Saturday, June 6, 2015
Birth of a Series - Part I
Ask five authors for a description of a series and you’re likely to get five different answers. I’m one of those who believe that there’s a certain amount of latitude allowed in describing a series.
For example, is a series similar to the old serials that were shown before the main feature at movie houses? Those generally featured a main character, who managed to get into, and out of, a different dangerous situation each week.
Or is a series a set of books on a theme?
Or is a series an evolving string of stories? This type is often set around a family. In the romance genre, you’d be amazed how many families have 5 or even 6 dazzlingly handsome, incredibly successful brothers. Oh, I musn’t forget… they’re all great lovers, too.
Am I making fun of those? Not a bit… I’ve written my share of similar men. After all, romances are fantasy at heart.
What’s my point? I have embarked on a new series. It will be the longest series I’ve written, and I’ve devoted a lot of time to considering all the angles. No doubt there are some I haven’t considered, but that’s what keeps me learning all the time.
This blog (Part I) will concentrate on genre. Sounds silly, right? After all, I write romance. What’s so difficult about qualifying that? Fair enough. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that this blog will concentrate on the heat index – or how sensual the series will be, if you prefer that terminology.
Does it matter? Yes, I think so. I have written everything but erotica. A couple of my books have what is termed sexually explicit scenes. A couple of my books have sex scenes between the two main characters, but the heat index is quite far down the scale. And recently, I’ve been concentrating more on story, with any sex being what we call ‘behind closed doors’.
When I advertise my books with sexually explicit scenes, I put a warning in the book blurb that goes to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, etc. Not only is there a sensuality level warning, but the book blurb itself is unambiguous. And so on, through the sensuality levels of my various books.
Why is this necessary? Because I would never willingly offend my readers. Some of them have come to know me through my very first books – the ones published through a small press called Avalon. Amazon now owns those titles and continues to advertise and sell them on my behalf, and they are considered Sweet Romances.
Let’s face it. There are plenty of books out there with a lot of sex… that’s no secret. And those authors do it well – far better than I. So I cheerfully leave that market to them while I work to develop my style.
And what’s my style? As evidenced over my past two series, it’s tender romances with well-developed characters and an interesting, unique story line. Some old-time writers say there’s no such thing as a new story line and that may be true, but I try to come up with something fresh for each book I write.
In part two of The Birth of a Series, I’ll tell you about the new series I’m working on. In the meantime, I’m hard at work on the second book. So keep in touch.
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