Happy August, everyone. Yikes, this year is going fast. This is the first Monday of the month as well
as the first day, so here I am.
The creator of an online
newsletter asked me to write an article on writing series, and I'm working on
it. But it also gave me the idea to
write about it here, for my InkSpot post.
I'm a seasoned writer. My August release, not a Midnight Ink book so
I won't go into detail here, is my 43rd published novel. I started out writing quite a few stand-alone
books, but really believe I found my niche when I started writing series.
Most of my series books are cozy
mysteries. I wrote two series before I
started here at Midnight Ink with my Superstition Mysteries and my Barkery
& Biscuits Mysteries.
So what do I like about writing
series? I enjoy getting to know my
characters, figuring out how they'll react in all the situations, good and bad,
that I stick them into. In my Midnight
Ink books, since they're all cozy mysteries, my characters have to learn to
deal with dead bodies and accusations against them or their friends as being
major murder suspects.
I get to know the story
backgrounds, too. My next mystery,
UNLUCKY CHARMS--yes, my book number 44--will be released in October. It's my third Superstition Mystery, and it
has been a whole lot of fun researching superstitions and using them in my
stories. I have to admit that, as much
as I also love my Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, I'm not much of a cook, but
I've tried out all the recipes friends provide for my books--sometimes with
help--before making them available. It's
fun to include them, even if I don't create them. TO CATCH A TREAT, the second in that series,
was published in May.
And over the course of time
nearly all my stories have come to have one major underlying theme: dogs.
I'm including some of those
basics in my article on series:
continuing and developing characters, underlying themes... and the
murders in mysteries. There's more, too,
including how to figure out what hurdles to place in front of the protagonists
that they can leap over, as well as making at least one of the continuing
characters a love interest. And, oh yes,
how do I best fit dogs into the stories?
Fortunately, readers seem to like
series, too. If they read one book in a
series and enjoy it, they're likely to read the rest. Even so, I try to make all of my stories
somewhat standalone so readers don't have to start at the beginning to know
what's going on.
I think it's great that Midnight
Ink publishes as many series as it does.
And if anyone has additional ideas about series and what you'd like to
see in them, be sure to let me know so I can update this post--and include it
in my other article.