about two viewers by season ten. End it while it’s still fresh.
    I think generally three to six books is a decent length. When a series hits the point where we’re only revisiting past heroines to gush over their ninety-six beautiful babies (ugh!), it’s time for the series to end.
    And THANK YOU for saying “dived” (didn’t that sound condescending?!). If I read one more Regency/Victorian romance where someone says “dove” (that’s a bird – thanks US editors!!) I’ll scream…

    Reply
  4. There are very few people who can pull off a series with no end. I think authors should look at it like at it like a television show: a gazillion viewers in the first couple of seasons, and about two viewers by season ten. End it while it’s still fresh.
    I think generally three to six books is a decent length. When a series hits the point where we’re only revisiting past heroines to gush over their ninety-six beautiful babies (ugh!), it’s time for the series to end.
    And THANK YOU for saying “dived” (didn’t that sound condescending?!). If I read one more Regency/Victorian romance where someone says “dove” (that’s a bird – thanks US editors!!) I’ll scream…

    Reply
  5. There are very few people who can pull off a series with no end. I think authors should look at it like at it like a television show: a gazillion viewers in the first couple of seasons, and about two viewers by season ten. End it while it’s still fresh.
    I think generally three to six books is a decent length. When a series hits the point where we’re only revisiting past heroines to gush over their ninety-six beautiful babies (ugh!), it’s time for the series to end.
    And THANK YOU for saying “dived” (didn’t that sound condescending?!). If I read one more Regency/Victorian romance where someone says “dove” (that’s a bird – thanks US editors!!) I’ll scream…

    Reply
  6. “I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my “Chance Sisters” series. I didn’t weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series.”
    I sort of know, because I’m not ready for it to end. 🙂
    (Also, I wish you had an edit function here. My errors above are making me blush!)

    Reply
  7. “I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my “Chance Sisters” series. I didn’t weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series.”
    I sort of know, because I’m not ready for it to end. 🙂
    (Also, I wish you had an edit function here. My errors above are making me blush!)

    Reply
  8. “I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my “Chance Sisters” series. I didn’t weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series.”
    I sort of know, because I’m not ready for it to end. 🙂
    (Also, I wish you had an edit function here. My errors above are making me blush!)

    Reply
  9. “I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my “Chance Sisters” series. I didn’t weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series.”
    I sort of know, because I’m not ready for it to end. 🙂
    (Also, I wish you had an edit function here. My errors above are making me blush!)

    Reply
  10. “I know how she feels. I recently finished the last book in my “Chance Sisters” series. I didn’t weep, but I did feel bereft for quite a while and it took me ages to write up the proposal for my next series.”
    I sort of know, because I’m not ready for it to end. 🙂
    (Also, I wish you had an edit function here. My errors above are making me blush!)

    Reply
  11. Interesting post, Anne.
    Mysteries and romances are very different. There are oodles of long mystery series, because each book is a new story. A romance series has a new couple every time. (Leaving aside the episodic sort.)
    The peril to be avoided is always the crowd of past characters cluttering up the place, but as Sonya says, there are readers and readers. Some readers absolutely love that, but many others weary of it, and new readers mostly find it irritating.
    I’ve gone with “worlds.” I have a Malloren World and a Rogues World, because as you say I’ve written a bunch of books in each fictional world, and it’s developed over time. I don’t feel anymore need to bring in past characters than to have my current hero and heroine always go to Almack’s. Their story makes the rules.
    I’m not tempted to create any new mini series, and I’m pretty well regarding each new book as a stand alone. In the end, the market will judge!
    Jo

    Reply
  12. Interesting post, Anne.
    Mysteries and romances are very different. There are oodles of long mystery series, because each book is a new story. A romance series has a new couple every time. (Leaving aside the episodic sort.)
    The peril to be avoided is always the crowd of past characters cluttering up the place, but as Sonya says, there are readers and readers. Some readers absolutely love that, but many others weary of it, and new readers mostly find it irritating.
    I’ve gone with “worlds.” I have a Malloren World and a Rogues World, because as you say I’ve written a bunch of books in each fictional world, and it’s developed over time. I don’t feel anymore need to bring in past characters than to have my current hero and heroine always go to Almack’s. Their story makes the rules.
    I’m not tempted to create any new mini series, and I’m pretty well regarding each new book as a stand alone. In the end, the market will judge!
    Jo

    Reply
  13. Interesting post, Anne.
    Mysteries and romances are very different. There are oodles of long mystery series, because each book is a new story. A romance series has a new couple every time. (Leaving aside the episodic sort.)
    The peril to be avoided is always the crowd of past characters cluttering up the place, but as Sonya says, there are readers and readers. Some readers absolutely love that, but many others weary of it, and new readers mostly find it irritating.
    I’ve gone with “worlds.” I have a Malloren World and a Rogues World, because as you say I’ve written a bunch of books in each fictional world, and it’s developed over time. I don’t feel anymore need to bring in past characters than to have my current hero and heroine always go to Almack’s. Their story makes the rules.
    I’m not tempted to create any new mini series, and I’m pretty well regarding each new book as a stand alone. In the end, the market will judge!
    Jo

    Reply
  14. Interesting post, Anne.
    Mysteries and romances are very different. There are oodles of long mystery series, because each book is a new story. A romance series has a new couple every time. (Leaving aside the episodic sort.)
    The peril to be avoided is always the crowd of past characters cluttering up the place, but as Sonya says, there are readers and readers. Some readers absolutely love that, but many others weary of it, and new readers mostly find it irritating.
    I’ve gone with “worlds.” I have a Malloren World and a Rogues World, because as you say I’ve written a bunch of books in each fictional world, and it’s developed over time. I don’t feel anymore need to bring in past characters than to have my current hero and heroine always go to Almack’s. Their story makes the rules.
    I’m not tempted to create any new mini series, and I’m pretty well regarding each new book as a stand alone. In the end, the market will judge!
    Jo

    Reply
  15. Interesting post, Anne.
    Mysteries and romances are very different. There are oodles of long mystery series, because each book is a new story. A romance series has a new couple every time. (Leaving aside the episodic sort.)
    The peril to be avoided is always the crowd of past characters cluttering up the place, but as Sonya says, there are readers and readers. Some readers absolutely love that, but many others weary of it, and new readers mostly find it irritating.
    I’ve gone with “worlds.” I have a Malloren World and a Rogues World, because as you say I’ve written a bunch of books in each fictional world, and it’s developed over time. I don’t feel anymore need to bring in past characters than to have my current hero and heroine always go to Almack’s. Their story makes the rules.
    I’m not tempted to create any new mini series, and I’m pretty well regarding each new book as a stand alone. In the end, the market will judge!
    Jo

    Reply
  16. I like series, as long as they don’t run on too long. I think they do run out of steam after a while. If you know the author and the series, it is nice to run into characters from previous books, but if you are not familiar it can be pretty confusing.
    When I first retired and started reading again, I found a book called SIMPLY LOVE by Mary Balogh at the library. I loved it from the get-go but I didn’t realize it was a book from the middle of a series (Simply Series) which had a ton of characters from a previous series (Slightly Series)and I can remember thinking that I had never read a book that had so many active characters in it smile). I had to re-read several passages because it was so confusing to me.
    But I loved the story and she has since become one of my all time favorites. Once I realized I was reading a series, I started at the beginning and was much less confused. Once you know the characters, you enjoy running into them in other books.

    Reply
  17. I like series, as long as they don’t run on too long. I think they do run out of steam after a while. If you know the author and the series, it is nice to run into characters from previous books, but if you are not familiar it can be pretty confusing.
    When I first retired and started reading again, I found a book called SIMPLY LOVE by Mary Balogh at the library. I loved it from the get-go but I didn’t realize it was a book from the middle of a series (Simply Series) which had a ton of characters from a previous series (Slightly Series)and I can remember thinking that I had never read a book that had so many active characters in it smile). I had to re-read several passages because it was so confusing to me.
    But I loved the story and she has since become one of my all time favorites. Once I realized I was reading a series, I started at the beginning and was much less confused. Once you know the characters, you enjoy running into them in other books.

    Reply
  18. I like series, as long as they don’t run on too long. I think they do run out of steam after a while. If you know the author and the series, it is nice to run into characters from previous books, but if you are not familiar it can be pretty confusing.
    When I first retired and started reading again, I found a book called SIMPLY LOVE by Mary Balogh at the library. I loved it from the get-go but I didn’t realize it was a book from the middle of a series (Simply Series) which had a ton of characters from a previous series (Slightly Series)and I can remember thinking that I had never read a book that had so many active characters in it smile). I had to re-read several passages because it was so confusing to me.
    But I loved the story and she has since become one of my all time favorites. Once I realized I was reading a series, I started at the beginning and was much less confused. Once you know the characters, you enjoy running into them in other books.

    Reply
  19. I like series, as long as they don’t run on too long. I think they do run out of steam after a while. If you know the author and the series, it is nice to run into characters from previous books, but if you are not familiar it can be pretty confusing.
    When I first retired and started reading again, I found a book called SIMPLY LOVE by Mary Balogh at the library. I loved it from the get-go but I didn’t realize it was a book from the middle of a series (Simply Series) which had a ton of characters from a previous series (Slightly Series)and I can remember thinking that I had never read a book that had so many active characters in it smile). I had to re-read several passages because it was so confusing to me.
    But I loved the story and she has since become one of my all time favorites. Once I realized I was reading a series, I started at the beginning and was much less confused. Once you know the characters, you enjoy running into them in other books.

    Reply
  20. I like series, as long as they don’t run on too long. I think they do run out of steam after a while. If you know the author and the series, it is nice to run into characters from previous books, but if you are not familiar it can be pretty confusing.
    When I first retired and started reading again, I found a book called SIMPLY LOVE by Mary Balogh at the library. I loved it from the get-go but I didn’t realize it was a book from the middle of a series (Simply Series) which had a ton of characters from a previous series (Slightly Series)and I can remember thinking that I had never read a book that had so many active characters in it smile). I had to re-read several passages because it was so confusing to me.
    But I loved the story and she has since become one of my all time favorites. Once I realized I was reading a series, I started at the beginning and was much less confused. Once you know the characters, you enjoy running into them in other books.

    Reply
  21. Very nice meditations, Anne. I’m a natural series writer–when I started my second Regency, I immediately thought that it would be a fine thing if the hero’s best friend was the hero from my first book. And so it went, though I didn’t start doing conscious series until later.
    The danger of staleness of superfluous characters is very real, though. My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all. IT’s a matter of what feels right.

    Reply
  22. Very nice meditations, Anne. I’m a natural series writer–when I started my second Regency, I immediately thought that it would be a fine thing if the hero’s best friend was the hero from my first book. And so it went, though I didn’t start doing conscious series until later.
    The danger of staleness of superfluous characters is very real, though. My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all. IT’s a matter of what feels right.

    Reply
  23. Very nice meditations, Anne. I’m a natural series writer–when I started my second Regency, I immediately thought that it would be a fine thing if the hero’s best friend was the hero from my first book. And so it went, though I didn’t start doing conscious series until later.
    The danger of staleness of superfluous characters is very real, though. My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all. IT’s a matter of what feels right.

    Reply
  24. Very nice meditations, Anne. I’m a natural series writer–when I started my second Regency, I immediately thought that it would be a fine thing if the hero’s best friend was the hero from my first book. And so it went, though I didn’t start doing conscious series until later.
    The danger of staleness of superfluous characters is very real, though. My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all. IT’s a matter of what feels right.

    Reply
  25. Very nice meditations, Anne. I’m a natural series writer–when I started my second Regency, I immediately thought that it would be a fine thing if the hero’s best friend was the hero from my first book. And so it went, though I didn’t start doing conscious series until later.
    The danger of staleness of superfluous characters is very real, though. My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all. IT’s a matter of what feels right.

    Reply
  26. Nice post, Anne. I love reading (and re-reading) my favorite series, but I think there’s a danger of having prior characters show up and try to take over the story. They shouldn’t return unless they’re needed by the hero or heroine, and there’s no need to rehash their entire story from a previous book. A little information goes a long way.
    At the moment, I’m writing the last of a five-book series, and I’m feeling a little sad about leaving that world. In some ways it’s like saying good-bye to very old and dearly-loved friends. But there’s always a new series idea, and there are always new friends to be made, and to that end, I’ve begun planning my next series. My first series is still running though, and I’m currently working on book 7!

    Reply
  27. Nice post, Anne. I love reading (and re-reading) my favorite series, but I think there’s a danger of having prior characters show up and try to take over the story. They shouldn’t return unless they’re needed by the hero or heroine, and there’s no need to rehash their entire story from a previous book. A little information goes a long way.
    At the moment, I’m writing the last of a five-book series, and I’m feeling a little sad about leaving that world. In some ways it’s like saying good-bye to very old and dearly-loved friends. But there’s always a new series idea, and there are always new friends to be made, and to that end, I’ve begun planning my next series. My first series is still running though, and I’m currently working on book 7!

    Reply
  28. Nice post, Anne. I love reading (and re-reading) my favorite series, but I think there’s a danger of having prior characters show up and try to take over the story. They shouldn’t return unless they’re needed by the hero or heroine, and there’s no need to rehash their entire story from a previous book. A little information goes a long way.
    At the moment, I’m writing the last of a five-book series, and I’m feeling a little sad about leaving that world. In some ways it’s like saying good-bye to very old and dearly-loved friends. But there’s always a new series idea, and there are always new friends to be made, and to that end, I’ve begun planning my next series. My first series is still running though, and I’m currently working on book 7!

    Reply
  29. Nice post, Anne. I love reading (and re-reading) my favorite series, but I think there’s a danger of having prior characters show up and try to take over the story. They shouldn’t return unless they’re needed by the hero or heroine, and there’s no need to rehash their entire story from a previous book. A little information goes a long way.
    At the moment, I’m writing the last of a five-book series, and I’m feeling a little sad about leaving that world. In some ways it’s like saying good-bye to very old and dearly-loved friends. But there’s always a new series idea, and there are always new friends to be made, and to that end, I’ve begun planning my next series. My first series is still running though, and I’m currently working on book 7!

    Reply
  30. Nice post, Anne. I love reading (and re-reading) my favorite series, but I think there’s a danger of having prior characters show up and try to take over the story. They shouldn’t return unless they’re needed by the hero or heroine, and there’s no need to rehash their entire story from a previous book. A little information goes a long way.
    At the moment, I’m writing the last of a five-book series, and I’m feeling a little sad about leaving that world. In some ways it’s like saying good-bye to very old and dearly-loved friends. But there’s always a new series idea, and there are always new friends to be made, and to that end, I’ve begun planning my next series. My first series is still running though, and I’m currently working on book 7!

    Reply
  31. I so much loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family series. When it ended with the mother’s story, I felt incredibly sad.
    When she talks about her children having their children and feeling she would most likely not have any more grandchildren, the reader knows she is finished and only wants to join her husband who died so young leaving her carrying their eighth child.
    The character’s depth of grief and longing to be with her husband again, was so beautifully and subtly written. You just knew her earth life was coming to an end, but she is clear that, even without her beloved husband, it was still worthwhile continuing to live and enjoy her family.

    Reply
  32. I so much loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family series. When it ended with the mother’s story, I felt incredibly sad.
    When she talks about her children having their children and feeling she would most likely not have any more grandchildren, the reader knows she is finished and only wants to join her husband who died so young leaving her carrying their eighth child.
    The character’s depth of grief and longing to be with her husband again, was so beautifully and subtly written. You just knew her earth life was coming to an end, but she is clear that, even without her beloved husband, it was still worthwhile continuing to live and enjoy her family.

    Reply
  33. I so much loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family series. When it ended with the mother’s story, I felt incredibly sad.
    When she talks about her children having their children and feeling she would most likely not have any more grandchildren, the reader knows she is finished and only wants to join her husband who died so young leaving her carrying their eighth child.
    The character’s depth of grief and longing to be with her husband again, was so beautifully and subtly written. You just knew her earth life was coming to an end, but she is clear that, even without her beloved husband, it was still worthwhile continuing to live and enjoy her family.

    Reply
  34. I so much loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family series. When it ended with the mother’s story, I felt incredibly sad.
    When she talks about her children having their children and feeling she would most likely not have any more grandchildren, the reader knows she is finished and only wants to join her husband who died so young leaving her carrying their eighth child.
    The character’s depth of grief and longing to be with her husband again, was so beautifully and subtly written. You just knew her earth life was coming to an end, but she is clear that, even without her beloved husband, it was still worthwhile continuing to live and enjoy her family.

    Reply
  35. I so much loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family series. When it ended with the mother’s story, I felt incredibly sad.
    When she talks about her children having their children and feeling she would most likely not have any more grandchildren, the reader knows she is finished and only wants to join her husband who died so young leaving her carrying their eighth child.
    The character’s depth of grief and longing to be with her husband again, was so beautifully and subtly written. You just knew her earth life was coming to an end, but she is clear that, even without her beloved husband, it was still worthwhile continuing to live and enjoy her family.

    Reply
  36. FIRST, I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow). When the author is engaged in that world and those people, the engagement shines through; when the author is following outside requirements, the writing begins to lack freshness.
    I have had some authors go off in a direction I didn’t wish to follow. But the author was writing what the author wanted. The new direction may have left me behind but many others came to follow the new path. My private loss, but a great gain to both the author and the other readers.
    I love series; I also love stand-alones.
    AS I frequently mention here, I read Science Fiction as frequently as I read Romance. In Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world created by the author is frequently created from the ground up; new physics, new social rules, new bodily structures. When an author has invested that much creation, it seems wasteful not to follow through with more stories. Such differences are not as obvious in the historical novels, but as you pointed out, the effort has still been made to create a new world, and it seems wasteful to now follow along.

    Reply
  37. FIRST, I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow). When the author is engaged in that world and those people, the engagement shines through; when the author is following outside requirements, the writing begins to lack freshness.
    I have had some authors go off in a direction I didn’t wish to follow. But the author was writing what the author wanted. The new direction may have left me behind but many others came to follow the new path. My private loss, but a great gain to both the author and the other readers.
    I love series; I also love stand-alones.
    AS I frequently mention here, I read Science Fiction as frequently as I read Romance. In Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world created by the author is frequently created from the ground up; new physics, new social rules, new bodily structures. When an author has invested that much creation, it seems wasteful not to follow through with more stories. Such differences are not as obvious in the historical novels, but as you pointed out, the effort has still been made to create a new world, and it seems wasteful to now follow along.

    Reply
  38. FIRST, I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow). When the author is engaged in that world and those people, the engagement shines through; when the author is following outside requirements, the writing begins to lack freshness.
    I have had some authors go off in a direction I didn’t wish to follow. But the author was writing what the author wanted. The new direction may have left me behind but many others came to follow the new path. My private loss, but a great gain to both the author and the other readers.
    I love series; I also love stand-alones.
    AS I frequently mention here, I read Science Fiction as frequently as I read Romance. In Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world created by the author is frequently created from the ground up; new physics, new social rules, new bodily structures. When an author has invested that much creation, it seems wasteful not to follow through with more stories. Such differences are not as obvious in the historical novels, but as you pointed out, the effort has still been made to create a new world, and it seems wasteful to now follow along.

    Reply
  39. FIRST, I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow). When the author is engaged in that world and those people, the engagement shines through; when the author is following outside requirements, the writing begins to lack freshness.
    I have had some authors go off in a direction I didn’t wish to follow. But the author was writing what the author wanted. The new direction may have left me behind but many others came to follow the new path. My private loss, but a great gain to both the author and the other readers.
    I love series; I also love stand-alones.
    AS I frequently mention here, I read Science Fiction as frequently as I read Romance. In Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world created by the author is frequently created from the ground up; new physics, new social rules, new bodily structures. When an author has invested that much creation, it seems wasteful not to follow through with more stories. Such differences are not as obvious in the historical novels, but as you pointed out, the effort has still been made to create a new world, and it seems wasteful to now follow along.

    Reply
  40. FIRST, I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow). When the author is engaged in that world and those people, the engagement shines through; when the author is following outside requirements, the writing begins to lack freshness.
    I have had some authors go off in a direction I didn’t wish to follow. But the author was writing what the author wanted. The new direction may have left me behind but many others came to follow the new path. My private loss, but a great gain to both the author and the other readers.
    I love series; I also love stand-alones.
    AS I frequently mention here, I read Science Fiction as frequently as I read Romance. In Science Fiction and Fantasy, the world created by the author is frequently created from the ground up; new physics, new social rules, new bodily structures. When an author has invested that much creation, it seems wasteful not to follow through with more stories. Such differences are not as obvious in the historical novels, but as you pointed out, the effort has still been made to create a new world, and it seems wasteful to now follow along.

    Reply
  41. I’m writing book two of a planned trilogy, “The Harlot’s Garden” was number one, and I find the characters have taken over my life. I hope I know when It’s time to stop!
    I haven’t seen your blog before, love it though.

    Reply
  42. I’m writing book two of a planned trilogy, “The Harlot’s Garden” was number one, and I find the characters have taken over my life. I hope I know when It’s time to stop!
    I haven’t seen your blog before, love it though.

    Reply
  43. I’m writing book two of a planned trilogy, “The Harlot’s Garden” was number one, and I find the characters have taken over my life. I hope I know when It’s time to stop!
    I haven’t seen your blog before, love it though.

    Reply
  44. I’m writing book two of a planned trilogy, “The Harlot’s Garden” was number one, and I find the characters have taken over my life. I hope I know when It’s time to stop!
    I haven’t seen your blog before, love it though.

    Reply
  45. I’m writing book two of a planned trilogy, “The Harlot’s Garden” was number one, and I find the characters have taken over my life. I hope I know when It’s time to stop!
    I haven’t seen your blog before, love it though.

    Reply
  46. I love series because of the characters, one becomes attached. I also read Sci-Fi and agree that creating a world then not telling more stories related to that world is a waste. The sprawling multigenerational historicals are also good. It’s interesting to see how the character flaws or choices affect the younger generations. One series I read but am ready to have end is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The next (and last, I hope) is #9. The problem is they are such large books and they come along about every 3-4 years. So it’s difficult to remember all the events and characters of previous books unless you reread.

    Reply
  47. I love series because of the characters, one becomes attached. I also read Sci-Fi and agree that creating a world then not telling more stories related to that world is a waste. The sprawling multigenerational historicals are also good. It’s interesting to see how the character flaws or choices affect the younger generations. One series I read but am ready to have end is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The next (and last, I hope) is #9. The problem is they are such large books and they come along about every 3-4 years. So it’s difficult to remember all the events and characters of previous books unless you reread.

    Reply
  48. I love series because of the characters, one becomes attached. I also read Sci-Fi and agree that creating a world then not telling more stories related to that world is a waste. The sprawling multigenerational historicals are also good. It’s interesting to see how the character flaws or choices affect the younger generations. One series I read but am ready to have end is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The next (and last, I hope) is #9. The problem is they are such large books and they come along about every 3-4 years. So it’s difficult to remember all the events and characters of previous books unless you reread.

    Reply
  49. I love series because of the characters, one becomes attached. I also read Sci-Fi and agree that creating a world then not telling more stories related to that world is a waste. The sprawling multigenerational historicals are also good. It’s interesting to see how the character flaws or choices affect the younger generations. One series I read but am ready to have end is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The next (and last, I hope) is #9. The problem is they are such large books and they come along about every 3-4 years. So it’s difficult to remember all the events and characters of previous books unless you reread.

    Reply
  50. I love series because of the characters, one becomes attached. I also read Sci-Fi and agree that creating a world then not telling more stories related to that world is a waste. The sprawling multigenerational historicals are also good. It’s interesting to see how the character flaws or choices affect the younger generations. One series I read but am ready to have end is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The next (and last, I hope) is #9. The problem is they are such large books and they come along about every 3-4 years. So it’s difficult to remember all the events and characters of previous books unless you reread.

    Reply
  51. I love your series, Mary Jo for that reason. They are stand alone stories and series. If I came in in the middle, ( as I have many times! ) I can still enjoy the story on its own merit. And then enjoy the visitors from the previous books.
    But I personally love series and the worlds the author’s create.
    For worlds I’ve loved diving into they list, Pern, The Harperhall especially; Hogwarts; your Guardian’s world and the Fallen Angels and Lost Lord’s worlds; Nora’s Ireland; Jean Auel’s world; Jayne Anne’s many worlds that overlap nicely across all 3 of her incarnations; and many more that I’m too tired to think of right now. I look at series as a really long book with different “chapters”. I hate to finish the last book in a series and feel a physical ache when I do. So I rejoice when I find out a beloved author has found snother story (chapter) in their world to share.

    Reply
  52. I love your series, Mary Jo for that reason. They are stand alone stories and series. If I came in in the middle, ( as I have many times! ) I can still enjoy the story on its own merit. And then enjoy the visitors from the previous books.
    But I personally love series and the worlds the author’s create.
    For worlds I’ve loved diving into they list, Pern, The Harperhall especially; Hogwarts; your Guardian’s world and the Fallen Angels and Lost Lord’s worlds; Nora’s Ireland; Jean Auel’s world; Jayne Anne’s many worlds that overlap nicely across all 3 of her incarnations; and many more that I’m too tired to think of right now. I look at series as a really long book with different “chapters”. I hate to finish the last book in a series and feel a physical ache when I do. So I rejoice when I find out a beloved author has found snother story (chapter) in their world to share.

    Reply
  53. I love your series, Mary Jo for that reason. They are stand alone stories and series. If I came in in the middle, ( as I have many times! ) I can still enjoy the story on its own merit. And then enjoy the visitors from the previous books.
    But I personally love series and the worlds the author’s create.
    For worlds I’ve loved diving into they list, Pern, The Harperhall especially; Hogwarts; your Guardian’s world and the Fallen Angels and Lost Lord’s worlds; Nora’s Ireland; Jean Auel’s world; Jayne Anne’s many worlds that overlap nicely across all 3 of her incarnations; and many more that I’m too tired to think of right now. I look at series as a really long book with different “chapters”. I hate to finish the last book in a series and feel a physical ache when I do. So I rejoice when I find out a beloved author has found snother story (chapter) in their world to share.

    Reply
  54. I love your series, Mary Jo for that reason. They are stand alone stories and series. If I came in in the middle, ( as I have many times! ) I can still enjoy the story on its own merit. And then enjoy the visitors from the previous books.
    But I personally love series and the worlds the author’s create.
    For worlds I’ve loved diving into they list, Pern, The Harperhall especially; Hogwarts; your Guardian’s world and the Fallen Angels and Lost Lord’s worlds; Nora’s Ireland; Jean Auel’s world; Jayne Anne’s many worlds that overlap nicely across all 3 of her incarnations; and many more that I’m too tired to think of right now. I look at series as a really long book with different “chapters”. I hate to finish the last book in a series and feel a physical ache when I do. So I rejoice when I find out a beloved author has found snother story (chapter) in their world to share.

    Reply
  55. I love your series, Mary Jo for that reason. They are stand alone stories and series. If I came in in the middle, ( as I have many times! ) I can still enjoy the story on its own merit. And then enjoy the visitors from the previous books.
    But I personally love series and the worlds the author’s create.
    For worlds I’ve loved diving into they list, Pern, The Harperhall especially; Hogwarts; your Guardian’s world and the Fallen Angels and Lost Lord’s worlds; Nora’s Ireland; Jean Auel’s world; Jayne Anne’s many worlds that overlap nicely across all 3 of her incarnations; and many more that I’m too tired to think of right now. I look at series as a really long book with different “chapters”. I hate to finish the last book in a series and feel a physical ache when I do. So I rejoice when I find out a beloved author has found snother story (chapter) in their world to share.

    Reply
  56. I think some authors are more able to keep a series fresh than others, but the question about bringing in characters from previous series is a fraught one. Some people love to revisit those characters and some hate it. I try to have characters from previous books only when it seems likely and doesn’t distract from the current book.
    As for dived and dove — I’m pretty philosophical about US grammar v/s English grammar. Dove might sound wrong to those of us who were brought up to say dived but the reverse is often true as well.

    Reply
  57. I think some authors are more able to keep a series fresh than others, but the question about bringing in characters from previous series is a fraught one. Some people love to revisit those characters and some hate it. I try to have characters from previous books only when it seems likely and doesn’t distract from the current book.
    As for dived and dove — I’m pretty philosophical about US grammar v/s English grammar. Dove might sound wrong to those of us who were brought up to say dived but the reverse is often true as well.

    Reply
  58. I think some authors are more able to keep a series fresh than others, but the question about bringing in characters from previous series is a fraught one. Some people love to revisit those characters and some hate it. I try to have characters from previous books only when it seems likely and doesn’t distract from the current book.
    As for dived and dove — I’m pretty philosophical about US grammar v/s English grammar. Dove might sound wrong to those of us who were brought up to say dived but the reverse is often true as well.

    Reply
  59. I think some authors are more able to keep a series fresh than others, but the question about bringing in characters from previous series is a fraught one. Some people love to revisit those characters and some hate it. I try to have characters from previous books only when it seems likely and doesn’t distract from the current book.
    As for dived and dove — I’m pretty philosophical about US grammar v/s English grammar. Dove might sound wrong to those of us who were brought up to say dived but the reverse is often true as well.

    Reply
  60. I think some authors are more able to keep a series fresh than others, but the question about bringing in characters from previous series is a fraught one. Some people love to revisit those characters and some hate it. I try to have characters from previous books only when it seems likely and doesn’t distract from the current book.
    As for dived and dove — I’m pretty philosophical about US grammar v/s English grammar. Dove might sound wrong to those of us who were brought up to say dived but the reverse is often true as well.

    Reply
  61. Blushing is character-building. 😉 And I’m thinking the series might not quite end yet — I might have a novella in me, if I can find the time to write it in between the contracted work.

    Reply
  62. Blushing is character-building. 😉 And I’m thinking the series might not quite end yet — I might have a novella in me, if I can find the time to write it in between the contracted work.

    Reply
  63. Blushing is character-building. 😉 And I’m thinking the series might not quite end yet — I might have a novella in me, if I can find the time to write it in between the contracted work.

    Reply
  64. Blushing is character-building. 😉 And I’m thinking the series might not quite end yet — I might have a novella in me, if I can find the time to write it in between the contracted work.

    Reply
  65. Blushing is character-building. 😉 And I’m thinking the series might not quite end yet — I might have a novella in me, if I can find the time to write it in between the contracted work.

    Reply
  66. Yes, both Mary Jo and Jo have got the right touch and as far as I’m concerned could write endless series without me getting bored. For me the key to good series is that every book is fairly much stand alone, as well as being lightly linked.
    On the other hand, I read a lot of fantasy and quite a few series that I love simply start a new book where the last one finished, and the story continues.

    Reply
  67. Yes, both Mary Jo and Jo have got the right touch and as far as I’m concerned could write endless series without me getting bored. For me the key to good series is that every book is fairly much stand alone, as well as being lightly linked.
    On the other hand, I read a lot of fantasy and quite a few series that I love simply start a new book where the last one finished, and the story continues.

    Reply
  68. Yes, both Mary Jo and Jo have got the right touch and as far as I’m concerned could write endless series without me getting bored. For me the key to good series is that every book is fairly much stand alone, as well as being lightly linked.
    On the other hand, I read a lot of fantasy and quite a few series that I love simply start a new book where the last one finished, and the story continues.

    Reply
  69. Yes, both Mary Jo and Jo have got the right touch and as far as I’m concerned could write endless series without me getting bored. For me the key to good series is that every book is fairly much stand alone, as well as being lightly linked.
    On the other hand, I read a lot of fantasy and quite a few series that I love simply start a new book where the last one finished, and the story continues.

    Reply
  70. Yes, both Mary Jo and Jo have got the right touch and as far as I’m concerned could write endless series without me getting bored. For me the key to good series is that every book is fairly much stand alone, as well as being lightly linked.
    On the other hand, I read a lot of fantasy and quite a few series that I love simply start a new book where the last one finished, and the story continues.

    Reply
  71. Jo, that’s exactly why I wrote about worlds as well as series — I think most readers love dipping back into Malloren World or whatever — the world, and the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  72. Jo, that’s exactly why I wrote about worlds as well as series — I think most readers love dipping back into Malloren World or whatever — the world, and the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  73. Jo, that’s exactly why I wrote about worlds as well as series — I think most readers love dipping back into Malloren World or whatever — the world, and the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  74. Jo, that’s exactly why I wrote about worlds as well as series — I think most readers love dipping back into Malloren World or whatever — the world, and the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  75. Jo, that’s exactly why I wrote about worlds as well as series — I think most readers love dipping back into Malloren World or whatever — the world, and the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  76. Mary, Ive always enjoyed Mary Balogh’s stories, and whenever I start reading and realize a book (by any author) is part of a series, I usually go back and start it from the beginning. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing the meaning of the small bits of information that come later books. Though if I start a book and there’s a huge info-dump about what happened in the previous books, I’m not a happy reader. As a writer, I know it’s a struggle to give readers as much information as they need to understand the current book, and not to ladle it out as an info-dump, so I try . . .

    Reply
  77. Mary, Ive always enjoyed Mary Balogh’s stories, and whenever I start reading and realize a book (by any author) is part of a series, I usually go back and start it from the beginning. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing the meaning of the small bits of information that come later books. Though if I start a book and there’s a huge info-dump about what happened in the previous books, I’m not a happy reader. As a writer, I know it’s a struggle to give readers as much information as they need to understand the current book, and not to ladle it out as an info-dump, so I try . . .

    Reply
  78. Mary, Ive always enjoyed Mary Balogh’s stories, and whenever I start reading and realize a book (by any author) is part of a series, I usually go back and start it from the beginning. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing the meaning of the small bits of information that come later books. Though if I start a book and there’s a huge info-dump about what happened in the previous books, I’m not a happy reader. As a writer, I know it’s a struggle to give readers as much information as they need to understand the current book, and not to ladle it out as an info-dump, so I try . . .

    Reply
  79. Mary, Ive always enjoyed Mary Balogh’s stories, and whenever I start reading and realize a book (by any author) is part of a series, I usually go back and start it from the beginning. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing the meaning of the small bits of information that come later books. Though if I start a book and there’s a huge info-dump about what happened in the previous books, I’m not a happy reader. As a writer, I know it’s a struggle to give readers as much information as they need to understand the current book, and not to ladle it out as an info-dump, so I try . . .

    Reply
  80. Mary, Ive always enjoyed Mary Balogh’s stories, and whenever I start reading and realize a book (by any author) is part of a series, I usually go back and start it from the beginning. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing the meaning of the small bits of information that come later books. Though if I start a book and there’s a huge info-dump about what happened in the previous books, I’m not a happy reader. As a writer, I know it’s a struggle to give readers as much information as they need to understand the current book, and not to ladle it out as an info-dump, so I try . . .

    Reply
  81. Thanks, Cynthia — I do agree with you on characters needing to justify their appearance — and not rehashing previous stories. Congratulations on the longevity of your series.

    Reply
  82. Thanks, Cynthia — I do agree with you on characters needing to justify their appearance — and not rehashing previous stories. Congratulations on the longevity of your series.

    Reply
  83. Thanks, Cynthia — I do agree with you on characters needing to justify their appearance — and not rehashing previous stories. Congratulations on the longevity of your series.

    Reply
  84. Thanks, Cynthia — I do agree with you on characters needing to justify their appearance — and not rehashing previous stories. Congratulations on the longevity of your series.

    Reply
  85. Thanks, Cynthia — I do agree with you on characters needing to justify their appearance — and not rehashing previous stories. Congratulations on the longevity of your series.

    Reply
  86. I think that’s the key, Patricia — readers entered the Bridgerton world and relate to the characters, their situations and their relationships in the way you sometimes look at family.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  87. I think that’s the key, Patricia — readers entered the Bridgerton world and relate to the characters, their situations and their relationships in the way you sometimes look at family.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  88. I think that’s the key, Patricia — readers entered the Bridgerton world and relate to the characters, their situations and their relationships in the way you sometimes look at family.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  89. I think that’s the key, Patricia — readers entered the Bridgerton world and relate to the characters, their situations and their relationships in the way you sometimes look at family.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  90. I think that’s the key, Patricia — readers entered the Bridgerton world and relate to the characters, their situations and their relationships in the way you sometimes look at family.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  91. “I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow”
    Sue, that’s the tricky part — quite often what the writer wishes to write isn’t what the editor thinks will be commercial, or what the market wants from that author. Generally speaking, once an author has established a world that readers love, it’s very hard to change what you write. I’ve seen quite a few beloved authors branch into quite a different area and get smacked for it. Other authors talk wistfully of their books of the heart — often books they’ve wanted to write for years and have been discouraged from writing. The whole self-publishing thing has changed that, however, and more of these books are showing up.

    Reply
  92. “I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow”
    Sue, that’s the tricky part — quite often what the writer wishes to write isn’t what the editor thinks will be commercial, or what the market wants from that author. Generally speaking, once an author has established a world that readers love, it’s very hard to change what you write. I’ve seen quite a few beloved authors branch into quite a different area and get smacked for it. Other authors talk wistfully of their books of the heart — often books they’ve wanted to write for years and have been discouraged from writing. The whole self-publishing thing has changed that, however, and more of these books are showing up.

    Reply
  93. “I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow”
    Sue, that’s the tricky part — quite often what the writer wishes to write isn’t what the editor thinks will be commercial, or what the market wants from that author. Generally speaking, once an author has established a world that readers love, it’s very hard to change what you write. I’ve seen quite a few beloved authors branch into quite a different area and get smacked for it. Other authors talk wistfully of their books of the heart — often books they’ve wanted to write for years and have been discouraged from writing. The whole self-publishing thing has changed that, however, and more of these books are showing up.

    Reply
  94. “I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow”
    Sue, that’s the tricky part — quite often what the writer wishes to write isn’t what the editor thinks will be commercial, or what the market wants from that author. Generally speaking, once an author has established a world that readers love, it’s very hard to change what you write. I’ve seen quite a few beloved authors branch into quite a different area and get smacked for it. Other authors talk wistfully of their books of the heart — often books they’ve wanted to write for years and have been discouraged from writing. The whole self-publishing thing has changed that, however, and more of these books are showing up.

    Reply
  95. “I truly believe the writer should write what the writer wishes to write (limited only by what the market will buy or the editors will allow”
    Sue, that’s the tricky part — quite often what the writer wishes to write isn’t what the editor thinks will be commercial, or what the market wants from that author. Generally speaking, once an author has established a world that readers love, it’s very hard to change what you write. I’ve seen quite a few beloved authors branch into quite a different area and get smacked for it. Other authors talk wistfully of their books of the heart — often books they’ve wanted to write for years and have been discouraged from writing. The whole self-publishing thing has changed that, however, and more of these books are showing up.

    Reply
  96. Thanks Kathy. I do enjoy plunging back into a world — fantasy or otherwise — that I’ve enjoyed before. I loved the first 4 or 5 Outlander books, but I wasn’t as keen on them when they went to America. I wanted them to stay in Scotland. 🙂 But also I think it’s because I was reading the books as a romance, and felt that Jamie and Claire’s romance was finally achieved and I didn’t want them to be going into new and dangerous situations where I’d have to worry about them being killed again. (Yes, I’m a terrible wimp.)

    Reply
  97. Thanks Kathy. I do enjoy plunging back into a world — fantasy or otherwise — that I’ve enjoyed before. I loved the first 4 or 5 Outlander books, but I wasn’t as keen on them when they went to America. I wanted them to stay in Scotland. 🙂 But also I think it’s because I was reading the books as a romance, and felt that Jamie and Claire’s romance was finally achieved and I didn’t want them to be going into new and dangerous situations where I’d have to worry about them being killed again. (Yes, I’m a terrible wimp.)

    Reply
  98. Thanks Kathy. I do enjoy plunging back into a world — fantasy or otherwise — that I’ve enjoyed before. I loved the first 4 or 5 Outlander books, but I wasn’t as keen on them when they went to America. I wanted them to stay in Scotland. 🙂 But also I think it’s because I was reading the books as a romance, and felt that Jamie and Claire’s romance was finally achieved and I didn’t want them to be going into new and dangerous situations where I’d have to worry about them being killed again. (Yes, I’m a terrible wimp.)

    Reply
  99. Thanks Kathy. I do enjoy plunging back into a world — fantasy or otherwise — that I’ve enjoyed before. I loved the first 4 or 5 Outlander books, but I wasn’t as keen on them when they went to America. I wanted them to stay in Scotland. 🙂 But also I think it’s because I was reading the books as a romance, and felt that Jamie and Claire’s romance was finally achieved and I didn’t want them to be going into new and dangerous situations where I’d have to worry about them being killed again. (Yes, I’m a terrible wimp.)

    Reply
  100. Thanks Kathy. I do enjoy plunging back into a world — fantasy or otherwise — that I’ve enjoyed before. I loved the first 4 or 5 Outlander books, but I wasn’t as keen on them when they went to America. I wanted them to stay in Scotland. 🙂 But also I think it’s because I was reading the books as a romance, and felt that Jamie and Claire’s romance was finally achieved and I didn’t want them to be going into new and dangerous situations where I’d have to worry about them being killed again. (Yes, I’m a terrible wimp.)

    Reply
  101. Karen, I love those worlds as well. Loved the world of Pern and the dragons, Hogwarts is the world of a generation, and Mary Jo’s and JAK/AQ’s worlds, too — they and others are on my keeper shelves.

    Reply
  102. Karen, I love those worlds as well. Loved the world of Pern and the dragons, Hogwarts is the world of a generation, and Mary Jo’s and JAK/AQ’s worlds, too — they and others are on my keeper shelves.

    Reply
  103. Karen, I love those worlds as well. Loved the world of Pern and the dragons, Hogwarts is the world of a generation, and Mary Jo’s and JAK/AQ’s worlds, too — they and others are on my keeper shelves.

    Reply
  104. Karen, I love those worlds as well. Loved the world of Pern and the dragons, Hogwarts is the world of a generation, and Mary Jo’s and JAK/AQ’s worlds, too — they and others are on my keeper shelves.

    Reply
  105. Karen, I love those worlds as well. Loved the world of Pern and the dragons, Hogwarts is the world of a generation, and Mary Jo’s and JAK/AQ’s worlds, too — they and others are on my keeper shelves.

    Reply
  106. I seem to write series accidentally. The first story starts out focused on the two main characters, but as their world expands other people appear. Nearly always one of those people catches my attention and I think, “Wow! Where were YOU hiding?” It never seems to be someone I planned from the start either.

    Reply
  107. I seem to write series accidentally. The first story starts out focused on the two main characters, but as their world expands other people appear. Nearly always one of those people catches my attention and I think, “Wow! Where were YOU hiding?” It never seems to be someone I planned from the start either.

    Reply
  108. I seem to write series accidentally. The first story starts out focused on the two main characters, but as their world expands other people appear. Nearly always one of those people catches my attention and I think, “Wow! Where were YOU hiding?” It never seems to be someone I planned from the start either.

    Reply
  109. I seem to write series accidentally. The first story starts out focused on the two main characters, but as their world expands other people appear. Nearly always one of those people catches my attention and I think, “Wow! Where were YOU hiding?” It never seems to be someone I planned from the start either.

    Reply
  110. I seem to write series accidentally. The first story starts out focused on the two main characters, but as their world expands other people appear. Nearly always one of those people catches my attention and I think, “Wow! Where were YOU hiding?” It never seems to be someone I planned from the start either.

    Reply
  111. I usually love series where characters from previous stories show up. It is interesting how different authors link the books together. One I read, the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, writes trilogies connected together. There are several characters that show up in almost every book but they tend to serve a specific purpose.
    A couple of days ago I read a novella from a series I’ve been reading and went really? I wasted my time on this? That author dragged in all kinds of back story on 2 characters that had a very minor appearance in the novella and wasted 15 of the 120 pages.
    Mary Jo really does have the knack of pulling in previous characters and making them work for the current story.
    As Sue McCormick says creating worlds and then not doing anything else once you write the 1st story seems totally wasteful. Joanna has a very distinct world because it is the spy world during the Regency period.
    Actually, the more I think about it, my favorite authors do create worlds – because their characters tend to have a certain core belief or outlook. And most of my keepers tend to be in series. True there are a number of non-series keepers on my shelves but …….
    I have quit reading several series because they did totally run out of steam. It wasn’t so much they went in a different direction, they just lost any umph and I didn’t even want to get them through the library. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is me, the series going flat or the author losing their mojo…

    Reply
  112. I usually love series where characters from previous stories show up. It is interesting how different authors link the books together. One I read, the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, writes trilogies connected together. There are several characters that show up in almost every book but they tend to serve a specific purpose.
    A couple of days ago I read a novella from a series I’ve been reading and went really? I wasted my time on this? That author dragged in all kinds of back story on 2 characters that had a very minor appearance in the novella and wasted 15 of the 120 pages.
    Mary Jo really does have the knack of pulling in previous characters and making them work for the current story.
    As Sue McCormick says creating worlds and then not doing anything else once you write the 1st story seems totally wasteful. Joanna has a very distinct world because it is the spy world during the Regency period.
    Actually, the more I think about it, my favorite authors do create worlds – because their characters tend to have a certain core belief or outlook. And most of my keepers tend to be in series. True there are a number of non-series keepers on my shelves but …….
    I have quit reading several series because they did totally run out of steam. It wasn’t so much they went in a different direction, they just lost any umph and I didn’t even want to get them through the library. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is me, the series going flat or the author losing their mojo…

    Reply
  113. I usually love series where characters from previous stories show up. It is interesting how different authors link the books together. One I read, the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, writes trilogies connected together. There are several characters that show up in almost every book but they tend to serve a specific purpose.
    A couple of days ago I read a novella from a series I’ve been reading and went really? I wasted my time on this? That author dragged in all kinds of back story on 2 characters that had a very minor appearance in the novella and wasted 15 of the 120 pages.
    Mary Jo really does have the knack of pulling in previous characters and making them work for the current story.
    As Sue McCormick says creating worlds and then not doing anything else once you write the 1st story seems totally wasteful. Joanna has a very distinct world because it is the spy world during the Regency period.
    Actually, the more I think about it, my favorite authors do create worlds – because their characters tend to have a certain core belief or outlook. And most of my keepers tend to be in series. True there are a number of non-series keepers on my shelves but …….
    I have quit reading several series because they did totally run out of steam. It wasn’t so much they went in a different direction, they just lost any umph and I didn’t even want to get them through the library. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is me, the series going flat or the author losing their mojo…

    Reply
  114. I usually love series where characters from previous stories show up. It is interesting how different authors link the books together. One I read, the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, writes trilogies connected together. There are several characters that show up in almost every book but they tend to serve a specific purpose.
    A couple of days ago I read a novella from a series I’ve been reading and went really? I wasted my time on this? That author dragged in all kinds of back story on 2 characters that had a very minor appearance in the novella and wasted 15 of the 120 pages.
    Mary Jo really does have the knack of pulling in previous characters and making them work for the current story.
    As Sue McCormick says creating worlds and then not doing anything else once you write the 1st story seems totally wasteful. Joanna has a very distinct world because it is the spy world during the Regency period.
    Actually, the more I think about it, my favorite authors do create worlds – because their characters tend to have a certain core belief or outlook. And most of my keepers tend to be in series. True there are a number of non-series keepers on my shelves but …….
    I have quit reading several series because they did totally run out of steam. It wasn’t so much they went in a different direction, they just lost any umph and I didn’t even want to get them through the library. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is me, the series going flat or the author losing their mojo…

    Reply
  115. I usually love series where characters from previous stories show up. It is interesting how different authors link the books together. One I read, the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, writes trilogies connected together. There are several characters that show up in almost every book but they tend to serve a specific purpose.
    A couple of days ago I read a novella from a series I’ve been reading and went really? I wasted my time on this? That author dragged in all kinds of back story on 2 characters that had a very minor appearance in the novella and wasted 15 of the 120 pages.
    Mary Jo really does have the knack of pulling in previous characters and making them work for the current story.
    As Sue McCormick says creating worlds and then not doing anything else once you write the 1st story seems totally wasteful. Joanna has a very distinct world because it is the spy world during the Regency period.
    Actually, the more I think about it, my favorite authors do create worlds – because their characters tend to have a certain core belief or outlook. And most of my keepers tend to be in series. True there are a number of non-series keepers on my shelves but …….
    I have quit reading several series because they did totally run out of steam. It wasn’t so much they went in a different direction, they just lost any umph and I didn’t even want to get them through the library. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is me, the series going flat or the author losing their mojo…

    Reply
  116. Yes, it works for me, but clearly your current editor wouldn’t be happy with that approach. It’s a balancing act. My editor is rarely surprised when one of my stories morphs into the next. It can throw up some issues though. The hero of my current book is fifty! He showed up halfway through the writing of In Debt to the Earl and stuck in my head. I suppose I could nudge him back into his forties but I really don’t want to do that. Seems like cheating.😊

    Reply
  117. Yes, it works for me, but clearly your current editor wouldn’t be happy with that approach. It’s a balancing act. My editor is rarely surprised when one of my stories morphs into the next. It can throw up some issues though. The hero of my current book is fifty! He showed up halfway through the writing of In Debt to the Earl and stuck in my head. I suppose I could nudge him back into his forties but I really don’t want to do that. Seems like cheating.😊

    Reply
  118. Yes, it works for me, but clearly your current editor wouldn’t be happy with that approach. It’s a balancing act. My editor is rarely surprised when one of my stories morphs into the next. It can throw up some issues though. The hero of my current book is fifty! He showed up halfway through the writing of In Debt to the Earl and stuck in my head. I suppose I could nudge him back into his forties but I really don’t want to do that. Seems like cheating.😊

    Reply
  119. Yes, it works for me, but clearly your current editor wouldn’t be happy with that approach. It’s a balancing act. My editor is rarely surprised when one of my stories morphs into the next. It can throw up some issues though. The hero of my current book is fifty! He showed up halfway through the writing of In Debt to the Earl and stuck in my head. I suppose I could nudge him back into his forties but I really don’t want to do that. Seems like cheating.😊

    Reply
  120. Yes, it works for me, but clearly your current editor wouldn’t be happy with that approach. It’s a balancing act. My editor is rarely surprised when one of my stories morphs into the next. It can throw up some issues though. The hero of my current book is fifty! He showed up halfway through the writing of In Debt to the Earl and stuck in my head. I suppose I could nudge him back into his forties but I really don’t want to do that. Seems like cheating.😊

    Reply
  121. I love series. It’s nice to start a new series from the beginning but it is just as lovely to discover a new-to-me series to start reading. I love revisiting previously introduced characters, however briefly, because I always wonder what happened to them and how they go on with their lives. I shall be very sad to say goodbye to the Chance Sisters.

    Reply
  122. I love series. It’s nice to start a new series from the beginning but it is just as lovely to discover a new-to-me series to start reading. I love revisiting previously introduced characters, however briefly, because I always wonder what happened to them and how they go on with their lives. I shall be very sad to say goodbye to the Chance Sisters.

    Reply
  123. I love series. It’s nice to start a new series from the beginning but it is just as lovely to discover a new-to-me series to start reading. I love revisiting previously introduced characters, however briefly, because I always wonder what happened to them and how they go on with their lives. I shall be very sad to say goodbye to the Chance Sisters.

    Reply
  124. I love series. It’s nice to start a new series from the beginning but it is just as lovely to discover a new-to-me series to start reading. I love revisiting previously introduced characters, however briefly, because I always wonder what happened to them and how they go on with their lives. I shall be very sad to say goodbye to the Chance Sisters.

    Reply
  125. I love series. It’s nice to start a new series from the beginning but it is just as lovely to discover a new-to-me series to start reading. I love revisiting previously introduced characters, however briefly, because I always wonder what happened to them and how they go on with their lives. I shall be very sad to say goodbye to the Chance Sisters.

    Reply
  126. I like your idea of a world that’s slightly different for each author — but I loathe books in which there’s a gigantic “family reunion” thing at the end of the books that follow the first two or three, and I’m forced to try to remember who all these couples who are still as hot for each other as ever, and their twee superperfect children who never so much as stub a toe, let alone get sick or turn out wrong or die young. I can only take so much unreality, and the cataloging gets boring. They’re what I think of as granny books. Nobody’s grandchildren are ever other than perfect, I suppose — though I don’t know any real life families that have no problem members. Mine certainly doesn’t.
    I am more interested in characters who continue to confront and survive the problems of life together due to the strength of the bond between them.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of a character from a previous book if he or she has some important role to play in the present story, but too often they don’t. I usually skip all those pages 🙂
    So I guess I love to revisit an author’s world — which is why I go on reading an author’s books — but I would like the stories to be a little less chained together sometimes.

    Reply
  127. I like your idea of a world that’s slightly different for each author — but I loathe books in which there’s a gigantic “family reunion” thing at the end of the books that follow the first two or three, and I’m forced to try to remember who all these couples who are still as hot for each other as ever, and their twee superperfect children who never so much as stub a toe, let alone get sick or turn out wrong or die young. I can only take so much unreality, and the cataloging gets boring. They’re what I think of as granny books. Nobody’s grandchildren are ever other than perfect, I suppose — though I don’t know any real life families that have no problem members. Mine certainly doesn’t.
    I am more interested in characters who continue to confront and survive the problems of life together due to the strength of the bond between them.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of a character from a previous book if he or she has some important role to play in the present story, but too often they don’t. I usually skip all those pages 🙂
    So I guess I love to revisit an author’s world — which is why I go on reading an author’s books — but I would like the stories to be a little less chained together sometimes.

    Reply
  128. I like your idea of a world that’s slightly different for each author — but I loathe books in which there’s a gigantic “family reunion” thing at the end of the books that follow the first two or three, and I’m forced to try to remember who all these couples who are still as hot for each other as ever, and their twee superperfect children who never so much as stub a toe, let alone get sick or turn out wrong or die young. I can only take so much unreality, and the cataloging gets boring. They’re what I think of as granny books. Nobody’s grandchildren are ever other than perfect, I suppose — though I don’t know any real life families that have no problem members. Mine certainly doesn’t.
    I am more interested in characters who continue to confront and survive the problems of life together due to the strength of the bond between them.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of a character from a previous book if he or she has some important role to play in the present story, but too often they don’t. I usually skip all those pages 🙂
    So I guess I love to revisit an author’s world — which is why I go on reading an author’s books — but I would like the stories to be a little less chained together sometimes.

    Reply
  129. I like your idea of a world that’s slightly different for each author — but I loathe books in which there’s a gigantic “family reunion” thing at the end of the books that follow the first two or three, and I’m forced to try to remember who all these couples who are still as hot for each other as ever, and their twee superperfect children who never so much as stub a toe, let alone get sick or turn out wrong or die young. I can only take so much unreality, and the cataloging gets boring. They’re what I think of as granny books. Nobody’s grandchildren are ever other than perfect, I suppose — though I don’t know any real life families that have no problem members. Mine certainly doesn’t.
    I am more interested in characters who continue to confront and survive the problems of life together due to the strength of the bond between them.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of a character from a previous book if he or she has some important role to play in the present story, but too often they don’t. I usually skip all those pages 🙂
    So I guess I love to revisit an author’s world — which is why I go on reading an author’s books — but I would like the stories to be a little less chained together sometimes.

    Reply
  130. I like your idea of a world that’s slightly different for each author — but I loathe books in which there’s a gigantic “family reunion” thing at the end of the books that follow the first two or three, and I’m forced to try to remember who all these couples who are still as hot for each other as ever, and their twee superperfect children who never so much as stub a toe, let alone get sick or turn out wrong or die young. I can only take so much unreality, and the cataloging gets boring. They’re what I think of as granny books. Nobody’s grandchildren are ever other than perfect, I suppose — though I don’t know any real life families that have no problem members. Mine certainly doesn’t.
    I am more interested in characters who continue to confront and survive the problems of life together due to the strength of the bond between them.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of a character from a previous book if he or she has some important role to play in the present story, but too often they don’t. I usually skip all those pages 🙂
    So I guess I love to revisit an author’s world — which is why I go on reading an author’s books — but I would like the stories to be a little less chained together sometimes.

    Reply
  131. I do agree with you that each author creates her own world, whether or not she ends up writing a series set in that world. I love reading series, but that’s partly because if a book is good I don’t want to say good bye to that world and the characters. However, I do endorse Mary Jo’s rule: “My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all.” This should mean that each book can be read on its own, without the reader wondering why so many other characters keep appearing!
    If I know that a book is part of a series I always read from book 1 onwards. However, occasionally I have come across a book 1 which didn’t really have a proper story arc of its own because the author was so busy establishing not only the world but each and every character who was to appear in his or her own book later in the series. I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. The link between the books should allow the different heroes and heroines to appear and disappear as each book’s story dictates: see Mary Jo’s rule!

    Reply
  132. I do agree with you that each author creates her own world, whether or not she ends up writing a series set in that world. I love reading series, but that’s partly because if a book is good I don’t want to say good bye to that world and the characters. However, I do endorse Mary Jo’s rule: “My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all.” This should mean that each book can be read on its own, without the reader wondering why so many other characters keep appearing!
    If I know that a book is part of a series I always read from book 1 onwards. However, occasionally I have come across a book 1 which didn’t really have a proper story arc of its own because the author was so busy establishing not only the world but each and every character who was to appear in his or her own book later in the series. I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. The link between the books should allow the different heroes and heroines to appear and disappear as each book’s story dictates: see Mary Jo’s rule!

    Reply
  133. I do agree with you that each author creates her own world, whether or not she ends up writing a series set in that world. I love reading series, but that’s partly because if a book is good I don’t want to say good bye to that world and the characters. However, I do endorse Mary Jo’s rule: “My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all.” This should mean that each book can be read on its own, without the reader wondering why so many other characters keep appearing!
    If I know that a book is part of a series I always read from book 1 onwards. However, occasionally I have come across a book 1 which didn’t really have a proper story arc of its own because the author was so busy establishing not only the world but each and every character who was to appear in his or her own book later in the series. I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. The link between the books should allow the different heroes and heroines to appear and disappear as each book’s story dictates: see Mary Jo’s rule!

    Reply
  134. I do agree with you that each author creates her own world, whether or not she ends up writing a series set in that world. I love reading series, but that’s partly because if a book is good I don’t want to say good bye to that world and the characters. However, I do endorse Mary Jo’s rule: “My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all.” This should mean that each book can be read on its own, without the reader wondering why so many other characters keep appearing!
    If I know that a book is part of a series I always read from book 1 onwards. However, occasionally I have come across a book 1 which didn’t really have a proper story arc of its own because the author was so busy establishing not only the world but each and every character who was to appear in his or her own book later in the series. I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. The link between the books should allow the different heroes and heroines to appear and disappear as each book’s story dictates: see Mary Jo’s rule!

    Reply
  135. I do agree with you that each author creates her own world, whether or not she ends up writing a series set in that world. I love reading series, but that’s partly because if a book is good I don’t want to say good bye to that world and the characters. However, I do endorse Mary Jo’s rule: “My rule is that no prior characters show up in a book unless they serve a real dramatic function. So some earlier characters reappear with some regularity, and others not at all.” This should mean that each book can be read on its own, without the reader wondering why so many other characters keep appearing!
    If I know that a book is part of a series I always read from book 1 onwards. However, occasionally I have come across a book 1 which didn’t really have a proper story arc of its own because the author was so busy establishing not only the world but each and every character who was to appear in his or her own book later in the series. I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. The link between the books should allow the different heroes and heroines to appear and disappear as each book’s story dictates: see Mary Jo’s rule!

    Reply
  136. Thanks Laura. For me it’s like a gift when I start reading a book and realize a) I enjoy the authors writing and b) there’s a whole pile of books that come before or after this one.
    Im glad you’ve been enjoying my Chance sisters.

    Reply
  137. Thanks Laura. For me it’s like a gift when I start reading a book and realize a) I enjoy the authors writing and b) there’s a whole pile of books that come before or after this one.
    Im glad you’ve been enjoying my Chance sisters.

    Reply
  138. Thanks Laura. For me it’s like a gift when I start reading a book and realize a) I enjoy the authors writing and b) there’s a whole pile of books that come before or after this one.
    Im glad you’ve been enjoying my Chance sisters.

    Reply
  139. Thanks Laura. For me it’s like a gift when I start reading a book and realize a) I enjoy the authors writing and b) there’s a whole pile of books that come before or after this one.
    Im glad you’ve been enjoying my Chance sisters.

    Reply
  140. Thanks Laura. For me it’s like a gift when I start reading a book and realize a) I enjoy the authors writing and b) there’s a whole pile of books that come before or after this one.
    Im glad you’ve been enjoying my Chance sisters.

    Reply
  141. Thanks, Janice. As I said elsewhere, the whole family reunion at the end thing is a bit of a minefield — a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and we authors must walk a fine line. 🙂 If a book ends with a wedding, for instance, there’s a good reason for them all to be there, though not necessarily to go into detail about their current situation. I dislike the kind of epilogue that takes place 10, 20 or even 50 years down the track and is a summary is the couple’s happy life, numerous happy offspring, even more numerous and adorable grandchildren and so on.

    Reply
  142. Thanks, Janice. As I said elsewhere, the whole family reunion at the end thing is a bit of a minefield — a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and we authors must walk a fine line. 🙂 If a book ends with a wedding, for instance, there’s a good reason for them all to be there, though not necessarily to go into detail about their current situation. I dislike the kind of epilogue that takes place 10, 20 or even 50 years down the track and is a summary is the couple’s happy life, numerous happy offspring, even more numerous and adorable grandchildren and so on.

    Reply
  143. Thanks, Janice. As I said elsewhere, the whole family reunion at the end thing is a bit of a minefield — a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and we authors must walk a fine line. 🙂 If a book ends with a wedding, for instance, there’s a good reason for them all to be there, though not necessarily to go into detail about their current situation. I dislike the kind of epilogue that takes place 10, 20 or even 50 years down the track and is a summary is the couple’s happy life, numerous happy offspring, even more numerous and adorable grandchildren and so on.

    Reply
  144. Thanks, Janice. As I said elsewhere, the whole family reunion at the end thing is a bit of a minefield — a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and we authors must walk a fine line. 🙂 If a book ends with a wedding, for instance, there’s a good reason for them all to be there, though not necessarily to go into detail about their current situation. I dislike the kind of epilogue that takes place 10, 20 or even 50 years down the track and is a summary is the couple’s happy life, numerous happy offspring, even more numerous and adorable grandchildren and so on.

    Reply
  145. Thanks, Janice. As I said elsewhere, the whole family reunion at the end thing is a bit of a minefield — a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and we authors must walk a fine line. 🙂 If a book ends with a wedding, for instance, there’s a good reason for them all to be there, though not necessarily to go into detail about their current situation. I dislike the kind of epilogue that takes place 10, 20 or even 50 years down the track and is a summary is the couple’s happy life, numerous happy offspring, even more numerous and adorable grandchildren and so on.

    Reply
  146. Thanks, Vicki. Mary Jo’s rule of thumb about characters from previous books having to earn a place is spot on. I, too dislike it when I get a pile of gratuitous information about a secondary character and realize I’m being set up for the next book. It’s quite different when a secondary character does something in a book that intrigues me and I want to know more about him. It’s usually a him, though not always. If my interest is fairly caught, then I’ll happily wait for his book. But I don’t much like being force-fed in that direction.

    Reply
  147. Thanks, Vicki. Mary Jo’s rule of thumb about characters from previous books having to earn a place is spot on. I, too dislike it when I get a pile of gratuitous information about a secondary character and realize I’m being set up for the next book. It’s quite different when a secondary character does something in a book that intrigues me and I want to know more about him. It’s usually a him, though not always. If my interest is fairly caught, then I’ll happily wait for his book. But I don’t much like being force-fed in that direction.

    Reply
  148. Thanks, Vicki. Mary Jo’s rule of thumb about characters from previous books having to earn a place is spot on. I, too dislike it when I get a pile of gratuitous information about a secondary character and realize I’m being set up for the next book. It’s quite different when a secondary character does something in a book that intrigues me and I want to know more about him. It’s usually a him, though not always. If my interest is fairly caught, then I’ll happily wait for his book. But I don’t much like being force-fed in that direction.

    Reply
  149. Thanks, Vicki. Mary Jo’s rule of thumb about characters from previous books having to earn a place is spot on. I, too dislike it when I get a pile of gratuitous information about a secondary character and realize I’m being set up for the next book. It’s quite different when a secondary character does something in a book that intrigues me and I want to know more about him. It’s usually a him, though not always. If my interest is fairly caught, then I’ll happily wait for his book. But I don’t much like being force-fed in that direction.

    Reply
  150. Thanks, Vicki. Mary Jo’s rule of thumb about characters from previous books having to earn a place is spot on. I, too dislike it when I get a pile of gratuitous information about a secondary character and realize I’m being set up for the next book. It’s quite different when a secondary character does something in a book that intrigues me and I want to know more about him. It’s usually a him, though not always. If my interest is fairly caught, then I’ll happily wait for his book. But I don’t much like being force-fed in that direction.

    Reply
  151. Helena, I couldn’t agree more. I want the current story now, and future stories should look after themselves. I’ve come across a few books in recent years where suddenly there’s a chapter that has nothing to do with the current story and stars a couple that are secondary at best, and sometimes merely inhabitants of the same town, and it’s clear that the only reason that scene or chapter is there is to introduce the hero and heroine of the next book. I find that kind of unsubtle sequel-bait more annoying than enticing.

    Reply
  152. Helena, I couldn’t agree more. I want the current story now, and future stories should look after themselves. I’ve come across a few books in recent years where suddenly there’s a chapter that has nothing to do with the current story and stars a couple that are secondary at best, and sometimes merely inhabitants of the same town, and it’s clear that the only reason that scene or chapter is there is to introduce the hero and heroine of the next book. I find that kind of unsubtle sequel-bait more annoying than enticing.

    Reply
  153. Helena, I couldn’t agree more. I want the current story now, and future stories should look after themselves. I’ve come across a few books in recent years where suddenly there’s a chapter that has nothing to do with the current story and stars a couple that are secondary at best, and sometimes merely inhabitants of the same town, and it’s clear that the only reason that scene or chapter is there is to introduce the hero and heroine of the next book. I find that kind of unsubtle sequel-bait more annoying than enticing.

    Reply
  154. Helena, I couldn’t agree more. I want the current story now, and future stories should look after themselves. I’ve come across a few books in recent years where suddenly there’s a chapter that has nothing to do with the current story and stars a couple that are secondary at best, and sometimes merely inhabitants of the same town, and it’s clear that the only reason that scene or chapter is there is to introduce the hero and heroine of the next book. I find that kind of unsubtle sequel-bait more annoying than enticing.

    Reply
  155. Helena, I couldn’t agree more. I want the current story now, and future stories should look after themselves. I’ve come across a few books in recent years where suddenly there’s a chapter that has nothing to do with the current story and stars a couple that are secondary at best, and sometimes merely inhabitants of the same town, and it’s clear that the only reason that scene or chapter is there is to introduce the hero and heroine of the next book. I find that kind of unsubtle sequel-bait more annoying than enticing.

    Reply
  156. I love book series. I hope it’s true Anne that authors love the worlds they created as much as we the readers love visiting them. We can collectively often be a rather demanding bunch. I don’t hold with haranguing the author for the next volume as I’ve seen happen for some authors. I could easily ‘fly up into the boughs’ here, but I also don’t take to criticizing authors in reviews for just about anything, simply because after reading so many, the reviews of of the very authors I love the most seem to vary wildly. I will continue to read a series I’m enjoying to the end and be sad for my own reasons. I don’t often review books, though I love to talk about them. The things others complain about are the things I love the most, so I figure it would be the same for whatever I love or really dislike.
    I love this blog for the wonderful author pieces, the thought provoking questions and comments, and the ideas for new books to explore from the comments.
    I FINALLY just acquired the remaining MJP Lost Lords books so I’m gleefully looking forward to finishing them…and then going back and rereading them. Hurray.
    Gook luck to all the Wenches, and you, Anne. Looking forward to starting your series next.

    Reply
  157. I love book series. I hope it’s true Anne that authors love the worlds they created as much as we the readers love visiting them. We can collectively often be a rather demanding bunch. I don’t hold with haranguing the author for the next volume as I’ve seen happen for some authors. I could easily ‘fly up into the boughs’ here, but I also don’t take to criticizing authors in reviews for just about anything, simply because after reading so many, the reviews of of the very authors I love the most seem to vary wildly. I will continue to read a series I’m enjoying to the end and be sad for my own reasons. I don’t often review books, though I love to talk about them. The things others complain about are the things I love the most, so I figure it would be the same for whatever I love or really dislike.
    I love this blog for the wonderful author pieces, the thought provoking questions and comments, and the ideas for new books to explore from the comments.
    I FINALLY just acquired the remaining MJP Lost Lords books so I’m gleefully looking forward to finishing them…and then going back and rereading them. Hurray.
    Gook luck to all the Wenches, and you, Anne. Looking forward to starting your series next.

    Reply
  158. I love book series. I hope it’s true Anne that authors love the worlds they created as much as we the readers love visiting them. We can collectively often be a rather demanding bunch. I don’t hold with haranguing the author for the next volume as I’ve seen happen for some authors. I could easily ‘fly up into the boughs’ here, but I also don’t take to criticizing authors in reviews for just about anything, simply because after reading so many, the reviews of of the very authors I love the most seem to vary wildly. I will continue to read a series I’m enjoying to the end and be sad for my own reasons. I don’t often review books, though I love to talk about them. The things others complain about are the things I love the most, so I figure it would be the same for whatever I love or really dislike.
    I love this blog for the wonderful author pieces, the thought provoking questions and comments, and the ideas for new books to explore from the comments.
    I FINALLY just acquired the remaining MJP Lost Lords books so I’m gleefully looking forward to finishing them…and then going back and rereading them. Hurray.
    Gook luck to all the Wenches, and you, Anne. Looking forward to starting your series next.

    Reply
  159. I love book series. I hope it’s true Anne that authors love the worlds they created as much as we the readers love visiting them. We can collectively often be a rather demanding bunch. I don’t hold with haranguing the author for the next volume as I’ve seen happen for some authors. I could easily ‘fly up into the boughs’ here, but I also don’t take to criticizing authors in reviews for just about anything, simply because after reading so many, the reviews of of the very authors I love the most seem to vary wildly. I will continue to read a series I’m enjoying to the end and be sad for my own reasons. I don’t often review books, though I love to talk about them. The things others complain about are the things I love the most, so I figure it would be the same for whatever I love or really dislike.
    I love this blog for the wonderful author pieces, the thought provoking questions and comments, and the ideas for new books to explore from the comments.
    I FINALLY just acquired the remaining MJP Lost Lords books so I’m gleefully looking forward to finishing them…and then going back and rereading them. Hurray.
    Gook luck to all the Wenches, and you, Anne. Looking forward to starting your series next.

    Reply
  160. I love book series. I hope it’s true Anne that authors love the worlds they created as much as we the readers love visiting them. We can collectively often be a rather demanding bunch. I don’t hold with haranguing the author for the next volume as I’ve seen happen for some authors. I could easily ‘fly up into the boughs’ here, but I also don’t take to criticizing authors in reviews for just about anything, simply because after reading so many, the reviews of of the very authors I love the most seem to vary wildly. I will continue to read a series I’m enjoying to the end and be sad for my own reasons. I don’t often review books, though I love to talk about them. The things others complain about are the things I love the most, so I figure it would be the same for whatever I love or really dislike.
    I love this blog for the wonderful author pieces, the thought provoking questions and comments, and the ideas for new books to explore from the comments.
    I FINALLY just acquired the remaining MJP Lost Lords books so I’m gleefully looking forward to finishing them…and then going back and rereading them. Hurray.
    Gook luck to all the Wenches, and you, Anne. Looking forward to starting your series next.

    Reply
  161. Anne,
    I have a question about your writing a novel – how do you set-up a dialogue or a scene. Do you have an idea of what each person is going to say. How do you keep it straight – ones thoughts from anothers. When I read I start thinking about how the author decides what each person says – what topics they talk about, how big is the family? Is this a silly question. I’m curious. I really enjoy the Word Wenches articles and enjoy your books.

    Reply
  162. Anne,
    I have a question about your writing a novel – how do you set-up a dialogue or a scene. Do you have an idea of what each person is going to say. How do you keep it straight – ones thoughts from anothers. When I read I start thinking about how the author decides what each person says – what topics they talk about, how big is the family? Is this a silly question. I’m curious. I really enjoy the Word Wenches articles and enjoy your books.

    Reply
  163. Anne,
    I have a question about your writing a novel – how do you set-up a dialogue or a scene. Do you have an idea of what each person is going to say. How do you keep it straight – ones thoughts from anothers. When I read I start thinking about how the author decides what each person says – what topics they talk about, how big is the family? Is this a silly question. I’m curious. I really enjoy the Word Wenches articles and enjoy your books.

    Reply
  164. Anne,
    I have a question about your writing a novel – how do you set-up a dialogue or a scene. Do you have an idea of what each person is going to say. How do you keep it straight – ones thoughts from anothers. When I read I start thinking about how the author decides what each person says – what topics they talk about, how big is the family? Is this a silly question. I’m curious. I really enjoy the Word Wenches articles and enjoy your books.

    Reply
  165. Anne,
    I have a question about your writing a novel – how do you set-up a dialogue or a scene. Do you have an idea of what each person is going to say. How do you keep it straight – ones thoughts from anothers. When I read I start thinking about how the author decides what each person says – what topics they talk about, how big is the family? Is this a silly question. I’m curious. I really enjoy the Word Wenches articles and enjoy your books.

    Reply
  166. Michelle, most authors I know spend so much time crafting a story world that it’s a bit like a baby, so yes, we’re not eager to abandon it. 🙂 As for readers haranguing authors — it’s a fine line, isn’t it, between eager fandom (which is lovely) and reader entitlement (which can get quite ugly.) I get lots of emails asking for this character’s book or that — and for me, that’s encouragement. But I’ve seen some readers abuse authors for not taking a book or series in the direction they (the reader) wanted it to go, and that’s horrible. And you’re right about reviews — one person’s hot button is another readers delight. But never hesitate to put up a review — reviews help a writer gain visibility. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

    Reply
  167. Michelle, most authors I know spend so much time crafting a story world that it’s a bit like a baby, so yes, we’re not eager to abandon it. 🙂 As for readers haranguing authors — it’s a fine line, isn’t it, between eager fandom (which is lovely) and reader entitlement (which can get quite ugly.) I get lots of emails asking for this character’s book or that — and for me, that’s encouragement. But I’ve seen some readers abuse authors for not taking a book or series in the direction they (the reader) wanted it to go, and that’s horrible. And you’re right about reviews — one person’s hot button is another readers delight. But never hesitate to put up a review — reviews help a writer gain visibility. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

    Reply
  168. Michelle, most authors I know spend so much time crafting a story world that it’s a bit like a baby, so yes, we’re not eager to abandon it. 🙂 As for readers haranguing authors — it’s a fine line, isn’t it, between eager fandom (which is lovely) and reader entitlement (which can get quite ugly.) I get lots of emails asking for this character’s book or that — and for me, that’s encouragement. But I’ve seen some readers abuse authors for not taking a book or series in the direction they (the reader) wanted it to go, and that’s horrible. And you’re right about reviews — one person’s hot button is another readers delight. But never hesitate to put up a review — reviews help a writer gain visibility. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

    Reply
  169. Michelle, most authors I know spend so much time crafting a story world that it’s a bit like a baby, so yes, we’re not eager to abandon it. 🙂 As for readers haranguing authors — it’s a fine line, isn’t it, between eager fandom (which is lovely) and reader entitlement (which can get quite ugly.) I get lots of emails asking for this character’s book or that — and for me, that’s encouragement. But I’ve seen some readers abuse authors for not taking a book or series in the direction they (the reader) wanted it to go, and that’s horrible. And you’re right about reviews — one person’s hot button is another readers delight. But never hesitate to put up a review — reviews help a writer gain visibility. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

    Reply
  170. Michelle, most authors I know spend so much time crafting a story world that it’s a bit like a baby, so yes, we’re not eager to abandon it. 🙂 As for readers haranguing authors — it’s a fine line, isn’t it, between eager fandom (which is lovely) and reader entitlement (which can get quite ugly.) I get lots of emails asking for this character’s book or that — and for me, that’s encouragement. But I’ve seen some readers abuse authors for not taking a book or series in the direction they (the reader) wanted it to go, and that’s horrible. And you’re right about reviews — one person’s hot button is another readers delight. But never hesitate to put up a review — reviews help a writer gain visibility. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

    Reply
  171. Diane, your questions are a bit too complicated to answer in a short comment, so Ive decided to answer them more fully the next time I blog — 19th Feb. And because Ill be using your question, youre entitled to a book of mine as a thanks. We wenches love getting blog topic suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  172. Diane, your questions are a bit too complicated to answer in a short comment, so Ive decided to answer them more fully the next time I blog — 19th Feb. And because Ill be using your question, youre entitled to a book of mine as a thanks. We wenches love getting blog topic suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  173. Diane, your questions are a bit too complicated to answer in a short comment, so Ive decided to answer them more fully the next time I blog — 19th Feb. And because Ill be using your question, youre entitled to a book of mine as a thanks. We wenches love getting blog topic suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  174. Diane, your questions are a bit too complicated to answer in a short comment, so Ive decided to answer them more fully the next time I blog — 19th Feb. And because Ill be using your question, youre entitled to a book of mine as a thanks. We wenches love getting blog topic suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  175. Diane, your questions are a bit too complicated to answer in a short comment, so Ive decided to answer them more fully the next time I blog — 19th Feb. And because Ill be using your question, youre entitled to a book of mine as a thanks. We wenches love getting blog topic suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  176. I do love my historical fictions worlds, however some authors continue with series even after they go stale. I think the problem is when the author has a same archtype of hero or heroine in every book, and they become interchangeable, or when the settings are too similar. One author who has maintained a really high quality of writing over a long series is Julie Anne Long, with her Pennyroyal Green books. I haven’t quite caught up with the last few, but #8, It Happened One Midnight, was outstanding. Then there are series that are centered on the same couple, book after book. I gave up on the JD Robb “in Death” books after about 10 of them. I only wish Dorothy Sayers had been as prolific a writer, so we would have more Lord Peter! And every year I wait impatiently for C.S. Harris to put out the annual Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, they appear annually like clockwork. Only a few weeks till the next one!

    Reply
  177. I do love my historical fictions worlds, however some authors continue with series even after they go stale. I think the problem is when the author has a same archtype of hero or heroine in every book, and they become interchangeable, or when the settings are too similar. One author who has maintained a really high quality of writing over a long series is Julie Anne Long, with her Pennyroyal Green books. I haven’t quite caught up with the last few, but #8, It Happened One Midnight, was outstanding. Then there are series that are centered on the same couple, book after book. I gave up on the JD Robb “in Death” books after about 10 of them. I only wish Dorothy Sayers had been as prolific a writer, so we would have more Lord Peter! And every year I wait impatiently for C.S. Harris to put out the annual Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, they appear annually like clockwork. Only a few weeks till the next one!

    Reply
  178. I do love my historical fictions worlds, however some authors continue with series even after they go stale. I think the problem is when the author has a same archtype of hero or heroine in every book, and they become interchangeable, or when the settings are too similar. One author who has maintained a really high quality of writing over a long series is Julie Anne Long, with her Pennyroyal Green books. I haven’t quite caught up with the last few, but #8, It Happened One Midnight, was outstanding. Then there are series that are centered on the same couple, book after book. I gave up on the JD Robb “in Death” books after about 10 of them. I only wish Dorothy Sayers had been as prolific a writer, so we would have more Lord Peter! And every year I wait impatiently for C.S. Harris to put out the annual Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, they appear annually like clockwork. Only a few weeks till the next one!

    Reply
  179. I do love my historical fictions worlds, however some authors continue with series even after they go stale. I think the problem is when the author has a same archtype of hero or heroine in every book, and they become interchangeable, or when the settings are too similar. One author who has maintained a really high quality of writing over a long series is Julie Anne Long, with her Pennyroyal Green books. I haven’t quite caught up with the last few, but #8, It Happened One Midnight, was outstanding. Then there are series that are centered on the same couple, book after book. I gave up on the JD Robb “in Death” books after about 10 of them. I only wish Dorothy Sayers had been as prolific a writer, so we would have more Lord Peter! And every year I wait impatiently for C.S. Harris to put out the annual Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, they appear annually like clockwork. Only a few weeks till the next one!

    Reply
  180. I do love my historical fictions worlds, however some authors continue with series even after they go stale. I think the problem is when the author has a same archtype of hero or heroine in every book, and they become interchangeable, or when the settings are too similar. One author who has maintained a really high quality of writing over a long series is Julie Anne Long, with her Pennyroyal Green books. I haven’t quite caught up with the last few, but #8, It Happened One Midnight, was outstanding. Then there are series that are centered on the same couple, book after book. I gave up on the JD Robb “in Death” books after about 10 of them. I only wish Dorothy Sayers had been as prolific a writer, so we would have more Lord Peter! And every year I wait impatiently for C.S. Harris to put out the annual Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, they appear annually like clockwork. Only a few weeks till the next one!

    Reply
  181. OK, devil’s advocate here.
    I don’t like series. I hate coming in on the middle. I don’t like seeing characters from previous books that I haven’t read, because I don’t know their history. Also, with something like a year between books, I can forget the nuances of the previous book.
    Ebooks help with reading in sequence. Before, when there was only paper, sometimes the previous books were unavailable. Still, I wish authors would tell us if a given book is part of a series. Then I could go back and start with book 1.
    Going lightly with previous characters helps a current book, but I still wish everything was in one book. Not the current trend, I’m afraid.

    Reply
  182. OK, devil’s advocate here.
    I don’t like series. I hate coming in on the middle. I don’t like seeing characters from previous books that I haven’t read, because I don’t know their history. Also, with something like a year between books, I can forget the nuances of the previous book.
    Ebooks help with reading in sequence. Before, when there was only paper, sometimes the previous books were unavailable. Still, I wish authors would tell us if a given book is part of a series. Then I could go back and start with book 1.
    Going lightly with previous characters helps a current book, but I still wish everything was in one book. Not the current trend, I’m afraid.

    Reply
  183. OK, devil’s advocate here.
    I don’t like series. I hate coming in on the middle. I don’t like seeing characters from previous books that I haven’t read, because I don’t know their history. Also, with something like a year between books, I can forget the nuances of the previous book.
    Ebooks help with reading in sequence. Before, when there was only paper, sometimes the previous books were unavailable. Still, I wish authors would tell us if a given book is part of a series. Then I could go back and start with book 1.
    Going lightly with previous characters helps a current book, but I still wish everything was in one book. Not the current trend, I’m afraid.

    Reply
  184. OK, devil’s advocate here.
    I don’t like series. I hate coming in on the middle. I don’t like seeing characters from previous books that I haven’t read, because I don’t know their history. Also, with something like a year between books, I can forget the nuances of the previous book.
    Ebooks help with reading in sequence. Before, when there was only paper, sometimes the previous books were unavailable. Still, I wish authors would tell us if a given book is part of a series. Then I could go back and start with book 1.
    Going lightly with previous characters helps a current book, but I still wish everything was in one book. Not the current trend, I’m afraid.

    Reply
  185. OK, devil’s advocate here.
    I don’t like series. I hate coming in on the middle. I don’t like seeing characters from previous books that I haven’t read, because I don’t know their history. Also, with something like a year between books, I can forget the nuances of the previous book.
    Ebooks help with reading in sequence. Before, when there was only paper, sometimes the previous books were unavailable. Still, I wish authors would tell us if a given book is part of a series. Then I could go back and start with book 1.
    Going lightly with previous characters helps a current book, but I still wish everything was in one book. Not the current trend, I’m afraid.

    Reply
  186. Thanks, Linda. Thats one of the reasons I try to make my books stand-alone reads, while still being part of a series. People can tell theres a series, but they dont need to read the other books to enjoy the one they have. Or at least I hope thats the case. Ive been reading a few fantasy series lately and they do it very differently. Sometimes a book finishes right at the point where something dramatic is about to happen, leaving the reader hanging. Talk about hook to buy the next book! And I doubt you could pick some of those books up in the middle of the series. You might — I cant tell how difficult it would be, as I always start at book 1.

    Reply
  187. Thanks, Linda. Thats one of the reasons I try to make my books stand-alone reads, while still being part of a series. People can tell theres a series, but they dont need to read the other books to enjoy the one they have. Or at least I hope thats the case. Ive been reading a few fantasy series lately and they do it very differently. Sometimes a book finishes right at the point where something dramatic is about to happen, leaving the reader hanging. Talk about hook to buy the next book! And I doubt you could pick some of those books up in the middle of the series. You might — I cant tell how difficult it would be, as I always start at book 1.

    Reply
  188. Thanks, Linda. Thats one of the reasons I try to make my books stand-alone reads, while still being part of a series. People can tell theres a series, but they dont need to read the other books to enjoy the one they have. Or at least I hope thats the case. Ive been reading a few fantasy series lately and they do it very differently. Sometimes a book finishes right at the point where something dramatic is about to happen, leaving the reader hanging. Talk about hook to buy the next book! And I doubt you could pick some of those books up in the middle of the series. You might — I cant tell how difficult it would be, as I always start at book 1.

    Reply
  189. Thanks, Linda. Thats one of the reasons I try to make my books stand-alone reads, while still being part of a series. People can tell theres a series, but they dont need to read the other books to enjoy the one they have. Or at least I hope thats the case. Ive been reading a few fantasy series lately and they do it very differently. Sometimes a book finishes right at the point where something dramatic is about to happen, leaving the reader hanging. Talk about hook to buy the next book! And I doubt you could pick some of those books up in the middle of the series. You might — I cant tell how difficult it would be, as I always start at book 1.

    Reply
  190. Thanks, Linda. Thats one of the reasons I try to make my books stand-alone reads, while still being part of a series. People can tell theres a series, but they dont need to read the other books to enjoy the one they have. Or at least I hope thats the case. Ive been reading a few fantasy series lately and they do it very differently. Sometimes a book finishes right at the point where something dramatic is about to happen, leaving the reader hanging. Talk about hook to buy the next book! And I doubt you could pick some of those books up in the middle of the series. You might — I cant tell how difficult it would be, as I always start at book 1.

    Reply

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