In the beginning–you’re supposed to hear that with a booming, James Earl Jones style voice–when I first started writing, it was a duo…what the hell do you call a two book series? Anyway, it started with a pair. After that, everything I started was stand alone. None of it got finished until a few years ago. That one was a stand alone…but then my brain started building a series around it. Not dealing with the same characters, but same location with cross-overs, each book dealing with a different couple. Then I thought of another book, another series. Then came Hunted in Shadow, which started out as a stand-alone and turned into a series. It was the turning into a series part that made it really not work (along with the rather glaring lack of a character arc for the heroine). Along comes Sooper Seekrit Project–which was supposed to be stand-alone. Over the weekend my brain tells me it’s a trilogy.
It seems that no matter HOW MUCH I plan for something to be stand alone, my brain just can’t STOP there. It constantly seems to spin out and create metaplot–big sprawling stories that take a long time to tell. You’d think I’d be a big fantasy person because of that, but not so much (though I do love me some Raymond Feist).
I suppose part of this stems from the fact that I really love to read series. A huge chunk of the population on my keeper shelves is made up of series and trilogies. I particularly like to pick up books by favorite authors and see characters I fell in love with in a previous book. Just to get a glimpse of how life is going for them in their HEA. Because, of course, there must be HEA for it to land on the keeper shelf. I am a romance reader. I require it.
Beyond that though, it just seems to be how my brain works.
There are good and bad things about this.
The good: Well, if I manage to hook a reader on the first one, then I have a guaranteed reader for the books or novellas to follow. That’s good regardless of whether it’s something I put out myself, like Forsaken By Shadow (first novella in what I expect to be a fairly lengthy series), or something that traditional publishing eventually picks up.
The bad: Well, if the first one tanks and there are others already in the pipeline, there’s all that work down the drain. And there’s the fact that if an agent or editor doesn’t like the first book in the premise, the likelihood of them biting on the rest is nil. Of course this is less of an issue since I can put it out myself regardless, but still.
In any event, since it seems to be how I work, I guess it is safe to assure readers that if they like the characters in whatever work they pick up from me, they’re likely to get another dose down the line.
And in case you are reading this in a feedreader and missed the announcement, Forsaken By Shadow is now available at Scribd, Smashwords, and Amazon. At $1, it’s a steal! Tell your friends. :wink wink: Okay, end shameless self-promo.