Friday, February 11, 2011

Why A Series?

Many readers enjoy resding more than one book with characters they recognize from a previous book by that author. Or they like the setting and want more books from that same area. Or they're interested in a certain subject that each book in the series will feature. These last two provide a good opportunity to have the series written by different authors. I've done every one of them.
Many of my series books written just by me hsve been trilogies. Readers recognize the hero and heroine (sometimes the villain, too) as minor characters from the first book when they read the second and third books. And you're not committed to go on forever, which can become a problem.
I've also written more than one book where the connetion is the setting--for example the Reno area of Nevada.
But the series I'm discussing here is the one written by different authors where the connection is an object--in this case Tarot Cards. I belong to an online group consisting of authors of a "certain age," meaning we're either all old bats or getting there. But we prefer to call ourselves The Grande Dames. We had put together a previous anthology, which sold to a publisher and, since I was the coordinator, I found it a real problem. So this time we decided to do a series. Since one of the authors is an expert about Tarot Cards, we each chose a different card. Mine was the Wheel of Fortune. She agreed to be the consult for the cards meanings, and I offered to find a publisher.
At the point where we were all busily writing our stories, since I was a Chmpagne author, I queried Ellen. She immediately found the perfect name for the series--IN THE CARDS--and asked to see a short synopsis from all of us first. Some of the group were't accustomed to writing synopses, so I wound up vetting some of them--mostly to make sure they showed the role the Tarot card played in the plot. I was the first one to send in my synopsis, which was accepted, and the first to finish my book and so LADY LUCK became the launch book for this series. Yay!
Warning! If it's your idea to create a series with other authors, be prepared to take on more than simply writing your story.
We did create a series with very different story lines. While the subgenre for all is paranormal, some of the stories turned out to be historical rather thsn contemporary, which I think made it a more intereing series for the readers. Not all of the stories are out yet, but do try them--you might be glad you did!

I'm giving away a download of Lady Luck to someone who leaves a comment. Jane


  1. It is fun to recognize a character from one book in another. We enjoyed this post and your sharing of how IN THE CARDS series got started.

    On a personal note, we've been fans for years.

  2. A very interesting concept, Jane. I like the sound of your book!

  3. Hi Jane - Interesting that your blog is about writing series because at last Friday's NOCAMWA (Northern Calif. Mystery Writers of America) meeting in SF everyone was saying that doing a series is THE way to go right now. Thanks for your take on that subject. Excellent post as always.

  4. I like series because I like to see characters go from book to book. I want to know what is happening with a favorite character. Good post.

  5. I like to read series because I think of a book as a picture of a characters life at a specific point so when the author does a series I get additional pictures. Like one day in the life becoming a month in the life of the character.