Serious Series

mobile phone and booksHow many of you read series? Do you wait until the series is finished before you start, or do you wait with bated breath for the next release?

It’s no surprise that my favorite series of all time is the Eve Dallas/In Death books by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts). I discovered them and gave up trying to check them out in order from the library so I went on a mission to buy them. I now buy the new releases in hardback AND digital–books for my library shelves, digital for ease of reading. Other autobuy series books for me are Jayne Ann Krentz/Jane Castle/Amanda Quick and the books having to do with the Arcane Society and all the permutations/spin offs, of which there are enough to confuse the casual reader. New to the list is JB Lynn and her Neurotic Hitwoman series. 😀

Larissa Ione, Jeaniene Frost, Allison Brennan, Debra Webb, and others all have series I’ve read and am reading. I could go back and add Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Laurel K. Hamilton to the list though I no longer keep up with them.

Why do authors write series? And more important, to me at least, is what makes a series popular? How does an author keep a series fresh? (This is a reason I’ve stopped reading some series.) I wish I had the answers but I fear today is much more about questions. This is a topic I’ll revisit from time to time, especially since I tend to create in series.

Anyone have thoughts to share?

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About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of two award-winning series--Moonstruck and The Penumbra Papers, Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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12 Responses to Serious Series

  1. Liza says:

    I’m slowly adding the In Death series to my kindle. 36 books would be crazy to buy all at once. I own all in print already, but totally read more on my kindle. Working on adding all Nalini Singh books to kindle too. Luckily only 15 of those.

    I love books in a series. So great to get to visit with favorite characters over and over again. I won’t say every book in a series is always perfect, promise there have even been a couple of In Death books didn’t love. As long as the characters continue to grow and the story stays fresh, I’ll keep reading.

    • Silver James says:

      I’m like you, Liza. Can’t afford to add them all at once, but if I don’t spend the whole book budget on new releases, then I’ll add one of the backlist. The new ones? Absolutely buy hb and digital! There have been a handful that disappointed me, but then LaNora comes through with on like Conspiracy or NY to Dallas, and I’m blown away all over again!

  2. Janet says:

    I love series to a point – there’s almost a tipping point where the author loses her/his touch and that’s when I drop the series (perhaps it just gets same old, same old – not sure). I prefer series that can stand alone – hate reading something and wondering WTH only to find out there were books before hand that explained stuff.

    • Silver James says:

      Yes, Janet. Absolutely! I’ve dropped some series because the books all started to fade into each other. The only difference was the name of the characters. Or the author had a personal agenda/vendetta and the books were filled with it. There was one author that I swear copy and pasted the love scenes not only from previous books but within the SAME book! Ugh. If you can’t be fresh, take it behind closed doors! 😛

  3. I like to think writers write series because they have more to say than would fit in just one book. More of the characters’ lives to show. More plot. Something. When I started Djinnocide, I didn’t plan it as the beginning of the series, but the farther I got into it, the more I realized it was going to take a lot of books to explore Jo’s life. It’s too much fun to stop with just one anyway.

    As a reader, I think as long as a writer keeps site of their goal – whatever it was in the beginning – and they truly enjoy what they’re writing, the work can stay fresh. I wish I had the answers, too, Silver. I can point to different series as evidence of this or that, but what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. I think you’re doing fine with the Moonstruck books, and they’ll let you know when they’re ready to be done.

    The series writers I read – in no particular order: Gini Koch, G.A. Aiken, Jennifer Lyon, Allison Brennan, David Farland, Brandon Mull, Laura Griffin, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Jes Battis, Nancy Holzner, Rob Thurman, James R. Tuck, Monica McCarty, You, Shannon Butcher, Jim Butcher, Lynn Viehl, Kevin Hearne, Lyn Benedict, Mike Shepherd, Larry Correia, Allison Pang, Linda Robertson, Gena Showalter, JB Lynn, Jennifer Hillier, K.E. Mills, Vince Flynn, Jeanine Frost… I could go on, but we all have better things to do with our lives. ;o)

    • Silver James says:

      Dang, woman! That’s quite a list. I keep meaning to try the Aiken books (dragons, right?) and you’ve got me primed to try David Farland.

      I tend to think in series for some reason. Maybe I’m just lazy and don’t want to spend all that time worldbuilding. 😆 Even when I plot out a trilogy, I end up with a “loose end” that needs “just one more book.” Yes, people, I will write Abhean’s story from the Faerie trilogy one of these days. All it takes is time. 🙄

  4. jblynn says:

    Wow, thanks for mentioning me in such esteemed company. 😉

    I love series (reading and writing) because it gives you the chance to get to know the characters so much better. They become old friends instead of quick infatuations. (In general, I tend to prefer television over movies for the same reason.)

    I tend to drop series when the characters stop growing.

    • Silver James says:

      You’re welcome, Jb. I love your characters and I can’t wait to see how they grow. What frustrates me is when a publisher decides a series is over before all the stories are told, or an author decides s/he wants to go a totally different direction and drops a series. That’s happened to countless series I’ve enjoyed. I’m hoping the authors will go back and finish them some day–and before I lose interest. With self-publishing as a viable alternative, there shouldn’t be anything holding them back.

  5. Kat says:

    To Series or not to Series that is the question? to mess up a quote.

    If I can start a Series in the middle say book 3 and understand it and like it without having to read book 1 and 2 then want to read the rest of the series including the books that came before than that is the type of series I like. Because I am a bargin book shopper at local discount chains ( I often pick up 5 or 6 books at my local Dollar store for 3 bucks or 1.50. These are books that the retailer got from overstock elsewhere) I often end up with a book in the middle. There are some that I have read and handed off to someone else with out picking up a another book in the Series. Others like Alexis Morgan’s Pladian Series I picked up book 4 and then book 3 at the discount store then went shopping at BAM for the rest of the Series which I did not read in order. The same way I found Margie M Lui’s Dirk and Steel Series and so many others I can’t name right off. Personally I am a book reader and not an author readers so having finished one series that I liked by an author is not a garuntee that I will like or read another series by that same author.

    • Silver James says:

      Hi, Kat! 😆 Exactly! If I’d been thinking harder, I would have mangled that quote myself. 😀

      You’ve made an interesting point. This makes me think that an author should do enough worldbuilding in each book to explain things to “snag” a new reader but not so much that it bores an old reader. I did the same thing with Christine Feehan’s Carpathian novels. I found like book 6(?) on a bargain table and grabbed it. I enjoyed it so went back and found the previous books. Turned out my critique partner is a huge fan of Christine’s. 😀 (I read the books before I met the CP, BTW)

      I’ve been meaning to check out the Dirk and Steel series and I’ll have to look at the Paladins, too! Thanks for the suggestions. I mean, like I have so much time to get enthralled in new series. 😆 I’m doing a back-to-back read of Lara Adrian’s Breed series now. *headdesk*

      • Kat says:

        I am deep into Lora Leigh’s Breed series which is one that I am trying to do in order but I have a hard time getting some of the books. Change of publisher and all that. Oh I love the new photo. BTW. One of these days I will figure out how to put my image with my posts. I will look like the top of my head to half way to my eyes peeking over a book and that is about as much of my face I will show the world. He He

        • Silver James says:

          Kat, go to Gravatar.com and set up an account. Your pic will appear across all the gravatar-enabled platforms. It’s free. 😀

          I’m about half-way through book 2 of the series. My library had the digital bundle of the first 8 books. Made me a happy camper! I downloaded their software to my iPad and I’m reading on it. Working great so far. I’ll see what happens with books 9 through whatever. Hopefully I can get them on Overdrive from the library, too.

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