Let’s have a series discussion

Cat_243_dover by Mary Jo

Once upon a time, most novels were stand alone stories.  Authors would move from one setting to another, maybe even a different century, and create new characters each time out the gate.   Remember all those lovely Mary Stewart romantic suspense novels?  Even the ones set in the Greek Isles didn’t connect.  (The Merlin books were a Santoriniwindmill series, but not contempoary romantic suspense.)

These days, in case you haven’t noticed, series have taken over the world of popular fiction.  Mystery is a genre with a long history of series, though even so, some of those Golden Age mystery writers varied among a stable of regulars.  Agatha Christie comes to mind with Hercule Poirot (he of the tiresome little gray cells and egg shaped head—factoids I remember decades after reading any of the books), Miss Marple, and the couple Tommy and Tuppence.  She did stand alones, too.

Miss_marple For mysteries, where often the puzzle was paramount, bringing in an established sleuth saved times.  No need to develop the character since the character was already developed as much as he was going to be.  (See “egg shaped head,” above.  Even Christie came to see Poirot as “an ego-centric creep:” <g>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie )

In historical romance, early stars like Johanna Lindsey might leap from a Western to a medieval to a pirate story to Vikings.  Many other authors did the same.        Tenderrebel

So when did it all change?  And why?

The romance genre may have something to do with the change.  More than any other genre, romance is focused on characters and relationships.  This is true across all romantic subgenres.

But maybe even more true in Regency romance.  The Regency genre we know and love is something of a shared world fantasy, to a large extent invented by Georgette Heyer.  The setting is generally England in a narrow span of years.  (The Prince Regent was in charge from 1811 until his father’s death in 1820, though the fictive Regency world is longer.)

Many stories were set all or in part in London, and certain historical characters like Prinny and Beau Diabolical_baronoriginal Brummell and the patronesses of Almack’s turned up in many stories.  Heck, when I wrote my first book, The Diabolical Baron, I pretty much thought Almack’s was compulsory. <g>  So the Regency was a fertile ground for writing connected stories.

When I looked at the first books of those Wenches who started in traditional Regency, we all connected characters from our first books.  Jo and I in particular rolled into long and increasingly complex series.  Jo’s Rogues series started in the mid-80s, and has only recently been concluded.  And it turns out the Rogues have friends.  <G>

I am regularly complimented on my Rogues series.  On Jo’s behalf, I always accept the plaudits graciously.  <G>  (Unlike Jo, I do not use genealogical software to keep track of my characters’ families and relationships.  Perhaps I should.)

A lot of readers really enjoyed connected books.  Women like reading for community.  It’s great fun to revisit characters we love and see how they’re doing.  Ditto to see secondary characters move to center stage and develop their own strengths and idiosyncrasies as protagonists.  It’s all good—but why did series become practically compulsory???

In a word: Branding.  This has become a hot concept in publishing, as well as just about everywhere else in the entertainment and commercial worlds.  Once upon a  time, Tide detergent was Tide detergent.  A detergent with bleach would be launched with a new name, new colors, new advertising, etc.  But a lot of new product launches failed and the products were discontinued, at significant costs to the producer.

I’m just guessing here, but I think some bright marketing laddie one day said, “Tide is an established brand with a lot of satisfied customers.  Instead of calling our new product Zowie Detergent with Bleach, Tide_with_bleach let’s call it Tide with Bleach and take advantage of an established brand name!”

“And so branding was born.  Note that this is an invented example: I have no idea of exactly how branding started. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Proctor and Gamble were leaders in this area.  (Okay, I just went to Wikipedia.  P&G was founded in 1837 by a candle maker and a soap maker, and they are indeed pioneers of brand management.)

In an increasing complex marketplace FULL of shrieking commercial voices, branding became a way to survive and flourish.  Pop culture began doing the same thing.  Star Wars parts IV, V, and VI, later Indiana_jones followed by Star Wars I, II, III.  People would talk about the new Die Hard or Indiana Jones movie. Franchises/branding moved in and became the 600 lb. gorilla.  People liked returning to characters and settings they enjoyed before.         

The same is true of books, so now publishing is knee deep in series, too.  Publishing is a hard business, and anything that will give a book an edge is valuable.

As is true of just about everything, there are pluses and minuses.  Revisiting a world we love is an obvious plus.

But the minuses are also there.  In romance, the custom is to have each hook focus on the courtship of a single couple.  Their story is developed and resolved in that volume, so there’s a satisfying ending.  A variation on this is the trilogy where there is an overarching plot issue in the background that isn’t resolved until the end of the final book, but each of the books focuses on a different couple. 

Though my books are almost always connected, the individual stories are designed to stand on their Thunder_roses_2 own.  My longest series, The Fallen Angels, is what I fondly call my seven book trilogy.  I quit because it seemed as if it would get too unwieldy.  This is a danger of very long series—so many characters that it’s impossible to revisit them all without old home week taking over the story.  And a reader who hasn’t read the earlier books is apt to be irritated by all the chumminess, like going to a party where everyone else knows each other but you’re a stranger.  My rule of thumb is never to pull in an earlier character unless he or she fills a legitimate story function.  The reader doesn’t have to have read that character’s own romance.

Indefinite series, if they’re successful, can go on and on and ON, leaving the reader with the question of where to start.  Early books might be out of print and hard to obtain.  And sometimes, when I’ve decided to start a series at the beginning, I’ve found the writing wasn’t strong enough to hold my attention though it might be later. 

With mystery series, which now have much stronger characterization than in the so-called Golden Age of detective fiction, there’s the challenge of having your characters grow without growing so much that readers aren’t interested any more.  Sue Grafton has done a good job with her Kinsey Milhone, as has Daisy_dalrymple Carola Dunn with her Daisy Dalrymple series, set in post-WWI England.

My pet peeve is when a sleuth’s love interest is killed off after the reader has bonded with the character.  As a writer, I can understand the desire to stir things up, have the protagonist experience grief and growth, and allow the introduction of new potential love interests.  But as a reader, I HATE it.  Heck, I stopped reading one writer when he murdered a cat very nastily just to prove how awful the bad guys were.  This is the origin of the mystery axiom “Don’t kill the cat!”  (The heroine had a dog, but nooooo, it was the sweet cat that was massacred.  I don’t think that author is published anymore, and serves him right.)

But I digress. <G>

Some of the dark fantasy series that are selling very well have such complicated world building that if you don’t start at the beginning, you’ll never be able to figure out what’s going on.  Even if you’ve read the earlier books, if any amount of time goes by between books, you might need to reread to remember what’s what. 

And the really big danger with a series: having a series you love get canceled with no real resolution.  If the author doesn’t know the ax is about to fall, she can’t wind things up.  I’m told of one fantasy series that literally ended with hero and heroine on a cliff, in danger.  What a terrible thing to have happen to series, author, and readers! 

When Robert Jordan, author of the immensely popular Wheel of Time fantasy series, died before completing the twelfth and final volume, there was much agitas among his readers.  I’d heard that he once said that if he died before finishing, too bad, but he changed his mind after being diagnosed with a terminal blood disease.  The final story was partially completed and fully outlined, and is being completed by another writer.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jordan )  I admire his commitment to his readers.

Have you had series you loved canceled without a real resolution?  What do you think of series in One_perfect_rose general?  Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or “it depends?” 

I’ll be interested to know your opinions!

Mary Jo, who is in a hurry and probably knee deep in typos

215 thoughts on “Let’s have a series discussion”

  1. I have mixed feelings about series. If the series follows the same characters, and it’s as well written as, say, the Spenser novels, I’m all for it — it’s a great opportunity to show growth and change over time.
    If the characters remain fixed in time and never age, as in the Stephanie Plum books, my opinion will vary according to how funny or interesting I think the events are.
    However, I’m not so crazy about linked novels – you know, the sort of thing about four friends from school or the war, each of whom gets a separate book. Too often by the time Book 2 comes out, I’ve pretty much forgotten the characters & events of Book 1, and I feel I have to go back and reread bits of it (assuming I’ve kept my copy), and that annoys me because I could be using that time to read something new.
    Too often, especially toward the end of a linked series, the characters from the earlier books get paraded through the current one, without any real plot or characterization purpose, as we don’t learn anything new about them except that they still have the hots for their wives and have X number of children by then. (Well, duh.) Much as I love Mary Balogh, she does this reunion thing a lot, and frankly, it’s a bore, I say – let’s get on with the current story and leave out these characters if they’re not going to actually do something important. Yet I understand that many readers say they want these previous characters tronking through again. I don’t get that, but there you are.

    Reply
  2. I have mixed feelings about series. If the series follows the same characters, and it’s as well written as, say, the Spenser novels, I’m all for it — it’s a great opportunity to show growth and change over time.
    If the characters remain fixed in time and never age, as in the Stephanie Plum books, my opinion will vary according to how funny or interesting I think the events are.
    However, I’m not so crazy about linked novels – you know, the sort of thing about four friends from school or the war, each of whom gets a separate book. Too often by the time Book 2 comes out, I’ve pretty much forgotten the characters & events of Book 1, and I feel I have to go back and reread bits of it (assuming I’ve kept my copy), and that annoys me because I could be using that time to read something new.
    Too often, especially toward the end of a linked series, the characters from the earlier books get paraded through the current one, without any real plot or characterization purpose, as we don’t learn anything new about them except that they still have the hots for their wives and have X number of children by then. (Well, duh.) Much as I love Mary Balogh, she does this reunion thing a lot, and frankly, it’s a bore, I say – let’s get on with the current story and leave out these characters if they’re not going to actually do something important. Yet I understand that many readers say they want these previous characters tronking through again. I don’t get that, but there you are.

    Reply
  3. I have mixed feelings about series. If the series follows the same characters, and it’s as well written as, say, the Spenser novels, I’m all for it — it’s a great opportunity to show growth and change over time.
    If the characters remain fixed in time and never age, as in the Stephanie Plum books, my opinion will vary according to how funny or interesting I think the events are.
    However, I’m not so crazy about linked novels – you know, the sort of thing about four friends from school or the war, each of whom gets a separate book. Too often by the time Book 2 comes out, I’ve pretty much forgotten the characters & events of Book 1, and I feel I have to go back and reread bits of it (assuming I’ve kept my copy), and that annoys me because I could be using that time to read something new.
    Too often, especially toward the end of a linked series, the characters from the earlier books get paraded through the current one, without any real plot or characterization purpose, as we don’t learn anything new about them except that they still have the hots for their wives and have X number of children by then. (Well, duh.) Much as I love Mary Balogh, she does this reunion thing a lot, and frankly, it’s a bore, I say – let’s get on with the current story and leave out these characters if they’re not going to actually do something important. Yet I understand that many readers say they want these previous characters tronking through again. I don’t get that, but there you are.

    Reply
  4. I have mixed feelings about series. If the series follows the same characters, and it’s as well written as, say, the Spenser novels, I’m all for it — it’s a great opportunity to show growth and change over time.
    If the characters remain fixed in time and never age, as in the Stephanie Plum books, my opinion will vary according to how funny or interesting I think the events are.
    However, I’m not so crazy about linked novels – you know, the sort of thing about four friends from school or the war, each of whom gets a separate book. Too often by the time Book 2 comes out, I’ve pretty much forgotten the characters & events of Book 1, and I feel I have to go back and reread bits of it (assuming I’ve kept my copy), and that annoys me because I could be using that time to read something new.
    Too often, especially toward the end of a linked series, the characters from the earlier books get paraded through the current one, without any real plot or characterization purpose, as we don’t learn anything new about them except that they still have the hots for their wives and have X number of children by then. (Well, duh.) Much as I love Mary Balogh, she does this reunion thing a lot, and frankly, it’s a bore, I say – let’s get on with the current story and leave out these characters if they’re not going to actually do something important. Yet I understand that many readers say they want these previous characters tronking through again. I don’t get that, but there you are.

    Reply
  5. I have mixed feelings about series. If the series follows the same characters, and it’s as well written as, say, the Spenser novels, I’m all for it — it’s a great opportunity to show growth and change over time.
    If the characters remain fixed in time and never age, as in the Stephanie Plum books, my opinion will vary according to how funny or interesting I think the events are.
    However, I’m not so crazy about linked novels – you know, the sort of thing about four friends from school or the war, each of whom gets a separate book. Too often by the time Book 2 comes out, I’ve pretty much forgotten the characters & events of Book 1, and I feel I have to go back and reread bits of it (assuming I’ve kept my copy), and that annoys me because I could be using that time to read something new.
    Too often, especially toward the end of a linked series, the characters from the earlier books get paraded through the current one, without any real plot or characterization purpose, as we don’t learn anything new about them except that they still have the hots for their wives and have X number of children by then. (Well, duh.) Much as I love Mary Balogh, she does this reunion thing a lot, and frankly, it’s a bore, I say – let’s get on with the current story and leave out these characters if they’re not going to actually do something important. Yet I understand that many readers say they want these previous characters tronking through again. I don’t get that, but there you are.

    Reply
  6. As a writer I personally find the series trend a chore. I do get ideas with a full cast of characters who fall neatly into a sort of series, but then I get antsy at the thought of being confined to the timeline of a series. I want to be able to hop around in time without worrying that someone is too young or is too old during Book 3, etc.
    My main concern with the series is what Janice mentioned: the expected walk-on. I still haven’t completed a few family series’ from the early 2000s because the familiar and in-law camaraderie made me want to hurl from the treacly sweetness of it all. I just can’t believe that a family of 5-8 children get along that perfectly and love one another’s spouses unconditionally (or a group of friends or cousins, etc). My credulity doesn’t stretch that far.
    I don’t mind mystery or urban fantasy series’ because The End doesn’t mean the end for the character. In a romance, the protagonists are expected to be “perfect” by the last chapter, while in a mystery or uf series, each book is a chapter in the main character’s life, and whatever occurs in that volume will either make them or break them.

    Reply
  7. As a writer I personally find the series trend a chore. I do get ideas with a full cast of characters who fall neatly into a sort of series, but then I get antsy at the thought of being confined to the timeline of a series. I want to be able to hop around in time without worrying that someone is too young or is too old during Book 3, etc.
    My main concern with the series is what Janice mentioned: the expected walk-on. I still haven’t completed a few family series’ from the early 2000s because the familiar and in-law camaraderie made me want to hurl from the treacly sweetness of it all. I just can’t believe that a family of 5-8 children get along that perfectly and love one another’s spouses unconditionally (or a group of friends or cousins, etc). My credulity doesn’t stretch that far.
    I don’t mind mystery or urban fantasy series’ because The End doesn’t mean the end for the character. In a romance, the protagonists are expected to be “perfect” by the last chapter, while in a mystery or uf series, each book is a chapter in the main character’s life, and whatever occurs in that volume will either make them or break them.

    Reply
  8. As a writer I personally find the series trend a chore. I do get ideas with a full cast of characters who fall neatly into a sort of series, but then I get antsy at the thought of being confined to the timeline of a series. I want to be able to hop around in time without worrying that someone is too young or is too old during Book 3, etc.
    My main concern with the series is what Janice mentioned: the expected walk-on. I still haven’t completed a few family series’ from the early 2000s because the familiar and in-law camaraderie made me want to hurl from the treacly sweetness of it all. I just can’t believe that a family of 5-8 children get along that perfectly and love one another’s spouses unconditionally (or a group of friends or cousins, etc). My credulity doesn’t stretch that far.
    I don’t mind mystery or urban fantasy series’ because The End doesn’t mean the end for the character. In a romance, the protagonists are expected to be “perfect” by the last chapter, while in a mystery or uf series, each book is a chapter in the main character’s life, and whatever occurs in that volume will either make them or break them.

    Reply
  9. As a writer I personally find the series trend a chore. I do get ideas with a full cast of characters who fall neatly into a sort of series, but then I get antsy at the thought of being confined to the timeline of a series. I want to be able to hop around in time without worrying that someone is too young or is too old during Book 3, etc.
    My main concern with the series is what Janice mentioned: the expected walk-on. I still haven’t completed a few family series’ from the early 2000s because the familiar and in-law camaraderie made me want to hurl from the treacly sweetness of it all. I just can’t believe that a family of 5-8 children get along that perfectly and love one another’s spouses unconditionally (or a group of friends or cousins, etc). My credulity doesn’t stretch that far.
    I don’t mind mystery or urban fantasy series’ because The End doesn’t mean the end for the character. In a romance, the protagonists are expected to be “perfect” by the last chapter, while in a mystery or uf series, each book is a chapter in the main character’s life, and whatever occurs in that volume will either make them or break them.

    Reply
  10. As a writer I personally find the series trend a chore. I do get ideas with a full cast of characters who fall neatly into a sort of series, but then I get antsy at the thought of being confined to the timeline of a series. I want to be able to hop around in time without worrying that someone is too young or is too old during Book 3, etc.
    My main concern with the series is what Janice mentioned: the expected walk-on. I still haven’t completed a few family series’ from the early 2000s because the familiar and in-law camaraderie made me want to hurl from the treacly sweetness of it all. I just can’t believe that a family of 5-8 children get along that perfectly and love one another’s spouses unconditionally (or a group of friends or cousins, etc). My credulity doesn’t stretch that far.
    I don’t mind mystery or urban fantasy series’ because The End doesn’t mean the end for the character. In a romance, the protagonists are expected to be “perfect” by the last chapter, while in a mystery or uf series, each book is a chapter in the main character’s life, and whatever occurs in that volume will either make them or break them.

    Reply
  11. I don’t care for the series trend. I like the one book to be pretty much contained.
    I understand for a long story a trilogy may be necessary. I do like reading the books in sequence, though. But I want a different cast of characters and the backstory summarized in a few paragraphs.
    I always liked Barbara Metzger, first because her stories are hilarious, but also because they were always standalone. Until recently, that is. Now she, too, has series (House of Cards), but I think she did a pretty good job of summarizing the backstory in the later books.
    And I agree with Janice, I hate Mary Balogh dragging in all those old characters. First, I may not know about them, and second, there are way too many!

    Reply
  12. I don’t care for the series trend. I like the one book to be pretty much contained.
    I understand for a long story a trilogy may be necessary. I do like reading the books in sequence, though. But I want a different cast of characters and the backstory summarized in a few paragraphs.
    I always liked Barbara Metzger, first because her stories are hilarious, but also because they were always standalone. Until recently, that is. Now she, too, has series (House of Cards), but I think she did a pretty good job of summarizing the backstory in the later books.
    And I agree with Janice, I hate Mary Balogh dragging in all those old characters. First, I may not know about them, and second, there are way too many!

    Reply
  13. I don’t care for the series trend. I like the one book to be pretty much contained.
    I understand for a long story a trilogy may be necessary. I do like reading the books in sequence, though. But I want a different cast of characters and the backstory summarized in a few paragraphs.
    I always liked Barbara Metzger, first because her stories are hilarious, but also because they were always standalone. Until recently, that is. Now she, too, has series (House of Cards), but I think she did a pretty good job of summarizing the backstory in the later books.
    And I agree with Janice, I hate Mary Balogh dragging in all those old characters. First, I may not know about them, and second, there are way too many!

    Reply
  14. I don’t care for the series trend. I like the one book to be pretty much contained.
    I understand for a long story a trilogy may be necessary. I do like reading the books in sequence, though. But I want a different cast of characters and the backstory summarized in a few paragraphs.
    I always liked Barbara Metzger, first because her stories are hilarious, but also because they were always standalone. Until recently, that is. Now she, too, has series (House of Cards), but I think she did a pretty good job of summarizing the backstory in the later books.
    And I agree with Janice, I hate Mary Balogh dragging in all those old characters. First, I may not know about them, and second, there are way too many!

    Reply
  15. I don’t care for the series trend. I like the one book to be pretty much contained.
    I understand for a long story a trilogy may be necessary. I do like reading the books in sequence, though. But I want a different cast of characters and the backstory summarized in a few paragraphs.
    I always liked Barbara Metzger, first because her stories are hilarious, but also because they were always standalone. Until recently, that is. Now she, too, has series (House of Cards), but I think she did a pretty good job of summarizing the backstory in the later books.
    And I agree with Janice, I hate Mary Balogh dragging in all those old characters. First, I may not know about them, and second, there are way too many!

    Reply
  16. I only recently discovered that I laid the ground work for a trilogy in the WIP I’m writing now. Three seems to be a good number. I took a flower arranging class where 1-3-5 was drilled in—pick an odd number. I do read connected books. Sometimes they run out of steam; sometimes they don’t (you Wenches know how to do it).
    But I do think romance novels should stand on their own, even if there’s a return of previous couples for some BRIEF update.
    As for TV series, before I gave up watching much TV, I just couldn’t commit to years and years of shows. I’d watch the first 3 or so (that magic number) and then abandon ship. I guess I have ADD.

    Reply
  17. I only recently discovered that I laid the ground work for a trilogy in the WIP I’m writing now. Three seems to be a good number. I took a flower arranging class where 1-3-5 was drilled in—pick an odd number. I do read connected books. Sometimes they run out of steam; sometimes they don’t (you Wenches know how to do it).
    But I do think romance novels should stand on their own, even if there’s a return of previous couples for some BRIEF update.
    As for TV series, before I gave up watching much TV, I just couldn’t commit to years and years of shows. I’d watch the first 3 or so (that magic number) and then abandon ship. I guess I have ADD.

    Reply
  18. I only recently discovered that I laid the ground work for a trilogy in the WIP I’m writing now. Three seems to be a good number. I took a flower arranging class where 1-3-5 was drilled in—pick an odd number. I do read connected books. Sometimes they run out of steam; sometimes they don’t (you Wenches know how to do it).
    But I do think romance novels should stand on their own, even if there’s a return of previous couples for some BRIEF update.
    As for TV series, before I gave up watching much TV, I just couldn’t commit to years and years of shows. I’d watch the first 3 or so (that magic number) and then abandon ship. I guess I have ADD.

    Reply
  19. I only recently discovered that I laid the ground work for a trilogy in the WIP I’m writing now. Three seems to be a good number. I took a flower arranging class where 1-3-5 was drilled in—pick an odd number. I do read connected books. Sometimes they run out of steam; sometimes they don’t (you Wenches know how to do it).
    But I do think romance novels should stand on their own, even if there’s a return of previous couples for some BRIEF update.
    As for TV series, before I gave up watching much TV, I just couldn’t commit to years and years of shows. I’d watch the first 3 or so (that magic number) and then abandon ship. I guess I have ADD.

    Reply
  20. I only recently discovered that I laid the ground work for a trilogy in the WIP I’m writing now. Three seems to be a good number. I took a flower arranging class where 1-3-5 was drilled in—pick an odd number. I do read connected books. Sometimes they run out of steam; sometimes they don’t (you Wenches know how to do it).
    But I do think romance novels should stand on their own, even if there’s a return of previous couples for some BRIEF update.
    As for TV series, before I gave up watching much TV, I just couldn’t commit to years and years of shows. I’d watch the first 3 or so (that magic number) and then abandon ship. I guess I have ADD.

    Reply
  21. +IHS+
    There’s a comfort factor involved when it comes to series or books set in the same world. I did not read Jo’s Company of Rogues books in the right order, which means that a lot of things were “spoiled” for me, but it felt really great to finally read an earlier book and see how the story “really” happened.
    There’s also a different kind of delight in knowing what is in store for one who is reading the books “backwards.” For instance, I’ve already read Forbidden, where the heroine gets dumped, The Dragon’s Bride, where she gets dumped again, and St. Raven, where it is revealed that she has eloped; but I haven’t read Hazard, which has the real meat of her story. So I wait to read Hazard with a richer kind of anticipation than if I hadn’t known about the twist in the tale.
    Bringing another Word Wench in now . . . Last week, I reread Loretta’s Miss Wonderful and found myself wondering about the heroine’s first love, William Poyton. I felt that it was only fair that he get a great story of his own, after first getting dumped by the heroine and then getting upstaged in her heart by a Carsington brother! One really comes to care for certain characters. I think that the development of Romances from stand-alones to interrelated books was spearheaded by readers rather than authors.
    Now, this comment is dragging on, but I want to put in a good word for Paranormals, which add a whole other level of fun. I actually like making note of the rules of the made-up worlds, especially if they come into play in a later book. Then I get to be like one of the characters, thinking, “Oh, you shouldn’t trust that vampire because he belongs to a brotherhood at war with the demon order aligned with the witch coven of the hero’s sister-in-law.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote something like that in The Great Gatsby: something about how great it feels to go from an outsider to a real part of the neighbourhood.

    Reply
  22. +IHS+
    There’s a comfort factor involved when it comes to series or books set in the same world. I did not read Jo’s Company of Rogues books in the right order, which means that a lot of things were “spoiled” for me, but it felt really great to finally read an earlier book and see how the story “really” happened.
    There’s also a different kind of delight in knowing what is in store for one who is reading the books “backwards.” For instance, I’ve already read Forbidden, where the heroine gets dumped, The Dragon’s Bride, where she gets dumped again, and St. Raven, where it is revealed that she has eloped; but I haven’t read Hazard, which has the real meat of her story. So I wait to read Hazard with a richer kind of anticipation than if I hadn’t known about the twist in the tale.
    Bringing another Word Wench in now . . . Last week, I reread Loretta’s Miss Wonderful and found myself wondering about the heroine’s first love, William Poyton. I felt that it was only fair that he get a great story of his own, after first getting dumped by the heroine and then getting upstaged in her heart by a Carsington brother! One really comes to care for certain characters. I think that the development of Romances from stand-alones to interrelated books was spearheaded by readers rather than authors.
    Now, this comment is dragging on, but I want to put in a good word for Paranormals, which add a whole other level of fun. I actually like making note of the rules of the made-up worlds, especially if they come into play in a later book. Then I get to be like one of the characters, thinking, “Oh, you shouldn’t trust that vampire because he belongs to a brotherhood at war with the demon order aligned with the witch coven of the hero’s sister-in-law.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote something like that in The Great Gatsby: something about how great it feels to go from an outsider to a real part of the neighbourhood.

    Reply
  23. +IHS+
    There’s a comfort factor involved when it comes to series or books set in the same world. I did not read Jo’s Company of Rogues books in the right order, which means that a lot of things were “spoiled” for me, but it felt really great to finally read an earlier book and see how the story “really” happened.
    There’s also a different kind of delight in knowing what is in store for one who is reading the books “backwards.” For instance, I’ve already read Forbidden, where the heroine gets dumped, The Dragon’s Bride, where she gets dumped again, and St. Raven, where it is revealed that she has eloped; but I haven’t read Hazard, which has the real meat of her story. So I wait to read Hazard with a richer kind of anticipation than if I hadn’t known about the twist in the tale.
    Bringing another Word Wench in now . . . Last week, I reread Loretta’s Miss Wonderful and found myself wondering about the heroine’s first love, William Poyton. I felt that it was only fair that he get a great story of his own, after first getting dumped by the heroine and then getting upstaged in her heart by a Carsington brother! One really comes to care for certain characters. I think that the development of Romances from stand-alones to interrelated books was spearheaded by readers rather than authors.
    Now, this comment is dragging on, but I want to put in a good word for Paranormals, which add a whole other level of fun. I actually like making note of the rules of the made-up worlds, especially if they come into play in a later book. Then I get to be like one of the characters, thinking, “Oh, you shouldn’t trust that vampire because he belongs to a brotherhood at war with the demon order aligned with the witch coven of the hero’s sister-in-law.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote something like that in The Great Gatsby: something about how great it feels to go from an outsider to a real part of the neighbourhood.

    Reply
  24. +IHS+
    There’s a comfort factor involved when it comes to series or books set in the same world. I did not read Jo’s Company of Rogues books in the right order, which means that a lot of things were “spoiled” for me, but it felt really great to finally read an earlier book and see how the story “really” happened.
    There’s also a different kind of delight in knowing what is in store for one who is reading the books “backwards.” For instance, I’ve already read Forbidden, where the heroine gets dumped, The Dragon’s Bride, where she gets dumped again, and St. Raven, where it is revealed that she has eloped; but I haven’t read Hazard, which has the real meat of her story. So I wait to read Hazard with a richer kind of anticipation than if I hadn’t known about the twist in the tale.
    Bringing another Word Wench in now . . . Last week, I reread Loretta’s Miss Wonderful and found myself wondering about the heroine’s first love, William Poyton. I felt that it was only fair that he get a great story of his own, after first getting dumped by the heroine and then getting upstaged in her heart by a Carsington brother! One really comes to care for certain characters. I think that the development of Romances from stand-alones to interrelated books was spearheaded by readers rather than authors.
    Now, this comment is dragging on, but I want to put in a good word for Paranormals, which add a whole other level of fun. I actually like making note of the rules of the made-up worlds, especially if they come into play in a later book. Then I get to be like one of the characters, thinking, “Oh, you shouldn’t trust that vampire because he belongs to a brotherhood at war with the demon order aligned with the witch coven of the hero’s sister-in-law.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote something like that in The Great Gatsby: something about how great it feels to go from an outsider to a real part of the neighbourhood.

    Reply
  25. +IHS+
    There’s a comfort factor involved when it comes to series or books set in the same world. I did not read Jo’s Company of Rogues books in the right order, which means that a lot of things were “spoiled” for me, but it felt really great to finally read an earlier book and see how the story “really” happened.
    There’s also a different kind of delight in knowing what is in store for one who is reading the books “backwards.” For instance, I’ve already read Forbidden, where the heroine gets dumped, The Dragon’s Bride, where she gets dumped again, and St. Raven, where it is revealed that she has eloped; but I haven’t read Hazard, which has the real meat of her story. So I wait to read Hazard with a richer kind of anticipation than if I hadn’t known about the twist in the tale.
    Bringing another Word Wench in now . . . Last week, I reread Loretta’s Miss Wonderful and found myself wondering about the heroine’s first love, William Poyton. I felt that it was only fair that he get a great story of his own, after first getting dumped by the heroine and then getting upstaged in her heart by a Carsington brother! One really comes to care for certain characters. I think that the development of Romances from stand-alones to interrelated books was spearheaded by readers rather than authors.
    Now, this comment is dragging on, but I want to put in a good word for Paranormals, which add a whole other level of fun. I actually like making note of the rules of the made-up worlds, especially if they come into play in a later book. Then I get to be like one of the characters, thinking, “Oh, you shouldn’t trust that vampire because he belongs to a brotherhood at war with the demon order aligned with the witch coven of the hero’s sister-in-law.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote something like that in The Great Gatsby: something about how great it feels to go from an outsider to a real part of the neighbourhood.

    Reply
  26. I love the series books. When I first started reading romance there were a few that were around, even Georgette Heyer has some that are tied together. For me it’s having a secondary character jump out at you and say “I need a book about me”, so then I used to write to the authors and ask if they were going to write a book about that character.
    I do have a problem keeping all of the series books straight and find myself saying things like “oh, that’s the one with the brother that does this or the spy that does that.” I also find books that have all of the characters showing up in it a little tiresome. Bottom line, I like the series book, but I think each book should also be able to stand on it’s own.
    And, yes, I have had a series that I was enjoying get canceled. That was a bummer, even more so for the author I would imagine, since she had to go through some major publishing changes. And after almost four years, she will at least have another book coming out soon (just not in that series).
    Two of my favorite older books were Constance Gluyas, The King’s Brat and My Lady Pembroke. The heroine was the same, but she had two husbands. I read those in the 70’s, and at that time I was ok with the husband dying and her remarrying, I don’t believe I would be now.

    Reply
  27. I love the series books. When I first started reading romance there were a few that were around, even Georgette Heyer has some that are tied together. For me it’s having a secondary character jump out at you and say “I need a book about me”, so then I used to write to the authors and ask if they were going to write a book about that character.
    I do have a problem keeping all of the series books straight and find myself saying things like “oh, that’s the one with the brother that does this or the spy that does that.” I also find books that have all of the characters showing up in it a little tiresome. Bottom line, I like the series book, but I think each book should also be able to stand on it’s own.
    And, yes, I have had a series that I was enjoying get canceled. That was a bummer, even more so for the author I would imagine, since she had to go through some major publishing changes. And after almost four years, she will at least have another book coming out soon (just not in that series).
    Two of my favorite older books were Constance Gluyas, The King’s Brat and My Lady Pembroke. The heroine was the same, but she had two husbands. I read those in the 70’s, and at that time I was ok with the husband dying and her remarrying, I don’t believe I would be now.

    Reply
  28. I love the series books. When I first started reading romance there were a few that were around, even Georgette Heyer has some that are tied together. For me it’s having a secondary character jump out at you and say “I need a book about me”, so then I used to write to the authors and ask if they were going to write a book about that character.
    I do have a problem keeping all of the series books straight and find myself saying things like “oh, that’s the one with the brother that does this or the spy that does that.” I also find books that have all of the characters showing up in it a little tiresome. Bottom line, I like the series book, but I think each book should also be able to stand on it’s own.
    And, yes, I have had a series that I was enjoying get canceled. That was a bummer, even more so for the author I would imagine, since she had to go through some major publishing changes. And after almost four years, she will at least have another book coming out soon (just not in that series).
    Two of my favorite older books were Constance Gluyas, The King’s Brat and My Lady Pembroke. The heroine was the same, but she had two husbands. I read those in the 70’s, and at that time I was ok with the husband dying and her remarrying, I don’t believe I would be now.

    Reply
  29. I love the series books. When I first started reading romance there were a few that were around, even Georgette Heyer has some that are tied together. For me it’s having a secondary character jump out at you and say “I need a book about me”, so then I used to write to the authors and ask if they were going to write a book about that character.
    I do have a problem keeping all of the series books straight and find myself saying things like “oh, that’s the one with the brother that does this or the spy that does that.” I also find books that have all of the characters showing up in it a little tiresome. Bottom line, I like the series book, but I think each book should also be able to stand on it’s own.
    And, yes, I have had a series that I was enjoying get canceled. That was a bummer, even more so for the author I would imagine, since she had to go through some major publishing changes. And after almost four years, she will at least have another book coming out soon (just not in that series).
    Two of my favorite older books were Constance Gluyas, The King’s Brat and My Lady Pembroke. The heroine was the same, but she had two husbands. I read those in the 70’s, and at that time I was ok with the husband dying and her remarrying, I don’t believe I would be now.

    Reply
  30. I love the series books. When I first started reading romance there were a few that were around, even Georgette Heyer has some that are tied together. For me it’s having a secondary character jump out at you and say “I need a book about me”, so then I used to write to the authors and ask if they were going to write a book about that character.
    I do have a problem keeping all of the series books straight and find myself saying things like “oh, that’s the one with the brother that does this or the spy that does that.” I also find books that have all of the characters showing up in it a little tiresome. Bottom line, I like the series book, but I think each book should also be able to stand on it’s own.
    And, yes, I have had a series that I was enjoying get canceled. That was a bummer, even more so for the author I would imagine, since she had to go through some major publishing changes. And after almost four years, she will at least have another book coming out soon (just not in that series).
    Two of my favorite older books were Constance Gluyas, The King’s Brat and My Lady Pembroke. The heroine was the same, but she had two husbands. I read those in the 70’s, and at that time I was ok with the husband dying and her remarrying, I don’t believe I would be now.

    Reply
  31. I’ve had series I’ve loved and series that turned into wallbangers so for me, I am very careful now about who I’ll pick up. I’ve read a couple of Wench series, adored Anne Gracie’s Perfect series and a few other authors who hold my historical romance fancy. I’ve also been immersed in some really excellent paranormal series, some historical, some contemporary, and some where the first few books were excellent and then I felt terribly betrayed by the author at the turn of events, not in the writing itself but in the midstream switch of genre going from PNR to UF with a little romance on the side.
    I’ve come to the point where I only pick up series of authors who either I trust completely to not make drastic changes halfway through or, if I’m trying a new author, that there are enough books in the series that I can find out prior to picking them up if the series has stayed true to itself or strayed off into never-never land.

    Reply
  32. I’ve had series I’ve loved and series that turned into wallbangers so for me, I am very careful now about who I’ll pick up. I’ve read a couple of Wench series, adored Anne Gracie’s Perfect series and a few other authors who hold my historical romance fancy. I’ve also been immersed in some really excellent paranormal series, some historical, some contemporary, and some where the first few books were excellent and then I felt terribly betrayed by the author at the turn of events, not in the writing itself but in the midstream switch of genre going from PNR to UF with a little romance on the side.
    I’ve come to the point where I only pick up series of authors who either I trust completely to not make drastic changes halfway through or, if I’m trying a new author, that there are enough books in the series that I can find out prior to picking them up if the series has stayed true to itself or strayed off into never-never land.

    Reply
  33. I’ve had series I’ve loved and series that turned into wallbangers so for me, I am very careful now about who I’ll pick up. I’ve read a couple of Wench series, adored Anne Gracie’s Perfect series and a few other authors who hold my historical romance fancy. I’ve also been immersed in some really excellent paranormal series, some historical, some contemporary, and some where the first few books were excellent and then I felt terribly betrayed by the author at the turn of events, not in the writing itself but in the midstream switch of genre going from PNR to UF with a little romance on the side.
    I’ve come to the point where I only pick up series of authors who either I trust completely to not make drastic changes halfway through or, if I’m trying a new author, that there are enough books in the series that I can find out prior to picking them up if the series has stayed true to itself or strayed off into never-never land.

    Reply
  34. I’ve had series I’ve loved and series that turned into wallbangers so for me, I am very careful now about who I’ll pick up. I’ve read a couple of Wench series, adored Anne Gracie’s Perfect series and a few other authors who hold my historical romance fancy. I’ve also been immersed in some really excellent paranormal series, some historical, some contemporary, and some where the first few books were excellent and then I felt terribly betrayed by the author at the turn of events, not in the writing itself but in the midstream switch of genre going from PNR to UF with a little romance on the side.
    I’ve come to the point where I only pick up series of authors who either I trust completely to not make drastic changes halfway through or, if I’m trying a new author, that there are enough books in the series that I can find out prior to picking them up if the series has stayed true to itself or strayed off into never-never land.

    Reply
  35. I’ve had series I’ve loved and series that turned into wallbangers so for me, I am very careful now about who I’ll pick up. I’ve read a couple of Wench series, adored Anne Gracie’s Perfect series and a few other authors who hold my historical romance fancy. I’ve also been immersed in some really excellent paranormal series, some historical, some contemporary, and some where the first few books were excellent and then I felt terribly betrayed by the author at the turn of events, not in the writing itself but in the midstream switch of genre going from PNR to UF with a little romance on the side.
    I’ve come to the point where I only pick up series of authors who either I trust completely to not make drastic changes halfway through or, if I’m trying a new author, that there are enough books in the series that I can find out prior to picking them up if the series has stayed true to itself or strayed off into never-never land.

    Reply
  36. On the whole, I enjoy series and the chance to look in on earlier characters (especially if their books were very angsty and their paths to HEA particularly rocky), though I understand exactly what you mean by the problem of Old Home Week taking over. That’s kind of what happened with me and a Regency series by Patricia Veryan. I still enjoyed it but I was going crazy trying to get hold of all the titles–the earliest of which were out of print–so I could figure out all the relationships between the heroes! Every now and then, a stand-alone is a welcome change of pace.
    And oh, I can relate to frustrated readers who never get closure to a series because of the author’s untimely demise. I still mourn that I’ll never know Julian Kestrel’s fate–romantic and otherwise–after The Devil in Music, because we lost Kate Ross after only four books. I remember hearing that the late, great Dorothy Dunnett had a letter in her safe giving the details of how the Niccolo series would end, should she die before completing it. She did live to complete it, but I miss her too. And the splendid Winston Graham wrote his twelfth and last Poldark book at the ripe old age of 92, wrapping up any and all loose ends for faithful readers.

    Reply
  37. On the whole, I enjoy series and the chance to look in on earlier characters (especially if their books were very angsty and their paths to HEA particularly rocky), though I understand exactly what you mean by the problem of Old Home Week taking over. That’s kind of what happened with me and a Regency series by Patricia Veryan. I still enjoyed it but I was going crazy trying to get hold of all the titles–the earliest of which were out of print–so I could figure out all the relationships between the heroes! Every now and then, a stand-alone is a welcome change of pace.
    And oh, I can relate to frustrated readers who never get closure to a series because of the author’s untimely demise. I still mourn that I’ll never know Julian Kestrel’s fate–romantic and otherwise–after The Devil in Music, because we lost Kate Ross after only four books. I remember hearing that the late, great Dorothy Dunnett had a letter in her safe giving the details of how the Niccolo series would end, should she die before completing it. She did live to complete it, but I miss her too. And the splendid Winston Graham wrote his twelfth and last Poldark book at the ripe old age of 92, wrapping up any and all loose ends for faithful readers.

    Reply
  38. On the whole, I enjoy series and the chance to look in on earlier characters (especially if their books were very angsty and their paths to HEA particularly rocky), though I understand exactly what you mean by the problem of Old Home Week taking over. That’s kind of what happened with me and a Regency series by Patricia Veryan. I still enjoyed it but I was going crazy trying to get hold of all the titles–the earliest of which were out of print–so I could figure out all the relationships between the heroes! Every now and then, a stand-alone is a welcome change of pace.
    And oh, I can relate to frustrated readers who never get closure to a series because of the author’s untimely demise. I still mourn that I’ll never know Julian Kestrel’s fate–romantic and otherwise–after The Devil in Music, because we lost Kate Ross after only four books. I remember hearing that the late, great Dorothy Dunnett had a letter in her safe giving the details of how the Niccolo series would end, should she die before completing it. She did live to complete it, but I miss her too. And the splendid Winston Graham wrote his twelfth and last Poldark book at the ripe old age of 92, wrapping up any and all loose ends for faithful readers.

    Reply
  39. On the whole, I enjoy series and the chance to look in on earlier characters (especially if their books were very angsty and their paths to HEA particularly rocky), though I understand exactly what you mean by the problem of Old Home Week taking over. That’s kind of what happened with me and a Regency series by Patricia Veryan. I still enjoyed it but I was going crazy trying to get hold of all the titles–the earliest of which were out of print–so I could figure out all the relationships between the heroes! Every now and then, a stand-alone is a welcome change of pace.
    And oh, I can relate to frustrated readers who never get closure to a series because of the author’s untimely demise. I still mourn that I’ll never know Julian Kestrel’s fate–romantic and otherwise–after The Devil in Music, because we lost Kate Ross after only four books. I remember hearing that the late, great Dorothy Dunnett had a letter in her safe giving the details of how the Niccolo series would end, should she die before completing it. She did live to complete it, but I miss her too. And the splendid Winston Graham wrote his twelfth and last Poldark book at the ripe old age of 92, wrapping up any and all loose ends for faithful readers.

    Reply
  40. On the whole, I enjoy series and the chance to look in on earlier characters (especially if their books were very angsty and their paths to HEA particularly rocky), though I understand exactly what you mean by the problem of Old Home Week taking over. That’s kind of what happened with me and a Regency series by Patricia Veryan. I still enjoyed it but I was going crazy trying to get hold of all the titles–the earliest of which were out of print–so I could figure out all the relationships between the heroes! Every now and then, a stand-alone is a welcome change of pace.
    And oh, I can relate to frustrated readers who never get closure to a series because of the author’s untimely demise. I still mourn that I’ll never know Julian Kestrel’s fate–romantic and otherwise–after The Devil in Music, because we lost Kate Ross after only four books. I remember hearing that the late, great Dorothy Dunnett had a letter in her safe giving the details of how the Niccolo series would end, should she die before completing it. She did live to complete it, but I miss her too. And the splendid Winston Graham wrote his twelfth and last Poldark book at the ripe old age of 92, wrapping up any and all loose ends for faithful readers.

    Reply
  41. Hi Mary Jo! Great post. I love connected books but I prefer them in 2s or 3s. My favs are Kiss of Fate & Stolen Magic and Wild Child & China Bride. Even though both sets are part of larger series, they are so tightly woven together that I think of them as one. For me, 90,000 words just isn’t enough to satisfy my need for deep plot and character development.
    As writer and reader, (IMHO) if a series is going to work, the secondary character in book one, which will become primary in book two, must be granted a significant role in the first book. (brother of the hero who turned villain or best friend who helps the hero along) That way, I feel invested. As to “great reunions”, the neatest one I’ve seen is when you brought the Earl of Falconer into A Distant Magic and used his unicorn magic (compliments of the villain in his book) as the reason for his and Meg’s longevity. For me, that was powerful use of story.
    Nina, who just learned she won 2nd place in the Magic Moments contest.

    Reply
  42. Hi Mary Jo! Great post. I love connected books but I prefer them in 2s or 3s. My favs are Kiss of Fate & Stolen Magic and Wild Child & China Bride. Even though both sets are part of larger series, they are so tightly woven together that I think of them as one. For me, 90,000 words just isn’t enough to satisfy my need for deep plot and character development.
    As writer and reader, (IMHO) if a series is going to work, the secondary character in book one, which will become primary in book two, must be granted a significant role in the first book. (brother of the hero who turned villain or best friend who helps the hero along) That way, I feel invested. As to “great reunions”, the neatest one I’ve seen is when you brought the Earl of Falconer into A Distant Magic and used his unicorn magic (compliments of the villain in his book) as the reason for his and Meg’s longevity. For me, that was powerful use of story.
    Nina, who just learned she won 2nd place in the Magic Moments contest.

    Reply
  43. Hi Mary Jo! Great post. I love connected books but I prefer them in 2s or 3s. My favs are Kiss of Fate & Stolen Magic and Wild Child & China Bride. Even though both sets are part of larger series, they are so tightly woven together that I think of them as one. For me, 90,000 words just isn’t enough to satisfy my need for deep plot and character development.
    As writer and reader, (IMHO) if a series is going to work, the secondary character in book one, which will become primary in book two, must be granted a significant role in the first book. (brother of the hero who turned villain or best friend who helps the hero along) That way, I feel invested. As to “great reunions”, the neatest one I’ve seen is when you brought the Earl of Falconer into A Distant Magic and used his unicorn magic (compliments of the villain in his book) as the reason for his and Meg’s longevity. For me, that was powerful use of story.
    Nina, who just learned she won 2nd place in the Magic Moments contest.

    Reply
  44. Hi Mary Jo! Great post. I love connected books but I prefer them in 2s or 3s. My favs are Kiss of Fate & Stolen Magic and Wild Child & China Bride. Even though both sets are part of larger series, they are so tightly woven together that I think of them as one. For me, 90,000 words just isn’t enough to satisfy my need for deep plot and character development.
    As writer and reader, (IMHO) if a series is going to work, the secondary character in book one, which will become primary in book two, must be granted a significant role in the first book. (brother of the hero who turned villain or best friend who helps the hero along) That way, I feel invested. As to “great reunions”, the neatest one I’ve seen is when you brought the Earl of Falconer into A Distant Magic and used his unicorn magic (compliments of the villain in his book) as the reason for his and Meg’s longevity. For me, that was powerful use of story.
    Nina, who just learned she won 2nd place in the Magic Moments contest.

    Reply
  45. Hi Mary Jo! Great post. I love connected books but I prefer them in 2s or 3s. My favs are Kiss of Fate & Stolen Magic and Wild Child & China Bride. Even though both sets are part of larger series, they are so tightly woven together that I think of them as one. For me, 90,000 words just isn’t enough to satisfy my need for deep plot and character development.
    As writer and reader, (IMHO) if a series is going to work, the secondary character in book one, which will become primary in book two, must be granted a significant role in the first book. (brother of the hero who turned villain or best friend who helps the hero along) That way, I feel invested. As to “great reunions”, the neatest one I’ve seen is when you brought the Earl of Falconer into A Distant Magic and used his unicorn magic (compliments of the villain in his book) as the reason for his and Meg’s longevity. For me, that was powerful use of story.
    Nina, who just learned she won 2nd place in the Magic Moments contest.

    Reply
  46. There’s nothing I love more than a series in mystery, fantasy, historical adventure, etc. I love Sharpe, Aubrey/Maturin, Falco, etc. so much because they ARE series, allowing me to revisit the characters and their world again and again and again. If their authors had written only one or two books about those characters before moving on to something else, they wouldn’t stand out in my mind as much. It’s a long-term relationship, and I like it that way.
    Romance is a bit different because each book needs to focus on a new couple. So a romance series is just never going to give me the same LTR experience I have with Richard Sharpe or Marcus Didius Falco. I read romance to satisfy a different craving, and I honestly don’t *care* whether or not a romance is part of a series as long as there aren’t too many characters from previous books cluttering up the story.

    Reply
  47. There’s nothing I love more than a series in mystery, fantasy, historical adventure, etc. I love Sharpe, Aubrey/Maturin, Falco, etc. so much because they ARE series, allowing me to revisit the characters and their world again and again and again. If their authors had written only one or two books about those characters before moving on to something else, they wouldn’t stand out in my mind as much. It’s a long-term relationship, and I like it that way.
    Romance is a bit different because each book needs to focus on a new couple. So a romance series is just never going to give me the same LTR experience I have with Richard Sharpe or Marcus Didius Falco. I read romance to satisfy a different craving, and I honestly don’t *care* whether or not a romance is part of a series as long as there aren’t too many characters from previous books cluttering up the story.

    Reply
  48. There’s nothing I love more than a series in mystery, fantasy, historical adventure, etc. I love Sharpe, Aubrey/Maturin, Falco, etc. so much because they ARE series, allowing me to revisit the characters and their world again and again and again. If their authors had written only one or two books about those characters before moving on to something else, they wouldn’t stand out in my mind as much. It’s a long-term relationship, and I like it that way.
    Romance is a bit different because each book needs to focus on a new couple. So a romance series is just never going to give me the same LTR experience I have with Richard Sharpe or Marcus Didius Falco. I read romance to satisfy a different craving, and I honestly don’t *care* whether or not a romance is part of a series as long as there aren’t too many characters from previous books cluttering up the story.

    Reply
  49. There’s nothing I love more than a series in mystery, fantasy, historical adventure, etc. I love Sharpe, Aubrey/Maturin, Falco, etc. so much because they ARE series, allowing me to revisit the characters and their world again and again and again. If their authors had written only one or two books about those characters before moving on to something else, they wouldn’t stand out in my mind as much. It’s a long-term relationship, and I like it that way.
    Romance is a bit different because each book needs to focus on a new couple. So a romance series is just never going to give me the same LTR experience I have with Richard Sharpe or Marcus Didius Falco. I read romance to satisfy a different craving, and I honestly don’t *care* whether or not a romance is part of a series as long as there aren’t too many characters from previous books cluttering up the story.

    Reply
  50. There’s nothing I love more than a series in mystery, fantasy, historical adventure, etc. I love Sharpe, Aubrey/Maturin, Falco, etc. so much because they ARE series, allowing me to revisit the characters and their world again and again and again. If their authors had written only one or two books about those characters before moving on to something else, they wouldn’t stand out in my mind as much. It’s a long-term relationship, and I like it that way.
    Romance is a bit different because each book needs to focus on a new couple. So a romance series is just never going to give me the same LTR experience I have with Richard Sharpe or Marcus Didius Falco. I read romance to satisfy a different craving, and I honestly don’t *care* whether or not a romance is part of a series as long as there aren’t too many characters from previous books cluttering up the story.

    Reply
  51. Hi Mary Jo,
    Thinking back, it seems as though most of the fiction I’ve read since I started reading books in the adult section of the library (!!) have been novels in a series. My first series was the wonderful Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett–haven’t read the Niccolo books, but the first one is in my very large TBR stack! Then, I read the Poldark novels by Winston Graham–both they and the Masterpiece Theater series were terrific!
    As far as series in the romance area–of course, I’ve read the Fallen Angels books (!!), but I managed to read them out of order! The short version of the story is that I got a recommendation to read “Shattered Rainbows”, and I was halfway into it before I realized it was midway in the series! (sigh) I did read the rest of the books in proper order, as well as MJP’s other “series” novels in their correct sequence. Another series that I really enjoyed, but only up to a point, was the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved the first 4 books, but the 5th one just dragged for me, to the point where I still haven’t finished it, and of course, I have yet to start the 6th book!
    I would have to say that at this point in my reading life, unless it’s an author whose work I’m very fond of, I’m reluctant to start a book that’s part of a series. Too many characters and plots to keep track of!

    Reply
  52. Hi Mary Jo,
    Thinking back, it seems as though most of the fiction I’ve read since I started reading books in the adult section of the library (!!) have been novels in a series. My first series was the wonderful Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett–haven’t read the Niccolo books, but the first one is in my very large TBR stack! Then, I read the Poldark novels by Winston Graham–both they and the Masterpiece Theater series were terrific!
    As far as series in the romance area–of course, I’ve read the Fallen Angels books (!!), but I managed to read them out of order! The short version of the story is that I got a recommendation to read “Shattered Rainbows”, and I was halfway into it before I realized it was midway in the series! (sigh) I did read the rest of the books in proper order, as well as MJP’s other “series” novels in their correct sequence. Another series that I really enjoyed, but only up to a point, was the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved the first 4 books, but the 5th one just dragged for me, to the point where I still haven’t finished it, and of course, I have yet to start the 6th book!
    I would have to say that at this point in my reading life, unless it’s an author whose work I’m very fond of, I’m reluctant to start a book that’s part of a series. Too many characters and plots to keep track of!

    Reply
  53. Hi Mary Jo,
    Thinking back, it seems as though most of the fiction I’ve read since I started reading books in the adult section of the library (!!) have been novels in a series. My first series was the wonderful Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett–haven’t read the Niccolo books, but the first one is in my very large TBR stack! Then, I read the Poldark novels by Winston Graham–both they and the Masterpiece Theater series were terrific!
    As far as series in the romance area–of course, I’ve read the Fallen Angels books (!!), but I managed to read them out of order! The short version of the story is that I got a recommendation to read “Shattered Rainbows”, and I was halfway into it before I realized it was midway in the series! (sigh) I did read the rest of the books in proper order, as well as MJP’s other “series” novels in their correct sequence. Another series that I really enjoyed, but only up to a point, was the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved the first 4 books, but the 5th one just dragged for me, to the point where I still haven’t finished it, and of course, I have yet to start the 6th book!
    I would have to say that at this point in my reading life, unless it’s an author whose work I’m very fond of, I’m reluctant to start a book that’s part of a series. Too many characters and plots to keep track of!

    Reply
  54. Hi Mary Jo,
    Thinking back, it seems as though most of the fiction I’ve read since I started reading books in the adult section of the library (!!) have been novels in a series. My first series was the wonderful Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett–haven’t read the Niccolo books, but the first one is in my very large TBR stack! Then, I read the Poldark novels by Winston Graham–both they and the Masterpiece Theater series were terrific!
    As far as series in the romance area–of course, I’ve read the Fallen Angels books (!!), but I managed to read them out of order! The short version of the story is that I got a recommendation to read “Shattered Rainbows”, and I was halfway into it before I realized it was midway in the series! (sigh) I did read the rest of the books in proper order, as well as MJP’s other “series” novels in their correct sequence. Another series that I really enjoyed, but only up to a point, was the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved the first 4 books, but the 5th one just dragged for me, to the point where I still haven’t finished it, and of course, I have yet to start the 6th book!
    I would have to say that at this point in my reading life, unless it’s an author whose work I’m very fond of, I’m reluctant to start a book that’s part of a series. Too many characters and plots to keep track of!

    Reply
  55. Hi Mary Jo,
    Thinking back, it seems as though most of the fiction I’ve read since I started reading books in the adult section of the library (!!) have been novels in a series. My first series was the wonderful Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett–haven’t read the Niccolo books, but the first one is in my very large TBR stack! Then, I read the Poldark novels by Winston Graham–both they and the Masterpiece Theater series were terrific!
    As far as series in the romance area–of course, I’ve read the Fallen Angels books (!!), but I managed to read them out of order! The short version of the story is that I got a recommendation to read “Shattered Rainbows”, and I was halfway into it before I realized it was midway in the series! (sigh) I did read the rest of the books in proper order, as well as MJP’s other “series” novels in their correct sequence. Another series that I really enjoyed, but only up to a point, was the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved the first 4 books, but the 5th one just dragged for me, to the point where I still haven’t finished it, and of course, I have yet to start the 6th book!
    I would have to say that at this point in my reading life, unless it’s an author whose work I’m very fond of, I’m reluctant to start a book that’s part of a series. Too many characters and plots to keep track of!

    Reply
  56. As to cancelled series — yes, Ann Maxwell’s “Dancer” series was abandoned in midstream and I still haven’t forgiven the author and publisher. I could sort of figure out how the h/h would end up, but was and am terribly frustrated in regard to the crystalline computer that was in the process of reconstructing itself 🙂
    Also Roland Green’s The Book of Kantela, with no sequel (hey, they promised me a sequel).
    I can hold a grudge for decades.

    Reply
  57. As to cancelled series — yes, Ann Maxwell’s “Dancer” series was abandoned in midstream and I still haven’t forgiven the author and publisher. I could sort of figure out how the h/h would end up, but was and am terribly frustrated in regard to the crystalline computer that was in the process of reconstructing itself 🙂
    Also Roland Green’s The Book of Kantela, with no sequel (hey, they promised me a sequel).
    I can hold a grudge for decades.

    Reply
  58. As to cancelled series — yes, Ann Maxwell’s “Dancer” series was abandoned in midstream and I still haven’t forgiven the author and publisher. I could sort of figure out how the h/h would end up, but was and am terribly frustrated in regard to the crystalline computer that was in the process of reconstructing itself 🙂
    Also Roland Green’s The Book of Kantela, with no sequel (hey, they promised me a sequel).
    I can hold a grudge for decades.

    Reply
  59. As to cancelled series — yes, Ann Maxwell’s “Dancer” series was abandoned in midstream and I still haven’t forgiven the author and publisher. I could sort of figure out how the h/h would end up, but was and am terribly frustrated in regard to the crystalline computer that was in the process of reconstructing itself 🙂
    Also Roland Green’s The Book of Kantela, with no sequel (hey, they promised me a sequel).
    I can hold a grudge for decades.

    Reply
  60. As to cancelled series — yes, Ann Maxwell’s “Dancer” series was abandoned in midstream and I still haven’t forgiven the author and publisher. I could sort of figure out how the h/h would end up, but was and am terribly frustrated in regard to the crystalline computer that was in the process of reconstructing itself 🙂
    Also Roland Green’s The Book of Kantela, with no sequel (hey, they promised me a sequel).
    I can hold a grudge for decades.

    Reply
  61. I love a series/related books as long as, well, as long as I love it. How’s that for circular?
    Many authors pull them off and keep me hooked. . . but some series lose steam (I find this esp true when they move to MUCH younger siblings, children, nieces and nephews, etc.). As long as I’m still in the same setting with the core group of “regulars”, I’m usually still eager and happy (NOTE: Jo’s Malloren series is a clear stand out, cause I loved her latest one as much as the first and it totally breaks through the generational barrier).
    For me, it felt like Balogh had made me wait FOREVER for Syd’s story (Simply Love), but I was ecstatic when she finally got round to him (and I loved the fact that his love interest was also a secondary character from the series).
    I’m clearly a sucker for related stores.

    Reply
  62. I love a series/related books as long as, well, as long as I love it. How’s that for circular?
    Many authors pull them off and keep me hooked. . . but some series lose steam (I find this esp true when they move to MUCH younger siblings, children, nieces and nephews, etc.). As long as I’m still in the same setting with the core group of “regulars”, I’m usually still eager and happy (NOTE: Jo’s Malloren series is a clear stand out, cause I loved her latest one as much as the first and it totally breaks through the generational barrier).
    For me, it felt like Balogh had made me wait FOREVER for Syd’s story (Simply Love), but I was ecstatic when she finally got round to him (and I loved the fact that his love interest was also a secondary character from the series).
    I’m clearly a sucker for related stores.

    Reply
  63. I love a series/related books as long as, well, as long as I love it. How’s that for circular?
    Many authors pull them off and keep me hooked. . . but some series lose steam (I find this esp true when they move to MUCH younger siblings, children, nieces and nephews, etc.). As long as I’m still in the same setting with the core group of “regulars”, I’m usually still eager and happy (NOTE: Jo’s Malloren series is a clear stand out, cause I loved her latest one as much as the first and it totally breaks through the generational barrier).
    For me, it felt like Balogh had made me wait FOREVER for Syd’s story (Simply Love), but I was ecstatic when she finally got round to him (and I loved the fact that his love interest was also a secondary character from the series).
    I’m clearly a sucker for related stores.

    Reply
  64. I love a series/related books as long as, well, as long as I love it. How’s that for circular?
    Many authors pull them off and keep me hooked. . . but some series lose steam (I find this esp true when they move to MUCH younger siblings, children, nieces and nephews, etc.). As long as I’m still in the same setting with the core group of “regulars”, I’m usually still eager and happy (NOTE: Jo’s Malloren series is a clear stand out, cause I loved her latest one as much as the first and it totally breaks through the generational barrier).
    For me, it felt like Balogh had made me wait FOREVER for Syd’s story (Simply Love), but I was ecstatic when she finally got round to him (and I loved the fact that his love interest was also a secondary character from the series).
    I’m clearly a sucker for related stores.

    Reply
  65. I love a series/related books as long as, well, as long as I love it. How’s that for circular?
    Many authors pull them off and keep me hooked. . . but some series lose steam (I find this esp true when they move to MUCH younger siblings, children, nieces and nephews, etc.). As long as I’m still in the same setting with the core group of “regulars”, I’m usually still eager and happy (NOTE: Jo’s Malloren series is a clear stand out, cause I loved her latest one as much as the first and it totally breaks through the generational barrier).
    For me, it felt like Balogh had made me wait FOREVER for Syd’s story (Simply Love), but I was ecstatic when she finally got round to him (and I loved the fact that his love interest was also a secondary character from the series).
    I’m clearly a sucker for related stores.

    Reply
  66. Robin…You know, thinking back, I think I’ve read mostly series books. I just remembered a great series I read back in the 60’s by Mazo de Roche…16 books that covered the time periods of 1845 to 1954 about the Whiteoak family, the Jalna Chronicles; and not every one in those books was likable.

    Reply
  67. Robin…You know, thinking back, I think I’ve read mostly series books. I just remembered a great series I read back in the 60’s by Mazo de Roche…16 books that covered the time periods of 1845 to 1954 about the Whiteoak family, the Jalna Chronicles; and not every one in those books was likable.

    Reply
  68. Robin…You know, thinking back, I think I’ve read mostly series books. I just remembered a great series I read back in the 60’s by Mazo de Roche…16 books that covered the time periods of 1845 to 1954 about the Whiteoak family, the Jalna Chronicles; and not every one in those books was likable.

    Reply
  69. Robin…You know, thinking back, I think I’ve read mostly series books. I just remembered a great series I read back in the 60’s by Mazo de Roche…16 books that covered the time periods of 1845 to 1954 about the Whiteoak family, the Jalna Chronicles; and not every one in those books was likable.

    Reply
  70. Robin…You know, thinking back, I think I’ve read mostly series books. I just remembered a great series I read back in the 60’s by Mazo de Roche…16 books that covered the time periods of 1845 to 1954 about the Whiteoak family, the Jalna Chronicles; and not every one in those books was likable.

    Reply
  71. I was traumatized by the death of Arnette Lamb, the writer of Scottish romances, not because I knew her, but because she’d included a preview of a manuscript in progress at the back of True Heart, a trilogy about the MacKenzie clan. As far as I know, it was never completed.
    I forswore from watching television series when The Starman was pulled off the air. I was betrayed and I was not going to be so free with my love again.
    I’ve followed your Rogues series and, I, too, love a series when it contains characters whom I adore.
    My daughter has grown apace with J.K. Rowling’s creation, Harry Potter, and it will hold a special place in her heart.
    Best regards to you, Mary Jo, who writes better than the next person even when you’re in a hurry.

    Reply
  72. I was traumatized by the death of Arnette Lamb, the writer of Scottish romances, not because I knew her, but because she’d included a preview of a manuscript in progress at the back of True Heart, a trilogy about the MacKenzie clan. As far as I know, it was never completed.
    I forswore from watching television series when The Starman was pulled off the air. I was betrayed and I was not going to be so free with my love again.
    I’ve followed your Rogues series and, I, too, love a series when it contains characters whom I adore.
    My daughter has grown apace with J.K. Rowling’s creation, Harry Potter, and it will hold a special place in her heart.
    Best regards to you, Mary Jo, who writes better than the next person even when you’re in a hurry.

    Reply
  73. I was traumatized by the death of Arnette Lamb, the writer of Scottish romances, not because I knew her, but because she’d included a preview of a manuscript in progress at the back of True Heart, a trilogy about the MacKenzie clan. As far as I know, it was never completed.
    I forswore from watching television series when The Starman was pulled off the air. I was betrayed and I was not going to be so free with my love again.
    I’ve followed your Rogues series and, I, too, love a series when it contains characters whom I adore.
    My daughter has grown apace with J.K. Rowling’s creation, Harry Potter, and it will hold a special place in her heart.
    Best regards to you, Mary Jo, who writes better than the next person even when you’re in a hurry.

    Reply
  74. I was traumatized by the death of Arnette Lamb, the writer of Scottish romances, not because I knew her, but because she’d included a preview of a manuscript in progress at the back of True Heart, a trilogy about the MacKenzie clan. As far as I know, it was never completed.
    I forswore from watching television series when The Starman was pulled off the air. I was betrayed and I was not going to be so free with my love again.
    I’ve followed your Rogues series and, I, too, love a series when it contains characters whom I adore.
    My daughter has grown apace with J.K. Rowling’s creation, Harry Potter, and it will hold a special place in her heart.
    Best regards to you, Mary Jo, who writes better than the next person even when you’re in a hurry.

    Reply
  75. I was traumatized by the death of Arnette Lamb, the writer of Scottish romances, not because I knew her, but because she’d included a preview of a manuscript in progress at the back of True Heart, a trilogy about the MacKenzie clan. As far as I know, it was never completed.
    I forswore from watching television series when The Starman was pulled off the air. I was betrayed and I was not going to be so free with my love again.
    I’ve followed your Rogues series and, I, too, love a series when it contains characters whom I adore.
    My daughter has grown apace with J.K. Rowling’s creation, Harry Potter, and it will hold a special place in her heart.
    Best regards to you, Mary Jo, who writes better than the next person even when you’re in a hurry.

    Reply
  76. From MJP:
    Clearly this is a topic readers have opinions on! Virginia, I’m laughing abou how you can hold a grudge for decades. I’m fairly easygoing in normal life, but mess with a story I’ve bonded with and I will NEVER FORGIVE!
    I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure. I prefer to wait and see if it will survive. (Like you, Hannah, I’ve become wary about loving a series that may die. And thanks for the nice words about my writing!)
    Nina, congratulatons on the 2nd place finish in the Magic Moments contest! Well done.
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  77. From MJP:
    Clearly this is a topic readers have opinions on! Virginia, I’m laughing abou how you can hold a grudge for decades. I’m fairly easygoing in normal life, but mess with a story I’ve bonded with and I will NEVER FORGIVE!
    I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure. I prefer to wait and see if it will survive. (Like you, Hannah, I’ve become wary about loving a series that may die. And thanks for the nice words about my writing!)
    Nina, congratulatons on the 2nd place finish in the Magic Moments contest! Well done.
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  78. From MJP:
    Clearly this is a topic readers have opinions on! Virginia, I’m laughing abou how you can hold a grudge for decades. I’m fairly easygoing in normal life, but mess with a story I’ve bonded with and I will NEVER FORGIVE!
    I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure. I prefer to wait and see if it will survive. (Like you, Hannah, I’ve become wary about loving a series that may die. And thanks for the nice words about my writing!)
    Nina, congratulatons on the 2nd place finish in the Magic Moments contest! Well done.
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  79. From MJP:
    Clearly this is a topic readers have opinions on! Virginia, I’m laughing abou how you can hold a grudge for decades. I’m fairly easygoing in normal life, but mess with a story I’ve bonded with and I will NEVER FORGIVE!
    I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure. I prefer to wait and see if it will survive. (Like you, Hannah, I’ve become wary about loving a series that may die. And thanks for the nice words about my writing!)
    Nina, congratulatons on the 2nd place finish in the Magic Moments contest! Well done.
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  80. From MJP:
    Clearly this is a topic readers have opinions on! Virginia, I’m laughing abou how you can hold a grudge for decades. I’m fairly easygoing in normal life, but mess with a story I’ve bonded with and I will NEVER FORGIVE!
    I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure. I prefer to wait and see if it will survive. (Like you, Hannah, I’ve become wary about loving a series that may die. And thanks for the nice words about my writing!)
    Nina, congratulatons on the 2nd place finish in the Magic Moments contest! Well done.
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  81. Series – well in romances I like a series that is about other characters – other than the original pair in the first book. For instance I gave up reading Gabaldon’s series after the 3rd book. I just wanted to scream at her to “give them a happy ending, would you”. I’d had enough of Jamie and Claire.
    On the other hand in mysteries, I love reading series. Marcus Didius Falco is tremendous – however I worry that I will tire of his ongoing issues as well. I hated (absolutely hated) Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple – but then again I disliked Agatha Christie’s writing anyhow. I found it to be scattered, and she’d drag the villain out of nowhere and find him guilty on the flimsiest pretexts (I remember distinctly one “The children of Lucifer are always beautiful” – that was the end of her books for me).
    Then there are series that I love – up until it seems the author can’t figure out how to write one more decent book using the characters s/he’s decided are to appear. At that point, I lose faith in the author and move on to someone else.
    So what do I like? Series that stand alone, I guess. I like knowing what happens to some secondary characters. Others I don’t care about at all. Ultimately, I can’t tell you if I like series or not. What I do like is a well written book regardless of whether or not I know the characters.

    Reply
  82. Series – well in romances I like a series that is about other characters – other than the original pair in the first book. For instance I gave up reading Gabaldon’s series after the 3rd book. I just wanted to scream at her to “give them a happy ending, would you”. I’d had enough of Jamie and Claire.
    On the other hand in mysteries, I love reading series. Marcus Didius Falco is tremendous – however I worry that I will tire of his ongoing issues as well. I hated (absolutely hated) Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple – but then again I disliked Agatha Christie’s writing anyhow. I found it to be scattered, and she’d drag the villain out of nowhere and find him guilty on the flimsiest pretexts (I remember distinctly one “The children of Lucifer are always beautiful” – that was the end of her books for me).
    Then there are series that I love – up until it seems the author can’t figure out how to write one more decent book using the characters s/he’s decided are to appear. At that point, I lose faith in the author and move on to someone else.
    So what do I like? Series that stand alone, I guess. I like knowing what happens to some secondary characters. Others I don’t care about at all. Ultimately, I can’t tell you if I like series or not. What I do like is a well written book regardless of whether or not I know the characters.

    Reply
  83. Series – well in romances I like a series that is about other characters – other than the original pair in the first book. For instance I gave up reading Gabaldon’s series after the 3rd book. I just wanted to scream at her to “give them a happy ending, would you”. I’d had enough of Jamie and Claire.
    On the other hand in mysteries, I love reading series. Marcus Didius Falco is tremendous – however I worry that I will tire of his ongoing issues as well. I hated (absolutely hated) Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple – but then again I disliked Agatha Christie’s writing anyhow. I found it to be scattered, and she’d drag the villain out of nowhere and find him guilty on the flimsiest pretexts (I remember distinctly one “The children of Lucifer are always beautiful” – that was the end of her books for me).
    Then there are series that I love – up until it seems the author can’t figure out how to write one more decent book using the characters s/he’s decided are to appear. At that point, I lose faith in the author and move on to someone else.
    So what do I like? Series that stand alone, I guess. I like knowing what happens to some secondary characters. Others I don’t care about at all. Ultimately, I can’t tell you if I like series or not. What I do like is a well written book regardless of whether or not I know the characters.

    Reply
  84. Series – well in romances I like a series that is about other characters – other than the original pair in the first book. For instance I gave up reading Gabaldon’s series after the 3rd book. I just wanted to scream at her to “give them a happy ending, would you”. I’d had enough of Jamie and Claire.
    On the other hand in mysteries, I love reading series. Marcus Didius Falco is tremendous – however I worry that I will tire of his ongoing issues as well. I hated (absolutely hated) Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple – but then again I disliked Agatha Christie’s writing anyhow. I found it to be scattered, and she’d drag the villain out of nowhere and find him guilty on the flimsiest pretexts (I remember distinctly one “The children of Lucifer are always beautiful” – that was the end of her books for me).
    Then there are series that I love – up until it seems the author can’t figure out how to write one more decent book using the characters s/he’s decided are to appear. At that point, I lose faith in the author and move on to someone else.
    So what do I like? Series that stand alone, I guess. I like knowing what happens to some secondary characters. Others I don’t care about at all. Ultimately, I can’t tell you if I like series or not. What I do like is a well written book regardless of whether or not I know the characters.

    Reply
  85. Series – well in romances I like a series that is about other characters – other than the original pair in the first book. For instance I gave up reading Gabaldon’s series after the 3rd book. I just wanted to scream at her to “give them a happy ending, would you”. I’d had enough of Jamie and Claire.
    On the other hand in mysteries, I love reading series. Marcus Didius Falco is tremendous – however I worry that I will tire of his ongoing issues as well. I hated (absolutely hated) Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple – but then again I disliked Agatha Christie’s writing anyhow. I found it to be scattered, and she’d drag the villain out of nowhere and find him guilty on the flimsiest pretexts (I remember distinctly one “The children of Lucifer are always beautiful” – that was the end of her books for me).
    Then there are series that I love – up until it seems the author can’t figure out how to write one more decent book using the characters s/he’s decided are to appear. At that point, I lose faith in the author and move on to someone else.
    So what do I like? Series that stand alone, I guess. I like knowing what happens to some secondary characters. Others I don’t care about at all. Ultimately, I can’t tell you if I like series or not. What I do like is a well written book regardless of whether or not I know the characters.

    Reply
  86. Virginia, I hold the same grudge that you do, over the same books!
    I think we all cut our teeth on series–Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the like, so that may be why we’re attracted to them.
    I’ve had a number of knock-down-drag-out arguments with the Silver Tigress on the subject of series: she just doesn’t see the point. For her, a book is an artifact with a beginning, middle and end, like a picture which is painted, then framed and hung on the wall.
    For those of us who like series, each book is more like one square of a patchwork quilt, with a complete design of its own yet also part of a larger pattern.
    Most of the series I’m fond of are SF, fantasy, and/or mystery. My favorite romance series is Edith’s LOVE IN DISGUISE/GAME OF LOVE/the one whose title I can never remember.

    Reply
  87. Virginia, I hold the same grudge that you do, over the same books!
    I think we all cut our teeth on series–Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the like, so that may be why we’re attracted to them.
    I’ve had a number of knock-down-drag-out arguments with the Silver Tigress on the subject of series: she just doesn’t see the point. For her, a book is an artifact with a beginning, middle and end, like a picture which is painted, then framed and hung on the wall.
    For those of us who like series, each book is more like one square of a patchwork quilt, with a complete design of its own yet also part of a larger pattern.
    Most of the series I’m fond of are SF, fantasy, and/or mystery. My favorite romance series is Edith’s LOVE IN DISGUISE/GAME OF LOVE/the one whose title I can never remember.

    Reply
  88. Virginia, I hold the same grudge that you do, over the same books!
    I think we all cut our teeth on series–Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the like, so that may be why we’re attracted to them.
    I’ve had a number of knock-down-drag-out arguments with the Silver Tigress on the subject of series: she just doesn’t see the point. For her, a book is an artifact with a beginning, middle and end, like a picture which is painted, then framed and hung on the wall.
    For those of us who like series, each book is more like one square of a patchwork quilt, with a complete design of its own yet also part of a larger pattern.
    Most of the series I’m fond of are SF, fantasy, and/or mystery. My favorite romance series is Edith’s LOVE IN DISGUISE/GAME OF LOVE/the one whose title I can never remember.

    Reply
  89. Virginia, I hold the same grudge that you do, over the same books!
    I think we all cut our teeth on series–Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the like, so that may be why we’re attracted to them.
    I’ve had a number of knock-down-drag-out arguments with the Silver Tigress on the subject of series: she just doesn’t see the point. For her, a book is an artifact with a beginning, middle and end, like a picture which is painted, then framed and hung on the wall.
    For those of us who like series, each book is more like one square of a patchwork quilt, with a complete design of its own yet also part of a larger pattern.
    Most of the series I’m fond of are SF, fantasy, and/or mystery. My favorite romance series is Edith’s LOVE IN DISGUISE/GAME OF LOVE/the one whose title I can never remember.

    Reply
  90. Virginia, I hold the same grudge that you do, over the same books!
    I think we all cut our teeth on series–Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the like, so that may be why we’re attracted to them.
    I’ve had a number of knock-down-drag-out arguments with the Silver Tigress on the subject of series: she just doesn’t see the point. For her, a book is an artifact with a beginning, middle and end, like a picture which is painted, then framed and hung on the wall.
    For those of us who like series, each book is more like one square of a patchwork quilt, with a complete design of its own yet also part of a larger pattern.
    Most of the series I’m fond of are SF, fantasy, and/or mystery. My favorite romance series is Edith’s LOVE IN DISGUISE/GAME OF LOVE/the one whose title I can never remember.

    Reply
  91. There are series, beyond the romance genre, that I utterly love (Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie books, as an example).
    I don’t get as frustrated with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum as many readers do. I’ve noticed that those who complain usually want it to be a series that progresses through time and has characters that “develop.”
    I’m perfectly willing to take it for what it is — namely the literary equivalent of a vaudeville act that comes on evening after evening, with minor or major variations. It’s the closest I can imagine to being a modern equivalent of Commedia del’ Arte as Evanovich moves her standard characters from book to book.
    Talpianna, yes, I grew up with Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and their ilk. Then I moved to The Saint and Dr. Fu Manchu — also Angela Thirkell and Elswyth Thane. That was after, at age twelve, I became physically large enough to walk around the circulation desk in our public library and into the adult section without being stopped by the dragon on duty and diverted into the children’s section.

    Reply
  92. There are series, beyond the romance genre, that I utterly love (Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie books, as an example).
    I don’t get as frustrated with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum as many readers do. I’ve noticed that those who complain usually want it to be a series that progresses through time and has characters that “develop.”
    I’m perfectly willing to take it for what it is — namely the literary equivalent of a vaudeville act that comes on evening after evening, with minor or major variations. It’s the closest I can imagine to being a modern equivalent of Commedia del’ Arte as Evanovich moves her standard characters from book to book.
    Talpianna, yes, I grew up with Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and their ilk. Then I moved to The Saint and Dr. Fu Manchu — also Angela Thirkell and Elswyth Thane. That was after, at age twelve, I became physically large enough to walk around the circulation desk in our public library and into the adult section without being stopped by the dragon on duty and diverted into the children’s section.

    Reply
  93. There are series, beyond the romance genre, that I utterly love (Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie books, as an example).
    I don’t get as frustrated with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum as many readers do. I’ve noticed that those who complain usually want it to be a series that progresses through time and has characters that “develop.”
    I’m perfectly willing to take it for what it is — namely the literary equivalent of a vaudeville act that comes on evening after evening, with minor or major variations. It’s the closest I can imagine to being a modern equivalent of Commedia del’ Arte as Evanovich moves her standard characters from book to book.
    Talpianna, yes, I grew up with Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and their ilk. Then I moved to The Saint and Dr. Fu Manchu — also Angela Thirkell and Elswyth Thane. That was after, at age twelve, I became physically large enough to walk around the circulation desk in our public library and into the adult section without being stopped by the dragon on duty and diverted into the children’s section.

    Reply
  94. There are series, beyond the romance genre, that I utterly love (Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie books, as an example).
    I don’t get as frustrated with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum as many readers do. I’ve noticed that those who complain usually want it to be a series that progresses through time and has characters that “develop.”
    I’m perfectly willing to take it for what it is — namely the literary equivalent of a vaudeville act that comes on evening after evening, with minor or major variations. It’s the closest I can imagine to being a modern equivalent of Commedia del’ Arte as Evanovich moves her standard characters from book to book.
    Talpianna, yes, I grew up with Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and their ilk. Then I moved to The Saint and Dr. Fu Manchu — also Angela Thirkell and Elswyth Thane. That was after, at age twelve, I became physically large enough to walk around the circulation desk in our public library and into the adult section without being stopped by the dragon on duty and diverted into the children’s section.

    Reply
  95. There are series, beyond the romance genre, that I utterly love (Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie books, as an example).
    I don’t get as frustrated with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum as many readers do. I’ve noticed that those who complain usually want it to be a series that progresses through time and has characters that “develop.”
    I’m perfectly willing to take it for what it is — namely the literary equivalent of a vaudeville act that comes on evening after evening, with minor or major variations. It’s the closest I can imagine to being a modern equivalent of Commedia del’ Arte as Evanovich moves her standard characters from book to book.
    Talpianna, yes, I grew up with Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and their ilk. Then I moved to The Saint and Dr. Fu Manchu — also Angela Thirkell and Elswyth Thane. That was after, at age twelve, I became physically large enough to walk around the circulation desk in our public library and into the adult section without being stopped by the dragon on duty and diverted into the children’s section.

    Reply
  96. I hate series mostly for the unrelated walk-ons from other books. Romance plots can be samey enough without trotting out the same characters again! And then you spot someone who is obviously going to get a book of their own after this one, and they really don’t deserve it. The lack of character progression during a series is a killer.
    Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!

    Reply
  97. I hate series mostly for the unrelated walk-ons from other books. Romance plots can be samey enough without trotting out the same characters again! And then you spot someone who is obviously going to get a book of their own after this one, and they really don’t deserve it. The lack of character progression during a series is a killer.
    Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!

    Reply
  98. I hate series mostly for the unrelated walk-ons from other books. Romance plots can be samey enough without trotting out the same characters again! And then you spot someone who is obviously going to get a book of their own after this one, and they really don’t deserve it. The lack of character progression during a series is a killer.
    Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!

    Reply
  99. I hate series mostly for the unrelated walk-ons from other books. Romance plots can be samey enough without trotting out the same characters again! And then you spot someone who is obviously going to get a book of their own after this one, and they really don’t deserve it. The lack of character progression during a series is a killer.
    Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!

    Reply
  100. I hate series mostly for the unrelated walk-ons from other books. Romance plots can be samey enough without trotting out the same characters again! And then you spot someone who is obviously going to get a book of their own after this one, and they really don’t deserve it. The lack of character progression during a series is a killer.
    Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!

    Reply
  101. I love series. Jo’s Mallorens and Rogues are some of my faves. I have recently “discovered” Patricia Veryan and am loving her books, incl. a series about a secret treasure after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final loss and a Regency one. Has anyone else found Veryan?
    And MJ, I agree about the marketing thing. If you can hook someone with one book, why not use what is already proven to work again? There are limits, of course, and the writing still has to be as good in Book 13 as it was in Book 1.

    Reply
  102. I love series. Jo’s Mallorens and Rogues are some of my faves. I have recently “discovered” Patricia Veryan and am loving her books, incl. a series about a secret treasure after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final loss and a Regency one. Has anyone else found Veryan?
    And MJ, I agree about the marketing thing. If you can hook someone with one book, why not use what is already proven to work again? There are limits, of course, and the writing still has to be as good in Book 13 as it was in Book 1.

    Reply
  103. I love series. Jo’s Mallorens and Rogues are some of my faves. I have recently “discovered” Patricia Veryan and am loving her books, incl. a series about a secret treasure after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final loss and a Regency one. Has anyone else found Veryan?
    And MJ, I agree about the marketing thing. If you can hook someone with one book, why not use what is already proven to work again? There are limits, of course, and the writing still has to be as good in Book 13 as it was in Book 1.

    Reply
  104. I love series. Jo’s Mallorens and Rogues are some of my faves. I have recently “discovered” Patricia Veryan and am loving her books, incl. a series about a secret treasure after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final loss and a Regency one. Has anyone else found Veryan?
    And MJ, I agree about the marketing thing. If you can hook someone with one book, why not use what is already proven to work again? There are limits, of course, and the writing still has to be as good in Book 13 as it was in Book 1.

    Reply
  105. I love series. Jo’s Mallorens and Rogues are some of my faves. I have recently “discovered” Patricia Veryan and am loving her books, incl. a series about a secret treasure after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final loss and a Regency one. Has anyone else found Veryan?
    And MJ, I agree about the marketing thing. If you can hook someone with one book, why not use what is already proven to work again? There are limits, of course, and the writing still has to be as good in Book 13 as it was in Book 1.

    Reply
  106. Kay, thank you for the Mazo de la Roche recommendation. I’m a retired librarian and I remember seeing her books in the fiction section–will have to check the local library to see if they’re still there. Speaking from painful experience, sometimes library collections have to be weeded, and occasionally the weeders get a little too enthusiastic in their weeding!
    If I may, I’d like to add one more comment regarding fiction series. I think that aside from the “old home week” issue, the biggest problem with series is that often, the author(s) of a series tend to repeat plot lines and sometimes, even the character descriptions have a sameness about them. That is certainly not true of the “Fallen Angels” series or MJP’s other series, but on a couple of occasions, I’ve started a series and stopped by the third book, because of the very strong sense of deja vu I had while reading the book! I don’t know whether this is the fault of the author or the editor, but I do know that I’ve taken a number of “series” books to the used book store for trade because I didn’t feel like reading the same old stuff again!

    Reply
  107. Kay, thank you for the Mazo de la Roche recommendation. I’m a retired librarian and I remember seeing her books in the fiction section–will have to check the local library to see if they’re still there. Speaking from painful experience, sometimes library collections have to be weeded, and occasionally the weeders get a little too enthusiastic in their weeding!
    If I may, I’d like to add one more comment regarding fiction series. I think that aside from the “old home week” issue, the biggest problem with series is that often, the author(s) of a series tend to repeat plot lines and sometimes, even the character descriptions have a sameness about them. That is certainly not true of the “Fallen Angels” series or MJP’s other series, but on a couple of occasions, I’ve started a series and stopped by the third book, because of the very strong sense of deja vu I had while reading the book! I don’t know whether this is the fault of the author or the editor, but I do know that I’ve taken a number of “series” books to the used book store for trade because I didn’t feel like reading the same old stuff again!

    Reply
  108. Kay, thank you for the Mazo de la Roche recommendation. I’m a retired librarian and I remember seeing her books in the fiction section–will have to check the local library to see if they’re still there. Speaking from painful experience, sometimes library collections have to be weeded, and occasionally the weeders get a little too enthusiastic in their weeding!
    If I may, I’d like to add one more comment regarding fiction series. I think that aside from the “old home week” issue, the biggest problem with series is that often, the author(s) of a series tend to repeat plot lines and sometimes, even the character descriptions have a sameness about them. That is certainly not true of the “Fallen Angels” series or MJP’s other series, but on a couple of occasions, I’ve started a series and stopped by the third book, because of the very strong sense of deja vu I had while reading the book! I don’t know whether this is the fault of the author or the editor, but I do know that I’ve taken a number of “series” books to the used book store for trade because I didn’t feel like reading the same old stuff again!

    Reply
  109. Kay, thank you for the Mazo de la Roche recommendation. I’m a retired librarian and I remember seeing her books in the fiction section–will have to check the local library to see if they’re still there. Speaking from painful experience, sometimes library collections have to be weeded, and occasionally the weeders get a little too enthusiastic in their weeding!
    If I may, I’d like to add one more comment regarding fiction series. I think that aside from the “old home week” issue, the biggest problem with series is that often, the author(s) of a series tend to repeat plot lines and sometimes, even the character descriptions have a sameness about them. That is certainly not true of the “Fallen Angels” series or MJP’s other series, but on a couple of occasions, I’ve started a series and stopped by the third book, because of the very strong sense of deja vu I had while reading the book! I don’t know whether this is the fault of the author or the editor, but I do know that I’ve taken a number of “series” books to the used book store for trade because I didn’t feel like reading the same old stuff again!

    Reply
  110. Kay, thank you for the Mazo de la Roche recommendation. I’m a retired librarian and I remember seeing her books in the fiction section–will have to check the local library to see if they’re still there. Speaking from painful experience, sometimes library collections have to be weeded, and occasionally the weeders get a little too enthusiastic in their weeding!
    If I may, I’d like to add one more comment regarding fiction series. I think that aside from the “old home week” issue, the biggest problem with series is that often, the author(s) of a series tend to repeat plot lines and sometimes, even the character descriptions have a sameness about them. That is certainly not true of the “Fallen Angels” series or MJP’s other series, but on a couple of occasions, I’ve started a series and stopped by the third book, because of the very strong sense of deja vu I had while reading the book! I don’t know whether this is the fault of the author or the editor, but I do know that I’ve taken a number of “series” books to the used book store for trade because I didn’t feel like reading the same old stuff again!

    Reply
  111. Include me in the “I love series books” camp!
    “I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure.”
    Mary Jo, back when I used to watch TV, I thoroughly enjoyed an obscure little sitcom in the mid-1980s that probably nobody remembers: “Mr. Sunshine.” It was about a blind professor, and the show was clever, the dialogue funny (and punny), and the scripts brilliant. Naturally, the show got canceled after one season. I think I’m still ticked about that.
    So I really enjoy books that are part of a series. But they must be able to stand alone, because it’s not always possible to read the books in order, or even to buy the older books if they’ve beenout of print for very long.

    Reply
  112. Include me in the “I love series books” camp!
    “I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure.”
    Mary Jo, back when I used to watch TV, I thoroughly enjoyed an obscure little sitcom in the mid-1980s that probably nobody remembers: “Mr. Sunshine.” It was about a blind professor, and the show was clever, the dialogue funny (and punny), and the scripts brilliant. Naturally, the show got canceled after one season. I think I’m still ticked about that.
    So I really enjoy books that are part of a series. But they must be able to stand alone, because it’s not always possible to read the books in order, or even to buy the older books if they’ve beenout of print for very long.

    Reply
  113. Include me in the “I love series books” camp!
    “I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure.”
    Mary Jo, back when I used to watch TV, I thoroughly enjoyed an obscure little sitcom in the mid-1980s that probably nobody remembers: “Mr. Sunshine.” It was about a blind professor, and the show was clever, the dialogue funny (and punny), and the scripts brilliant. Naturally, the show got canceled after one season. I think I’m still ticked about that.
    So I really enjoy books that are part of a series. But they must be able to stand alone, because it’s not always possible to read the books in order, or even to buy the older books if they’ve beenout of print for very long.

    Reply
  114. Include me in the “I love series books” camp!
    “I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure.”
    Mary Jo, back when I used to watch TV, I thoroughly enjoyed an obscure little sitcom in the mid-1980s that probably nobody remembers: “Mr. Sunshine.” It was about a blind professor, and the show was clever, the dialogue funny (and punny), and the scripts brilliant. Naturally, the show got canceled after one season. I think I’m still ticked about that.
    So I really enjoy books that are part of a series. But they must be able to stand alone, because it’s not always possible to read the books in order, or even to buy the older books if they’ve beenout of print for very long.

    Reply
  115. Include me in the “I love series books” camp!
    “I hate watching new tv shows because If I like them, they’ll be canceled for sure.”
    Mary Jo, back when I used to watch TV, I thoroughly enjoyed an obscure little sitcom in the mid-1980s that probably nobody remembers: “Mr. Sunshine.” It was about a blind professor, and the show was clever, the dialogue funny (and punny), and the scripts brilliant. Naturally, the show got canceled after one season. I think I’m still ticked about that.
    So I really enjoy books that are part of a series. But they must be able to stand alone, because it’s not always possible to read the books in order, or even to buy the older books if they’ve beenout of print for very long.

    Reply
  116. I agree about Diana Gabaldon’s series getting too long. She needs to wrap it up. I LOVED the first 3 books and have read everything she has written- but when it’s so long between the publications I have to review the earlier ones to make sure I don’t forget something critical to the plot of the new one.
    I haven’t read the new Stephanie Plum yet. I enjoyed the previous ones as repeated reincarnations of the same story. As long as you know they are all variations on a theme they are very enjoyable.
    In general I love the generational stories and series with characters in common. But each one has to stand on its own with interesting character development and plot lines.

    Reply
  117. I agree about Diana Gabaldon’s series getting too long. She needs to wrap it up. I LOVED the first 3 books and have read everything she has written- but when it’s so long between the publications I have to review the earlier ones to make sure I don’t forget something critical to the plot of the new one.
    I haven’t read the new Stephanie Plum yet. I enjoyed the previous ones as repeated reincarnations of the same story. As long as you know they are all variations on a theme they are very enjoyable.
    In general I love the generational stories and series with characters in common. But each one has to stand on its own with interesting character development and plot lines.

    Reply
  118. I agree about Diana Gabaldon’s series getting too long. She needs to wrap it up. I LOVED the first 3 books and have read everything she has written- but when it’s so long between the publications I have to review the earlier ones to make sure I don’t forget something critical to the plot of the new one.
    I haven’t read the new Stephanie Plum yet. I enjoyed the previous ones as repeated reincarnations of the same story. As long as you know they are all variations on a theme they are very enjoyable.
    In general I love the generational stories and series with characters in common. But each one has to stand on its own with interesting character development and plot lines.

    Reply
  119. I agree about Diana Gabaldon’s series getting too long. She needs to wrap it up. I LOVED the first 3 books and have read everything she has written- but when it’s so long between the publications I have to review the earlier ones to make sure I don’t forget something critical to the plot of the new one.
    I haven’t read the new Stephanie Plum yet. I enjoyed the previous ones as repeated reincarnations of the same story. As long as you know they are all variations on a theme they are very enjoyable.
    In general I love the generational stories and series with characters in common. But each one has to stand on its own with interesting character development and plot lines.

    Reply
  120. I agree about Diana Gabaldon’s series getting too long. She needs to wrap it up. I LOVED the first 3 books and have read everything she has written- but when it’s so long between the publications I have to review the earlier ones to make sure I don’t forget something critical to the plot of the new one.
    I haven’t read the new Stephanie Plum yet. I enjoyed the previous ones as repeated reincarnations of the same story. As long as you know they are all variations on a theme they are very enjoyable.
    In general I love the generational stories and series with characters in common. But each one has to stand on its own with interesting character development and plot lines.

    Reply
  121. From MJP:
    Agreed on the mystery series like Marcus Didius Falco, where the characters grow and change in interesting ways over the years.
    Piper. in the Wikipedia story on Agatha Christie, she’s quoted as saying that she’d get to the last chapter of a book and pick the least likely suspect to be the killer, then go back and add in a few bits of evidence to support the person’s criminality. Not exactly an organic approach. 🙂
    I like your image of a series being like a quilt, with each story another square. Nice.
    Anne, Veryan was one of the first historical romance writers I discovered after I started looking beyond Heyer. She told a great, rip roaring story with adventure and humor and appealing characters.
    With marketing–if someone is looking for a book, which is she more likely to buy–a complete stranger, or a story from a series that she’s already enjoyed. Of course, if she didn’t like the series, the complete stranger will benefit. 🙂
    So it appears that some people love series and some don’t, but if writing romance, it sure is preferable if each story is a satisfying read on its own. I love to see my opinions supported. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thanking all commentors for interesting insights

    Reply
  122. From MJP:
    Agreed on the mystery series like Marcus Didius Falco, where the characters grow and change in interesting ways over the years.
    Piper. in the Wikipedia story on Agatha Christie, she’s quoted as saying that she’d get to the last chapter of a book and pick the least likely suspect to be the killer, then go back and add in a few bits of evidence to support the person’s criminality. Not exactly an organic approach. 🙂
    I like your image of a series being like a quilt, with each story another square. Nice.
    Anne, Veryan was one of the first historical romance writers I discovered after I started looking beyond Heyer. She told a great, rip roaring story with adventure and humor and appealing characters.
    With marketing–if someone is looking for a book, which is she more likely to buy–a complete stranger, or a story from a series that she’s already enjoyed. Of course, if she didn’t like the series, the complete stranger will benefit. 🙂
    So it appears that some people love series and some don’t, but if writing romance, it sure is preferable if each story is a satisfying read on its own. I love to see my opinions supported. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thanking all commentors for interesting insights

    Reply
  123. From MJP:
    Agreed on the mystery series like Marcus Didius Falco, where the characters grow and change in interesting ways over the years.
    Piper. in the Wikipedia story on Agatha Christie, she’s quoted as saying that she’d get to the last chapter of a book and pick the least likely suspect to be the killer, then go back and add in a few bits of evidence to support the person’s criminality. Not exactly an organic approach. 🙂
    I like your image of a series being like a quilt, with each story another square. Nice.
    Anne, Veryan was one of the first historical romance writers I discovered after I started looking beyond Heyer. She told a great, rip roaring story with adventure and humor and appealing characters.
    With marketing–if someone is looking for a book, which is she more likely to buy–a complete stranger, or a story from a series that she’s already enjoyed. Of course, if she didn’t like the series, the complete stranger will benefit. 🙂
    So it appears that some people love series and some don’t, but if writing romance, it sure is preferable if each story is a satisfying read on its own. I love to see my opinions supported. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thanking all commentors for interesting insights

    Reply
  124. From MJP:
    Agreed on the mystery series like Marcus Didius Falco, where the characters grow and change in interesting ways over the years.
    Piper. in the Wikipedia story on Agatha Christie, she’s quoted as saying that she’d get to the last chapter of a book and pick the least likely suspect to be the killer, then go back and add in a few bits of evidence to support the person’s criminality. Not exactly an organic approach. 🙂
    I like your image of a series being like a quilt, with each story another square. Nice.
    Anne, Veryan was one of the first historical romance writers I discovered after I started looking beyond Heyer. She told a great, rip roaring story with adventure and humor and appealing characters.
    With marketing–if someone is looking for a book, which is she more likely to buy–a complete stranger, or a story from a series that she’s already enjoyed. Of course, if she didn’t like the series, the complete stranger will benefit. 🙂
    So it appears that some people love series and some don’t, but if writing romance, it sure is preferable if each story is a satisfying read on its own. I love to see my opinions supported. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thanking all commentors for interesting insights

    Reply
  125. From MJP:
    Agreed on the mystery series like Marcus Didius Falco, where the characters grow and change in interesting ways over the years.
    Piper. in the Wikipedia story on Agatha Christie, she’s quoted as saying that she’d get to the last chapter of a book and pick the least likely suspect to be the killer, then go back and add in a few bits of evidence to support the person’s criminality. Not exactly an organic approach. 🙂
    I like your image of a series being like a quilt, with each story another square. Nice.
    Anne, Veryan was one of the first historical romance writers I discovered after I started looking beyond Heyer. She told a great, rip roaring story with adventure and humor and appealing characters.
    With marketing–if someone is looking for a book, which is she more likely to buy–a complete stranger, or a story from a series that she’s already enjoyed. Of course, if she didn’t like the series, the complete stranger will benefit. 🙂
    So it appears that some people love series and some don’t, but if writing romance, it sure is preferable if each story is a satisfying read on its own. I love to see my opinions supported. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thanking all commentors for interesting insights

    Reply
  126. “Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!”
    I see a plot for a serial-killer mystery here…
    Count me as among the fans of Patricia Veryan. I particularly like MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION and the one in which the hero has a pet goose.

    Reply
  127. “Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!”
    I see a plot for a serial-killer mystery here…
    Count me as among the fans of Patricia Veryan. I particularly like MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION and the one in which the hero has a pet goose.

    Reply
  128. “Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!”
    I see a plot for a serial-killer mystery here…
    Count me as among the fans of Patricia Veryan. I particularly like MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION and the one in which the hero has a pet goose.

    Reply
  129. “Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!”
    I see a plot for a serial-killer mystery here…
    Count me as among the fans of Patricia Veryan. I particularly like MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION and the one in which the hero has a pet goose.

    Reply
  130. “Usually I just wait for the series to be complete before I even start reading it. If I have to wait for the author to die to be sure its over, so be it!”
    I see a plot for a serial-killer mystery here…
    Count me as among the fans of Patricia Veryan. I particularly like MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION and the one in which the hero has a pet goose.

    Reply
  131. Sherrie: Here’s what IMDb has to say about MR. SUNSHINE:
    “When this sit-com first was promoted, Henry Winkler and Jeffrey Tambor asked why a comedy could not have as its central character a person who happens to be blind. The initial “equality” seemed noble, but there soon was a good answer to their question: sighted people wrote the show for a sighted audience and resorted to “sight gags” at the blind character’s expense. It just seemed wrong to laugh at this character when all he was doing was trying to function in a sighted world.
    Although the acting and production values were of quality, the plots and situations into which the character was thrown too often bordered on cruel slap stick, and the altruistic freshness of the show’s concept quickly turned sour.”
    YOU may have enjoyed it, but I can tell you, being a member, that the National Federation of the Blind was up in arms about it.
    A much better TV series, if you’re old enough to recall it, is LONGSTREET, about a blind insurance investigator, played by James Franciscus. The character was based on Duncan Maclain, an Army officer blinded in World War I, who was the hero of a series of novels by Baynard Kendrick, who worked with blinded soldiers during the war and veterans afterwards. Each of the remarkable things that Maclain does, including shooting accurately by sound alone, was actually done by some blind person Kendrick knew (though of course none of them did ALL of them).
    ~ ~ ~ end of rant ~ ~ ~

    Reply
  132. Sherrie: Here’s what IMDb has to say about MR. SUNSHINE:
    “When this sit-com first was promoted, Henry Winkler and Jeffrey Tambor asked why a comedy could not have as its central character a person who happens to be blind. The initial “equality” seemed noble, but there soon was a good answer to their question: sighted people wrote the show for a sighted audience and resorted to “sight gags” at the blind character’s expense. It just seemed wrong to laugh at this character when all he was doing was trying to function in a sighted world.
    Although the acting and production values were of quality, the plots and situations into which the character was thrown too often bordered on cruel slap stick, and the altruistic freshness of the show’s concept quickly turned sour.”
    YOU may have enjoyed it, but I can tell you, being a member, that the National Federation of the Blind was up in arms about it.
    A much better TV series, if you’re old enough to recall it, is LONGSTREET, about a blind insurance investigator, played by James Franciscus. The character was based on Duncan Maclain, an Army officer blinded in World War I, who was the hero of a series of novels by Baynard Kendrick, who worked with blinded soldiers during the war and veterans afterwards. Each of the remarkable things that Maclain does, including shooting accurately by sound alone, was actually done by some blind person Kendrick knew (though of course none of them did ALL of them).
    ~ ~ ~ end of rant ~ ~ ~

    Reply
  133. Sherrie: Here’s what IMDb has to say about MR. SUNSHINE:
    “When this sit-com first was promoted, Henry Winkler and Jeffrey Tambor asked why a comedy could not have as its central character a person who happens to be blind. The initial “equality” seemed noble, but there soon was a good answer to their question: sighted people wrote the show for a sighted audience and resorted to “sight gags” at the blind character’s expense. It just seemed wrong to laugh at this character when all he was doing was trying to function in a sighted world.
    Although the acting and production values were of quality, the plots and situations into which the character was thrown too often bordered on cruel slap stick, and the altruistic freshness of the show’s concept quickly turned sour.”
    YOU may have enjoyed it, but I can tell you, being a member, that the National Federation of the Blind was up in arms about it.
    A much better TV series, if you’re old enough to recall it, is LONGSTREET, about a blind insurance investigator, played by James Franciscus. The character was based on Duncan Maclain, an Army officer blinded in World War I, who was the hero of a series of novels by Baynard Kendrick, who worked with blinded soldiers during the war and veterans afterwards. Each of the remarkable things that Maclain does, including shooting accurately by sound alone, was actually done by some blind person Kendrick knew (though of course none of them did ALL of them).
    ~ ~ ~ end of rant ~ ~ ~

    Reply
  134. Sherrie: Here’s what IMDb has to say about MR. SUNSHINE:
    “When this sit-com first was promoted, Henry Winkler and Jeffrey Tambor asked why a comedy could not have as its central character a person who happens to be blind. The initial “equality” seemed noble, but there soon was a good answer to their question: sighted people wrote the show for a sighted audience and resorted to “sight gags” at the blind character’s expense. It just seemed wrong to laugh at this character when all he was doing was trying to function in a sighted world.
    Although the acting and production values were of quality, the plots and situations into which the character was thrown too often bordered on cruel slap stick, and the altruistic freshness of the show’s concept quickly turned sour.”
    YOU may have enjoyed it, but I can tell you, being a member, that the National Federation of the Blind was up in arms about it.
    A much better TV series, if you’re old enough to recall it, is LONGSTREET, about a blind insurance investigator, played by James Franciscus. The character was based on Duncan Maclain, an Army officer blinded in World War I, who was the hero of a series of novels by Baynard Kendrick, who worked with blinded soldiers during the war and veterans afterwards. Each of the remarkable things that Maclain does, including shooting accurately by sound alone, was actually done by some blind person Kendrick knew (though of course none of them did ALL of them).
    ~ ~ ~ end of rant ~ ~ ~

    Reply
  135. Sherrie: Here’s what IMDb has to say about MR. SUNSHINE:
    “When this sit-com first was promoted, Henry Winkler and Jeffrey Tambor asked why a comedy could not have as its central character a person who happens to be blind. The initial “equality” seemed noble, but there soon was a good answer to their question: sighted people wrote the show for a sighted audience and resorted to “sight gags” at the blind character’s expense. It just seemed wrong to laugh at this character when all he was doing was trying to function in a sighted world.
    Although the acting and production values were of quality, the plots and situations into which the character was thrown too often bordered on cruel slap stick, and the altruistic freshness of the show’s concept quickly turned sour.”
    YOU may have enjoyed it, but I can tell you, being a member, that the National Federation of the Blind was up in arms about it.
    A much better TV series, if you’re old enough to recall it, is LONGSTREET, about a blind insurance investigator, played by James Franciscus. The character was based on Duncan Maclain, an Army officer blinded in World War I, who was the hero of a series of novels by Baynard Kendrick, who worked with blinded soldiers during the war and veterans afterwards. Each of the remarkable things that Maclain does, including shooting accurately by sound alone, was actually done by some blind person Kendrick knew (though of course none of them did ALL of them).
    ~ ~ ~ end of rant ~ ~ ~

    Reply
  136. The first “series” I ever bought was back in second grade – Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Oh, and The Littles.
    With so many things going on with 2 kids under 10 at home, I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t interest me anymore. I wish I had stopped reading Gabaldon’s series after book 3. I want the time back that I spent reading the next 3 books. Just give Jamie and Claire a happy ending already!
    Even better are books in a series that can be stand alone novels.

    Reply
  137. The first “series” I ever bought was back in second grade – Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Oh, and The Littles.
    With so many things going on with 2 kids under 10 at home, I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t interest me anymore. I wish I had stopped reading Gabaldon’s series after book 3. I want the time back that I spent reading the next 3 books. Just give Jamie and Claire a happy ending already!
    Even better are books in a series that can be stand alone novels.

    Reply
  138. The first “series” I ever bought was back in second grade – Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Oh, and The Littles.
    With so many things going on with 2 kids under 10 at home, I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t interest me anymore. I wish I had stopped reading Gabaldon’s series after book 3. I want the time back that I spent reading the next 3 books. Just give Jamie and Claire a happy ending already!
    Even better are books in a series that can be stand alone novels.

    Reply
  139. The first “series” I ever bought was back in second grade – Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Oh, and The Littles.
    With so many things going on with 2 kids under 10 at home, I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t interest me anymore. I wish I had stopped reading Gabaldon’s series after book 3. I want the time back that I spent reading the next 3 books. Just give Jamie and Claire a happy ending already!
    Even better are books in a series that can be stand alone novels.

    Reply
  140. The first “series” I ever bought was back in second grade – Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Glass Elevator. Oh, and The Littles.
    With so many things going on with 2 kids under 10 at home, I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t interest me anymore. I wish I had stopped reading Gabaldon’s series after book 3. I want the time back that I spent reading the next 3 books. Just give Jamie and Claire a happy ending already!
    Even better are books in a series that can be stand alone novels.

    Reply
  141. Stephanie, you mentioned that Dorothy Dunnett made sure we faithful readers would get the final instalment of the Niccolo and Francis mega-series, even if she didn’t live to write it herself. But she didn’t finish the series about Johnson Johnson the portrait painter. (I think that was his name.)
    I spent half a lifetime reading the Francis Crawford books as they were written, and in between the books of that series I fell a little in love with Johnson Johnson because he seemed like a modern day Francis.
    The other series that I think never continued, and might have indeed ended with the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ male character hanging from a cliff, was the Elizabeth Peters one about the tall heroine who worked in a German art gallery.

    Reply
  142. Stephanie, you mentioned that Dorothy Dunnett made sure we faithful readers would get the final instalment of the Niccolo and Francis mega-series, even if she didn’t live to write it herself. But she didn’t finish the series about Johnson Johnson the portrait painter. (I think that was his name.)
    I spent half a lifetime reading the Francis Crawford books as they were written, and in between the books of that series I fell a little in love with Johnson Johnson because he seemed like a modern day Francis.
    The other series that I think never continued, and might have indeed ended with the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ male character hanging from a cliff, was the Elizabeth Peters one about the tall heroine who worked in a German art gallery.

    Reply
  143. Stephanie, you mentioned that Dorothy Dunnett made sure we faithful readers would get the final instalment of the Niccolo and Francis mega-series, even if she didn’t live to write it herself. But she didn’t finish the series about Johnson Johnson the portrait painter. (I think that was his name.)
    I spent half a lifetime reading the Francis Crawford books as they were written, and in between the books of that series I fell a little in love with Johnson Johnson because he seemed like a modern day Francis.
    The other series that I think never continued, and might have indeed ended with the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ male character hanging from a cliff, was the Elizabeth Peters one about the tall heroine who worked in a German art gallery.

    Reply
  144. Stephanie, you mentioned that Dorothy Dunnett made sure we faithful readers would get the final instalment of the Niccolo and Francis mega-series, even if she didn’t live to write it herself. But she didn’t finish the series about Johnson Johnson the portrait painter. (I think that was his name.)
    I spent half a lifetime reading the Francis Crawford books as they were written, and in between the books of that series I fell a little in love with Johnson Johnson because he seemed like a modern day Francis.
    The other series that I think never continued, and might have indeed ended with the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ male character hanging from a cliff, was the Elizabeth Peters one about the tall heroine who worked in a German art gallery.

    Reply
  145. Stephanie, you mentioned that Dorothy Dunnett made sure we faithful readers would get the final instalment of the Niccolo and Francis mega-series, even if she didn’t live to write it herself. But she didn’t finish the series about Johnson Johnson the portrait painter. (I think that was his name.)
    I spent half a lifetime reading the Francis Crawford books as they were written, and in between the books of that series I fell a little in love with Johnson Johnson because he seemed like a modern day Francis.
    The other series that I think never continued, and might have indeed ended with the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ male character hanging from a cliff, was the Elizabeth Peters one about the tall heroine who worked in a German art gallery.

    Reply
  146. Thanks for the information on how Agatha Christie wrote her books. That makes a lot of sense, because I would finish a book wondering how the heck the villain was chosen, because often it was someone you had read about once in chapter 3 and then never heard of again. Like I said, I hate AC books.
    I read Patricia Veryan in high school. I loved those books. There were a couple of characters that were definitely swoon worthy and I read most of the series just for more on them…..Trevellyan perhaps?

    Reply
  147. Thanks for the information on how Agatha Christie wrote her books. That makes a lot of sense, because I would finish a book wondering how the heck the villain was chosen, because often it was someone you had read about once in chapter 3 and then never heard of again. Like I said, I hate AC books.
    I read Patricia Veryan in high school. I loved those books. There were a couple of characters that were definitely swoon worthy and I read most of the series just for more on them…..Trevellyan perhaps?

    Reply
  148. Thanks for the information on how Agatha Christie wrote her books. That makes a lot of sense, because I would finish a book wondering how the heck the villain was chosen, because often it was someone you had read about once in chapter 3 and then never heard of again. Like I said, I hate AC books.
    I read Patricia Veryan in high school. I loved those books. There were a couple of characters that were definitely swoon worthy and I read most of the series just for more on them…..Trevellyan perhaps?

    Reply
  149. Thanks for the information on how Agatha Christie wrote her books. That makes a lot of sense, because I would finish a book wondering how the heck the villain was chosen, because often it was someone you had read about once in chapter 3 and then never heard of again. Like I said, I hate AC books.
    I read Patricia Veryan in high school. I loved those books. There were a couple of characters that were definitely swoon worthy and I read most of the series just for more on them…..Trevellyan perhaps?

    Reply
  150. Thanks for the information on how Agatha Christie wrote her books. That makes a lot of sense, because I would finish a book wondering how the heck the villain was chosen, because often it was someone you had read about once in chapter 3 and then never heard of again. Like I said, I hate AC books.
    I read Patricia Veryan in high school. I loved those books. There were a couple of characters that were definitely swoon worthy and I read most of the series just for more on them…..Trevellyan perhaps?

    Reply
  151. ***snip ***
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    ***end snip ***
    Which is another thing I hate. Books today are too short. I love those long books, like your Fallen Angels series. You could really wallow for a long time in the romance and a great story.
    Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?

    Reply
  152. ***snip ***
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    ***end snip ***
    Which is another thing I hate. Books today are too short. I love those long books, like your Fallen Angels series. You could really wallow for a long time in the romance and a great story.
    Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?

    Reply
  153. ***snip ***
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    ***end snip ***
    Which is another thing I hate. Books today are too short. I love those long books, like your Fallen Angels series. You could really wallow for a long time in the romance and a great story.
    Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?

    Reply
  154. ***snip ***
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    ***end snip ***
    Which is another thing I hate. Books today are too short. I love those long books, like your Fallen Angels series. You could really wallow for a long time in the romance and a great story.
    Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?

    Reply
  155. ***snip ***
    You mentioned the 90K word length, which brings up another point. My Fallen Angels books tended to be in the 130K range. That’s a lot more depth and more story than can be packed 90K. That causes problems on all kinds of levels. I’d like for my new historical romance series to have a feel somewhat like the Fallen Angels (wihout repeating myself!), but it will be harder with stories around 100K. We’ll see….
    ***end snip ***
    Which is another thing I hate. Books today are too short. I love those long books, like your Fallen Angels series. You could really wallow for a long time in the romance and a great story.
    Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?

    Reply
  156. “Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?”
    That may depend on the quality of the writing. If I enjoy the writer’s style, if there are nuanced characterizations, if I’m enjoying spending time in their company, then I’d like as much time with them as possible. On the other hand, if the characters are purest cardboard, and the writing style is flat & uninteresting, then I will often skip to the ending and toss the book aside.
    Romances depend a lot more on deep characterization than some other genres – mystery and action thrillers for instance. But any genre can suffer from dull writing and cliched characters.

    Reply
  157. “Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?”
    That may depend on the quality of the writing. If I enjoy the writer’s style, if there are nuanced characterizations, if I’m enjoying spending time in their company, then I’d like as much time with them as possible. On the other hand, if the characters are purest cardboard, and the writing style is flat & uninteresting, then I will often skip to the ending and toss the book aside.
    Romances depend a lot more on deep characterization than some other genres – mystery and action thrillers for instance. But any genre can suffer from dull writing and cliched characters.

    Reply
  158. “Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?”
    That may depend on the quality of the writing. If I enjoy the writer’s style, if there are nuanced characterizations, if I’m enjoying spending time in their company, then I’d like as much time with them as possible. On the other hand, if the characters are purest cardboard, and the writing style is flat & uninteresting, then I will often skip to the ending and toss the book aside.
    Romances depend a lot more on deep characterization than some other genres – mystery and action thrillers for instance. But any genre can suffer from dull writing and cliched characters.

    Reply
  159. “Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?”
    That may depend on the quality of the writing. If I enjoy the writer’s style, if there are nuanced characterizations, if I’m enjoying spending time in their company, then I’d like as much time with them as possible. On the other hand, if the characters are purest cardboard, and the writing style is flat & uninteresting, then I will often skip to the ending and toss the book aside.
    Romances depend a lot more on deep characterization than some other genres – mystery and action thrillers for instance. But any genre can suffer from dull writing and cliched characters.

    Reply
  160. “Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?”
    That may depend on the quality of the writing. If I enjoy the writer’s style, if there are nuanced characterizations, if I’m enjoying spending time in their company, then I’d like as much time with them as possible. On the other hand, if the characters are purest cardboard, and the writing style is flat & uninteresting, then I will often skip to the ending and toss the book aside.
    Romances depend a lot more on deep characterization than some other genres – mystery and action thrillers for instance. But any genre can suffer from dull writing and cliched characters.

    Reply
  161. From MJP:
    –Tal, interesting about the two different tv series with blind heroes. I didn’t read either, but Longstreet definitely sounds more appealing and empowering.
    Parlance, since the Dunnett Johnson Johnson books were a mysteries series, I suppose she didn’t feel the same need for closure with she did with Lymond and Niccolo. (Frankly I couldn’t get through the second Niccolo book and I quit that story, but I adored Lymond and the books marked me for life.)
    I did want to see Johnson Johnson sorted out and ending up with Joanna, though!
    With Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries, didn’t she end up landing Sir John Smythe, her charming thief?
    –Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?>>
    Book length is a complicated issue. It’s true that a lot of readers are rushed for time and may not want to take a huge treekiller. One reason for the success of the category contemporaries was that they were a manageable length for a busy woman.
    But another issue is production costs. Fat books cost make to make, more to ship, and they take up more shelf space, which leaves less room for other books. So it’s not surprising that publishers prefer a shorter book. IF the book comes in long, either the author has to cut or the publisher has to set it in mice type to get all the words in and still fit within the production budget.
    And then there’s Harry Potter… 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  162. From MJP:
    –Tal, interesting about the two different tv series with blind heroes. I didn’t read either, but Longstreet definitely sounds more appealing and empowering.
    Parlance, since the Dunnett Johnson Johnson books were a mysteries series, I suppose she didn’t feel the same need for closure with she did with Lymond and Niccolo. (Frankly I couldn’t get through the second Niccolo book and I quit that story, but I adored Lymond and the books marked me for life.)
    I did want to see Johnson Johnson sorted out and ending up with Joanna, though!
    With Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries, didn’t she end up landing Sir John Smythe, her charming thief?
    –Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?>>
    Book length is a complicated issue. It’s true that a lot of readers are rushed for time and may not want to take a huge treekiller. One reason for the success of the category contemporaries was that they were a manageable length for a busy woman.
    But another issue is production costs. Fat books cost make to make, more to ship, and they take up more shelf space, which leaves less room for other books. So it’s not surprising that publishers prefer a shorter book. IF the book comes in long, either the author has to cut or the publisher has to set it in mice type to get all the words in and still fit within the production budget.
    And then there’s Harry Potter… 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  163. From MJP:
    –Tal, interesting about the two different tv series with blind heroes. I didn’t read either, but Longstreet definitely sounds more appealing and empowering.
    Parlance, since the Dunnett Johnson Johnson books were a mysteries series, I suppose she didn’t feel the same need for closure with she did with Lymond and Niccolo. (Frankly I couldn’t get through the second Niccolo book and I quit that story, but I adored Lymond and the books marked me for life.)
    I did want to see Johnson Johnson sorted out and ending up with Joanna, though!
    With Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries, didn’t she end up landing Sir John Smythe, her charming thief?
    –Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?>>
    Book length is a complicated issue. It’s true that a lot of readers are rushed for time and may not want to take a huge treekiller. One reason for the success of the category contemporaries was that they were a manageable length for a busy woman.
    But another issue is production costs. Fat books cost make to make, more to ship, and they take up more shelf space, which leaves less room for other books. So it’s not surprising that publishers prefer a shorter book. IF the book comes in long, either the author has to cut or the publisher has to set it in mice type to get all the words in and still fit within the production budget.
    And then there’s Harry Potter… 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  164. From MJP:
    –Tal, interesting about the two different tv series with blind heroes. I didn’t read either, but Longstreet definitely sounds more appealing and empowering.
    Parlance, since the Dunnett Johnson Johnson books were a mysteries series, I suppose she didn’t feel the same need for closure with she did with Lymond and Niccolo. (Frankly I couldn’t get through the second Niccolo book and I quit that story, but I adored Lymond and the books marked me for life.)
    I did want to see Johnson Johnson sorted out and ending up with Joanna, though!
    With Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries, didn’t she end up landing Sir John Smythe, her charming thief?
    –Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?>>
    Book length is a complicated issue. It’s true that a lot of readers are rushed for time and may not want to take a huge treekiller. One reason for the success of the category contemporaries was that they were a manageable length for a busy woman.
    But another issue is production costs. Fat books cost make to make, more to ship, and they take up more shelf space, which leaves less room for other books. So it’s not surprising that publishers prefer a shorter book. IF the book comes in long, either the author has to cut or the publisher has to set it in mice type to get all the words in and still fit within the production budget.
    And then there’s Harry Potter… 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  165. From MJP:
    –Tal, interesting about the two different tv series with blind heroes. I didn’t read either, but Longstreet definitely sounds more appealing and empowering.
    Parlance, since the Dunnett Johnson Johnson books were a mysteries series, I suppose she didn’t feel the same need for closure with she did with Lymond and Niccolo. (Frankly I couldn’t get through the second Niccolo book and I quit that story, but I adored Lymond and the books marked me for life.)
    I did want to see Johnson Johnson sorted out and ending up with Joanna, though!
    With Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries, didn’t she end up landing Sir John Smythe, her charming thief?
    –Do people nowadays just want to finish a book, rather than prolong the enjoyment from a great long, detailed story?>>
    Book length is a complicated issue. It’s true that a lot of readers are rushed for time and may not want to take a huge treekiller. One reason for the success of the category contemporaries was that they were a manageable length for a busy woman.
    But another issue is production costs. Fat books cost make to make, more to ship, and they take up more shelf space, which leaves less room for other books. So it’s not surprising that publishers prefer a shorter book. IF the book comes in long, either the author has to cut or the publisher has to set it in mice type to get all the words in and still fit within the production budget.
    And then there’s Harry Potter… 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  166. But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.
    Or those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it’s had to be mashed to fit into the slot?
    Does making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?

    Reply
  167. But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.
    Or those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it’s had to be mashed to fit into the slot?
    Does making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?

    Reply
  168. But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.
    Or those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it’s had to be mashed to fit into the slot?
    Does making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?

    Reply
  169. But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.
    Or those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it’s had to be mashed to fit into the slot?
    Does making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?

    Reply
  170. But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.
    Or those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it’s had to be mashed to fit into the slot?
    Does making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?

    Reply
  171. From MJP:
    Janice–it’s complicated. 🙂
    –But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.>>
    The Ideal Wife was originally a Signet Regency. Now that Mary Balogh is a major star, they can take and early book and reissues it as a historical. And because it’s shorter, they put in lots of white space, which makes it easier to read, and makes it look longer and worth the cover price.
    << those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it's had to be mashed to fit into the slot?>>
    They do those books for bestsellers and charge three bucks a copy more than for standard mass market size. Making the book larger is a way to make it look worth more.
    >>es making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?>>
    The packaging is invariably about economic considerations. Print media in general are struggling, and that includes print publishers. With mass market, there’s always a concern that too high a price point will really damage sales. So the marketing and sales people are constantly juggling to find the format that will work best.
    As I said, it’s complicated. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  172. From MJP:
    Janice–it’s complicated. 🙂
    –But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.>>
    The Ideal Wife was originally a Signet Regency. Now that Mary Balogh is a major star, they can take and early book and reissues it as a historical. And because it’s shorter, they put in lots of white space, which makes it easier to read, and makes it look longer and worth the cover price.
    << those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it's had to be mashed to fit into the slot?>>
    They do those books for bestsellers and charge three bucks a copy more than for standard mass market size. Making the book larger is a way to make it look worth more.
    >>es making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?>>
    The packaging is invariably about economic considerations. Print media in general are struggling, and that includes print publishers. With mass market, there’s always a concern that too high a price point will really damage sales. So the marketing and sales people are constantly juggling to find the format that will work best.
    As I said, it’s complicated. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  173. From MJP:
    Janice–it’s complicated. 🙂
    –But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.>>
    The Ideal Wife was originally a Signet Regency. Now that Mary Balogh is a major star, they can take and early book and reissues it as a historical. And because it’s shorter, they put in lots of white space, which makes it easier to read, and makes it look longer and worth the cover price.
    << those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it's had to be mashed to fit into the slot?>>
    They do those books for bestsellers and charge three bucks a copy more than for standard mass market size. Making the book larger is a way to make it look worth more.
    >>es making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?>>
    The packaging is invariably about economic considerations. Print media in general are struggling, and that includes print publishers. With mass market, there’s always a concern that too high a price point will really damage sales. So the marketing and sales people are constantly juggling to find the format that will work best.
    As I said, it’s complicated. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  174. From MJP:
    Janice–it’s complicated. 🙂
    –But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.>>
    The Ideal Wife was originally a Signet Regency. Now that Mary Balogh is a major star, they can take and early book and reissues it as a historical. And because it’s shorter, they put in lots of white space, which makes it easier to read, and makes it look longer and worth the cover price.
    << those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it's had to be mashed to fit into the slot?>>
    They do those books for bestsellers and charge three bucks a copy more than for standard mass market size. Making the book larger is a way to make it look worth more.
    >>es making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?>>
    The packaging is invariably about economic considerations. Print media in general are struggling, and that includes print publishers. With mass market, there’s always a concern that too high a price point will really damage sales. So the marketing and sales people are constantly juggling to find the format that will work best.
    As I said, it’s complicated. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  175. From MJP:
    Janice–it’s complicated. 🙂
    –But if fat books are less economical to produce & market, how do we explain the propensity of publishers to reprint books in a slightly larger format with bigger print & more white space, thus more pages? The Ideal Wife would be a current case in point.>>
    The Ideal Wife was originally a Signet Regency. Now that Mary Balogh is a major star, they can take and early book and reissues it as a historical. And because it’s shorter, they put in lots of white space, which makes it easier to read, and makes it look longer and worth the cover price.
    << those ugly paperbacks that are an inch taller than normal mass market size, so that if you pick one up in the market, it's had to be mashed to fit into the slot?>>
    They do those books for bestsellers and charge three bucks a copy more than for standard mass market size. Making the book larger is a way to make it look worth more.
    >>es making a book look “more important” trump economic considerations?>>
    The packaging is invariably about economic considerations. Print media in general are struggling, and that includes print publishers. With mass market, there’s always a concern that too high a price point will really damage sales. So the marketing and sales people are constantly juggling to find the format that will work best.
    As I said, it’s complicated. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  176. I like series generally and could give many examples. e.g. Sayers, Amanda Cross, Laurie King, Balogh’s Slightly series (though one or two of the novels I thought were disappointing in comparison with the others), Quinn’s Bridgertons, and of course the series by wenches. As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore MJP’s The Diabolical Baron, followed by The Rogue. Since Elizabeth Peters was brought up, I loved the Amelia Peabody novels for a while, but then they went on and on and on, until I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand reading about these people anymore. I was surprised to find myself feeling like that– given how much I loved the initial books, but it really was too many.
    Mary Jo—The Marriage Spell seemed like it might have been setting up a series– and I was looking forward to it. Was that your intention? What happened? I’m looking forward to your next books.
    Merry

    Reply
  177. I like series generally and could give many examples. e.g. Sayers, Amanda Cross, Laurie King, Balogh’s Slightly series (though one or two of the novels I thought were disappointing in comparison with the others), Quinn’s Bridgertons, and of course the series by wenches. As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore MJP’s The Diabolical Baron, followed by The Rogue. Since Elizabeth Peters was brought up, I loved the Amelia Peabody novels for a while, but then they went on and on and on, until I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand reading about these people anymore. I was surprised to find myself feeling like that– given how much I loved the initial books, but it really was too many.
    Mary Jo—The Marriage Spell seemed like it might have been setting up a series– and I was looking forward to it. Was that your intention? What happened? I’m looking forward to your next books.
    Merry

    Reply
  178. I like series generally and could give many examples. e.g. Sayers, Amanda Cross, Laurie King, Balogh’s Slightly series (though one or two of the novels I thought were disappointing in comparison with the others), Quinn’s Bridgertons, and of course the series by wenches. As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore MJP’s The Diabolical Baron, followed by The Rogue. Since Elizabeth Peters was brought up, I loved the Amelia Peabody novels for a while, but then they went on and on and on, until I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand reading about these people anymore. I was surprised to find myself feeling like that– given how much I loved the initial books, but it really was too many.
    Mary Jo—The Marriage Spell seemed like it might have been setting up a series– and I was looking forward to it. Was that your intention? What happened? I’m looking forward to your next books.
    Merry

    Reply
  179. I like series generally and could give many examples. e.g. Sayers, Amanda Cross, Laurie King, Balogh’s Slightly series (though one or two of the novels I thought were disappointing in comparison with the others), Quinn’s Bridgertons, and of course the series by wenches. As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore MJP’s The Diabolical Baron, followed by The Rogue. Since Elizabeth Peters was brought up, I loved the Amelia Peabody novels for a while, but then they went on and on and on, until I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand reading about these people anymore. I was surprised to find myself feeling like that– given how much I loved the initial books, but it really was too many.
    Mary Jo—The Marriage Spell seemed like it might have been setting up a series– and I was looking forward to it. Was that your intention? What happened? I’m looking forward to your next books.
    Merry

    Reply
  180. I like series generally and could give many examples. e.g. Sayers, Amanda Cross, Laurie King, Balogh’s Slightly series (though one or two of the novels I thought were disappointing in comparison with the others), Quinn’s Bridgertons, and of course the series by wenches. As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore MJP’s The Diabolical Baron, followed by The Rogue. Since Elizabeth Peters was brought up, I loved the Amelia Peabody novels for a while, but then they went on and on and on, until I got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand reading about these people anymore. I was surprised to find myself feeling like that– given how much I loved the initial books, but it really was too many.
    Mary Jo—The Marriage Spell seemed like it might have been setting up a series– and I was looking forward to it. Was that your intention? What happened? I’m looking forward to your next books.
    Merry

    Reply
  181. From MJP:
    Merry, I was thinking of The Marriage Spell as the first of a series, but then I left Ballantine. The editors we talked to all wanted me to return to straight historical, without magic, which meant a new series.
    So–I’m now working on the second of my Lost Lords series for Kensington. No magic, but the characters distinctly similar to the interesting secondary characters in The Marriage Spell. The names and back story are different enough that it’s a new series, but there are definite resemblances. The first book (as yet untitled) is scheduled for July 2009, with the second maybe 8 or 9 months after.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  182. From MJP:
    Merry, I was thinking of The Marriage Spell as the first of a series, but then I left Ballantine. The editors we talked to all wanted me to return to straight historical, without magic, which meant a new series.
    So–I’m now working on the second of my Lost Lords series for Kensington. No magic, but the characters distinctly similar to the interesting secondary characters in The Marriage Spell. The names and back story are different enough that it’s a new series, but there are definite resemblances. The first book (as yet untitled) is scheduled for July 2009, with the second maybe 8 or 9 months after.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  183. From MJP:
    Merry, I was thinking of The Marriage Spell as the first of a series, but then I left Ballantine. The editors we talked to all wanted me to return to straight historical, without magic, which meant a new series.
    So–I’m now working on the second of my Lost Lords series for Kensington. No magic, but the characters distinctly similar to the interesting secondary characters in The Marriage Spell. The names and back story are different enough that it’s a new series, but there are definite resemblances. The first book (as yet untitled) is scheduled for July 2009, with the second maybe 8 or 9 months after.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  184. From MJP:
    Merry, I was thinking of The Marriage Spell as the first of a series, but then I left Ballantine. The editors we talked to all wanted me to return to straight historical, without magic, which meant a new series.
    So–I’m now working on the second of my Lost Lords series for Kensington. No magic, but the characters distinctly similar to the interesting secondary characters in The Marriage Spell. The names and back story are different enough that it’s a new series, but there are definite resemblances. The first book (as yet untitled) is scheduled for July 2009, with the second maybe 8 or 9 months after.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  185. From MJP:
    Merry, I was thinking of The Marriage Spell as the first of a series, but then I left Ballantine. The editors we talked to all wanted me to return to straight historical, without magic, which meant a new series.
    So–I’m now working on the second of my Lost Lords series for Kensington. No magic, but the characters distinctly similar to the interesting secondary characters in The Marriage Spell. The names and back story are different enough that it’s a new series, but there are definite resemblances. The first book (as yet untitled) is scheduled for July 2009, with the second maybe 8 or 9 months after.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  186. From MJP:
    So there’s going to be another Vicky Bliss? Cool! She’s a great character, with her scholar’s brain and bimbo body. 🙂
    Linda, it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in the publication tempo when changing houses because the book has to be slotted into the new house’s schedule. Luckily, the second book should show up more quickly. I’m having fun with this series. Think Fallen Angels–except not quite, of course.
    Mary Jo, going back to torturing the current hero. [evil chuckls]

    Reply
  187. From MJP:
    So there’s going to be another Vicky Bliss? Cool! She’s a great character, with her scholar’s brain and bimbo body. 🙂
    Linda, it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in the publication tempo when changing houses because the book has to be slotted into the new house’s schedule. Luckily, the second book should show up more quickly. I’m having fun with this series. Think Fallen Angels–except not quite, of course.
    Mary Jo, going back to torturing the current hero. [evil chuckls]

    Reply
  188. From MJP:
    So there’s going to be another Vicky Bliss? Cool! She’s a great character, with her scholar’s brain and bimbo body. 🙂
    Linda, it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in the publication tempo when changing houses because the book has to be slotted into the new house’s schedule. Luckily, the second book should show up more quickly. I’m having fun with this series. Think Fallen Angels–except not quite, of course.
    Mary Jo, going back to torturing the current hero. [evil chuckls]

    Reply
  189. From MJP:
    So there’s going to be another Vicky Bliss? Cool! She’s a great character, with her scholar’s brain and bimbo body. 🙂
    Linda, it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in the publication tempo when changing houses because the book has to be slotted into the new house’s schedule. Luckily, the second book should show up more quickly. I’m having fun with this series. Think Fallen Angels–except not quite, of course.
    Mary Jo, going back to torturing the current hero. [evil chuckls]

    Reply
  190. From MJP:
    So there’s going to be another Vicky Bliss? Cool! She’s a great character, with her scholar’s brain and bimbo body. 🙂
    Linda, it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap in the publication tempo when changing houses because the book has to be slotted into the new house’s schedule. Luckily, the second book should show up more quickly. I’m having fun with this series. Think Fallen Angels–except not quite, of course.
    Mary Jo, going back to torturing the current hero. [evil chuckls]

    Reply
  191. I love a good series…it seems that all of my favourite books are part of a series and most of my favourite authors write series…Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts and I could go on an on. I want to know what happened next to the characters – did they have the 3 kids they wanted, what happened to the miserable mother in law, and of course what happened to the brother/sister/friend that stood by them in the first book? This just makes the whole story richer for me.
    As for the long vs. short books, I think that if you like a series then you will like a long book. It allows the author to give more detail and body to the story. It allows the reader to get to know the characters a bit more. There is little more frustrating than finishing a book and forgetting the names immediately because the book was too short to make an impression.
    So, long live the series (whether long or short) and lets hear it for the longer book!

    Reply
  192. I love a good series…it seems that all of my favourite books are part of a series and most of my favourite authors write series…Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts and I could go on an on. I want to know what happened next to the characters – did they have the 3 kids they wanted, what happened to the miserable mother in law, and of course what happened to the brother/sister/friend that stood by them in the first book? This just makes the whole story richer for me.
    As for the long vs. short books, I think that if you like a series then you will like a long book. It allows the author to give more detail and body to the story. It allows the reader to get to know the characters a bit more. There is little more frustrating than finishing a book and forgetting the names immediately because the book was too short to make an impression.
    So, long live the series (whether long or short) and lets hear it for the longer book!

    Reply
  193. I love a good series…it seems that all of my favourite books are part of a series and most of my favourite authors write series…Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts and I could go on an on. I want to know what happened next to the characters – did they have the 3 kids they wanted, what happened to the miserable mother in law, and of course what happened to the brother/sister/friend that stood by them in the first book? This just makes the whole story richer for me.
    As for the long vs. short books, I think that if you like a series then you will like a long book. It allows the author to give more detail and body to the story. It allows the reader to get to know the characters a bit more. There is little more frustrating than finishing a book and forgetting the names immediately because the book was too short to make an impression.
    So, long live the series (whether long or short) and lets hear it for the longer book!

    Reply
  194. I love a good series…it seems that all of my favourite books are part of a series and most of my favourite authors write series…Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts and I could go on an on. I want to know what happened next to the characters – did they have the 3 kids they wanted, what happened to the miserable mother in law, and of course what happened to the brother/sister/friend that stood by them in the first book? This just makes the whole story richer for me.
    As for the long vs. short books, I think that if you like a series then you will like a long book. It allows the author to give more detail and body to the story. It allows the reader to get to know the characters a bit more. There is little more frustrating than finishing a book and forgetting the names immediately because the book was too short to make an impression.
    So, long live the series (whether long or short) and lets hear it for the longer book!

    Reply
  195. I love a good series…it seems that all of my favourite books are part of a series and most of my favourite authors write series…Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts and I could go on an on. I want to know what happened next to the characters – did they have the 3 kids they wanted, what happened to the miserable mother in law, and of course what happened to the brother/sister/friend that stood by them in the first book? This just makes the whole story richer for me.
    As for the long vs. short books, I think that if you like a series then you will like a long book. It allows the author to give more detail and body to the story. It allows the reader to get to know the characters a bit more. There is little more frustrating than finishing a book and forgetting the names immediately because the book was too short to make an impression.
    So, long live the series (whether long or short) and lets hear it for the longer book!

    Reply
  196. Mary Jo, it you didn’t finish the Niccolo series you may not have realised that it was all one long series (sort of). I must admit I found the Niccolo ones a drag in places but I made it to the end.
    Wow! More of vicky Bliss – I have to tell my fellow afficionadas (now that was seriously hard to spell…)

    Reply
  197. Mary Jo, it you didn’t finish the Niccolo series you may not have realised that it was all one long series (sort of). I must admit I found the Niccolo ones a drag in places but I made it to the end.
    Wow! More of vicky Bliss – I have to tell my fellow afficionadas (now that was seriously hard to spell…)

    Reply
  198. Mary Jo, it you didn’t finish the Niccolo series you may not have realised that it was all one long series (sort of). I must admit I found the Niccolo ones a drag in places but I made it to the end.
    Wow! More of vicky Bliss – I have to tell my fellow afficionadas (now that was seriously hard to spell…)

    Reply
  199. Mary Jo, it you didn’t finish the Niccolo series you may not have realised that it was all one long series (sort of). I must admit I found the Niccolo ones a drag in places but I made it to the end.
    Wow! More of vicky Bliss – I have to tell my fellow afficionadas (now that was seriously hard to spell…)

    Reply
  200. Mary Jo, it you didn’t finish the Niccolo series you may not have realised that it was all one long series (sort of). I must admit I found the Niccolo ones a drag in places but I made it to the end.
    Wow! More of vicky Bliss – I have to tell my fellow afficionadas (now that was seriously hard to spell…)

    Reply

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