Today I’m happy to have Maggie Thom back to the blog today! She is the author of The Caspian Wine Series that expertly combines the suspense, thriller, and mystery genres. I recently reread Captured Lies (Book #1) and reviewed it on Goodreads. Today Maggie Thom is telling about what it takes to write a series. We’re in for a treat today! Here is Maggie:
Writing a series truly had never been in my plans but things don’t always go as planned. I love reading series and have read a lot of them. Every time I’d read one, I’d think, ‘wow this is a lot of work’. There is so much information the author has to carry over from one novel to another – characters, setting, situations, relationships, conflicts… The author has to know a lot of details to ensure that the story makes sense and follows some sort of familiar path as the reader goes from book to book.
So what does it take to write a series?
Some things that need to be considered for each additional book in a series:
- Who the characters are – are they new? Some from previous novels? The author has to know all their details from physical, to emotional, to career, etc. to ensure there is continuity between books (when characters are carried over)
- What is the story line? Where is book 2 going, does it follow any of book 1 or a whole new plot?
- How are the characters carrying over into each series?
- Do you have the same bad guy? Does s/he/it carry over at all?
- What are the roles of the characters from book one in book 2? book 3? if any?
- Are the main characters going to be secondary in additional series or stay as the main characters?
- Where is each book set? a new setting? or the same one? or with some changes?
- What is the time frame from book 1 to 2 to 3…?
- How much of the first story is carried over into the second? Third…?
- What details do you need to include so that the second book… third book… fourth book… is easily understood, even if someone hasn’t read book 1? 2? Or 3?
- What are the conflicts in each book?
- What are the problems that get carried forward?
- How do past events (from previous books) influence current events?
As you can see there are a lot of things to consider when writing a series and a lot of details that the author needs to know from each book. When an author does it right, the reader will feel like they are following the same people, or same town, or same situation. There is a familiarity that the reader is looking for.
It truly is a challenge to do that but I can say it is one that I am glad I stepped up to accept.
Many authors know when they have an idea for a series and they write out a plan for the three, four or five novels they plan to write. They keep the notes they need to make sure they have the information that will be necessary moving forward. Plus, they tend to write the stories one after the other. This is really the ideal way to write a series and makes it somewhat simpler. Continue reading
Meet Charles E. Yallowitz, Author of the Legends of Windemere Series.
Please join me in welcoming author Charles E. Yallowitz to the blog today! His fantasy stories are truly one of a kind, as shown by the Legends of Windemere Series. With the newest book in his series, Ritual of the Lost Lamb, going live within the past week, it’s an exciting time for Charles! He’s here with a guest post that talks about the darker side of this newest novel and why he chose to go that way with the series. Take it away, Charles:
The Decision to go Dark
Thank you to Christy for letting me write a guest post to help promote my newest book, Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb. This is the 13th book of my fantasy series and it’s where things start to take a dark turn for the heroes. Luke Callindor, who has been around since the first book, has been captured by the evil Baron Kernaghan, who wants to goad the other champions into their final battle. To make sure they know time is running out, the Baron is protecting Luke’s suffering to the team telepath. In order to save him and not walk into a trap, his best friend, Nyx, will start a forbidden ritual that will put her own life and sanity in danger. All of this creates tension with the other champions, which can be seen as things start to fall apart around them.
So, why the quick synopsis as if I’m pitching a book to an agent? The reason is because the series was fairly lighthearted for the first 12 books. Bad stuff happened, but there was always a humor and positivity to what was going on. The heroes managed to rise out of the ashes or pull off a win even if they lost something. Now, there was emotional turmoil and times where they split up because of mistakes. Yet, it never got as dark as what happens here. Luke is tortured and everyone is going to be coming out of this adventure at least emotionally battered. I’ve compared it to a track runner breaking his leg within reach of the finish line, but still having to crawl the rest of the way. That’s where this book starts and it’s a battle for them to get out of the hole that they’ve found themselves in.
This shift in tone is what made me nervous about writing the book because I started off so ‘light and fluffy’. I mean, people got upset when characters talked about sex or hinted that they had sex off-screen. The thoughts of what people would think with this meat-grinder of an adventure really threw doubt into what I was doing. Even more Continue reading
Today we have author and singer Kevin Cooper in the house! It’s quite the day, between it being Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and National Parfait Day (seriously!!). I am running around, making (poetic) parfaits and serving one up to Kevin. You can have one too. Yes, I share.
But what’s even sweeter is the treat of being able to interview Kevin, whose blog KC Books and Music I’ve followed for some time now. It’s full of wonderful poetry, fiction, original music, and more. Yes, Kev has many talents! He recently published the book Caboodle & The Whole Kit and is here to answer questions about the read, songwriting, and publishing.
Here we go:
Hi Kevin! Great to have you here. Let’s start with the question that’s been on my mind for a while. Which came first for you as a writer: short stories, poetry, or songs? Which one was your first love and why?
This is an easy one for me, Christy… definitely songs. I loved singing as a child. My first favourite was, Yellow Submarine, by the Beatles. I was three years old when my dad bought me a huge (well it seemed huge to me) inflatable yellow submarine for Christmas and I used to sit on it holding onto the periscope while singing to the wireless, and long after it was finished. I’m sure my grandmother, with whom I lived was very happy that my dad had bought me that inflatable submarine! Lol. The first thing I wrote after leaving school was a song, and I wrote many songs before I turned my hand to poetry and prose.
Today we have a special guest in the house! Freya Pickard is the writer behind the blogs Pure Haiku and Dragonscale Clippings, both of which I highly recommend. When Freya recently published a collection of short stories titled The Rusalka Ritual and Other Stories (Dragonscale Dimensions Book 1), I asked her here for an author interview and she graciously accepted the invitation. I admire Freya for many reasons, including her quirky yet lovable writing style and her determination to publish her newest book after facing chemotherapy. So, without further ado, let’s put on the coffee pot and catch up with Freya Pickard.
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Hi Freya and welcome to Poetic Parfait! I’m happy to interview you about your first short story collection. Congratulations! To start, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing books?
Greetings, Earthlings! I’m a novelist, poet and cancer survivor with one novel, and one short story collection published to date! I have always written, ever since my mother taught me to write before I started school. From an early age I produced poetry and stories but when I turned 17, I began writing novels seriously. They were all rubbish but in my mid-twenties I started producing tales that were non-generic and therefore difficult to place with a publisher. Since having gone through cancer, I have realised how little time we have here on this planet and am therefore publishing my work myself.
I love that you have chosen to pursue your publishing dreams, regardless of whether it meets a traditional publisher’s expectations or not. I’m curious, why did you choose the short story format for your latest book?
I chose to publish a short story collection because I have had a number of short stories published over the years, including some about Dracomagan. I found that convincing editors to publish my tales about a female dragon slayer very difficult; it seems that a lot of Continue reading