Saturday, September 14, 2013

Series books, what entices us?

I found in writing series books that it is easier to do. Why? Because you know your charactes or should, and it should be a breeze continuing the saga, and it usually is. I can honestly say that the Travers brothers were four brothers, that were very real to me.  But I have to admit, with the last one, I wanted to make it different. Why? I don't know. I guess I thought it was getting dull.

Along Came Love took a detour from what the reader's expectation might have been and sent Jake in an entirely different position. The McKay's are the same way. The last one, the one that's the hardest to write, because I hate saying goodbye to these good people. It took forever to write Along Came Love. I just didn't want to give up writing about them. Well, someone suggested I write Sammie Jo's story, so I'm writing it. It will be the last of the Travers Brothers. Even from a tiny tot, Sammie Jo was interesting. At least to me, she was, and I guess some of my readers felt the same. So I'm bringing her to life.

Standy by Me is the last book of the McKay's. It isn't going in the total direction in which you figure. Again I feel that life is not always predictable, and that books shouldn't be either. 

In the McKay's although I find each girl distinctively different, they are sister, family, and true to my kind of writing they stick together in thick and thin. Wendy isn't just a young girl with a real crush on a man, she's got a lot of her daddy, George Bennett McKay in her. She's a survivor and I'd say she grows up in Stand By Me. I hope you agree.

The Amory's was a different lot of men. My last book of the Amory's is done, waiting for edits, so it will be out soon. You can see the cover here.  Tanka's story has also been a long time in coming. But I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did writing it.

Now when series books first came out, I figured writers were doing them because they were easy. And they are much easier to write, because you have basically the same cast of characters.  But the last of every series is the hardest, and the reason is simple. The writer by then has become so attached to the people in them, that it become ultra hard just to say goodbye.

Another thing I have found in my series books, the last character I write about in the family, is the most complicated, and most misunderstood. In every family there is a black sheep so to speak, and my last characters are usually the ones that turn out different. For some reason this rule of thumb has been something I can't break from.

In the Travers Brothers series, we have Jake not wrestling a steer, but trying to decide what path in life to take, the one his heart desires, or the one that's expected of him. In the McKay's we find Wendy, who to most looks like just another love struck young girl, but who grows up, amazingly fast. In The Amory's Tanka faces a young woman his children have forced upon him that intrudes upon his elongated mourning of his dead wife.  And when I wrote Avalanche of the Heart, which I’m still working on, I found that Sammie Jo takes a road no one foresaw.

To end a series, one must wrap up all the feelings, emotions, adventures, and hard times of the characters and make a satisfying exist. I love writing them, because they come so easily…maybe I'm lazy in my old age. One reader remarked that the first book left things hanging, well, that was intentional. Because everything doesn't revolve around just one character.  It's like a cake baking in the oven, it isn't done, until the last one is done. LOL

Hope you enjoy some of these yourself. Writing series romance is fun.

I'll leave you with some new books coming out probably next year.

Rita Hestand


Tina Donahue said...

Wonderful series, Rita!

I've found series writing to be rather difficult. Trying to keep so many characters straight - also, how much of the past plots do you include in the current/future plots.

Has to get easier. :/

Redameter said...

Well Tina, there are struggles with series writing, you sometimes have to go back and check the color of eyes, or a character trait and this can be tricky. Also, you can't suddenly throw them out of character. Jake Travers, in Along Came Love was difficult because he hadn't been true to the character that everyone thought he was. He evolved into what his heart desired. Sometimes this happens, but I find this necessary occassionally because not everyone in the family fits the groove. You usually have a rebel in the family that stirs the normal and makes it better in the end. Writing a series is like writng a historical because you have to keep everyone straight to their character. In my series books I have a twist in at least one of the books that you are not expecting. I think it keeps the series alive, and makes you remember, "Well, that one was different". Anyone who hasn't written series books should try it, or read it. I do think that some authors continue a series too long. You can get stymied by these I think.
Love and blessings

jean hart stewart said...

Love writing series....I usually start with the grandfather and work through the years. Have learned to keep a family chart to keep from getting mixed up as to whose kid is who. Fun, I think. I'm on my third series for Ellora's Cave, this one about sexy elves...

Redameter said...

Wow, sexy elves? Just in time for Christmas no doubt Jean. That's great. I agree, it is best to keep a record of details when you write a series otherwise they can have two different eye colors, and wrong names and all kinds of mix ups. But Jean is so right, writing them can be a lot of fun, because you already know your characters, or should. Keep up the good work girl.

Fiona McGier said...

Like you, when I write a book and fall in love with all of the characters, I want to give them all their own HEA. For some it's an easy thing to imagine. For others, you have to really ponder how to make them happy, because some people are so hard to figure out. I"m doing one now where a female character is way too young to be settling down yet, so unless I jump forward quite a bit, I'm not ready for her to be meeting her true love, nor have I figured out who he will be.

In my last spies series, a male character is way too much of a tomcat to settle down. I've been asked to give him his own story, but I really can't see how he'd ever agree to be with one or even two or more people, without being able to "sample" others. And I don't write about polyamorous relationships because I don't know how something like that would work.
I've read that it can, but I don't understand how.