Thursday, July 24, 2008

Series Proposals

I'm sorry I'm so late posting today! We've had Internet problems so I'm behind on everything online.

Okay. I need your input. I'm about to put together a proposal, and it involves the same town and characters in the story I recently sold. The sold book has a woman who has two brothers, and I plan to tell their stories as well.

So.... what do you like about related books? Is it that you feel like you're visiting an old friend? Do you like a familiar setting? Do you like to see a story keep going because you didn't want it to end? What keeps you reading books in a series?

I want to hear from everyone! I want to know how I can make my proposal irresistible. :) (I know, I know, writing the best story possible is the most important!)



  1. I enjoy related books. I think of Debra Clopton's books and the fictitous town of Mule Hollow, Texas. Characters will crop up from previous stories and I'll fondly remember them and get a glimpse of where they are now. Karen Kingsbury is the queen of related books. Just when I think I know all there is to know about the Baxter family, another one crawls out of the woodwork.
    As for writing your proposal, you're on your own there, sister :-)

  2. I just read the Noble Legacy series by Susan May Warren. I liked the familiar setting. Probably in romance, that's what draws me most. And comments to let me know how the characters from earlier books are doing. In #3 of Noble Legacy, Nick is a small part of the story. But having previous characters actually involved isn't necessary - to me. I think the setting is the biggest factor - feeling like it's my hometown too, for instance.

  3. Mindy, thanks. So I'll need to be sure to include snippets of the first characters.

    Thanks, Tammy for your suggestion. I like what you said--it becomes like your hometown. I love that! I'll be sure to keep that theme of town throughout.

    I appreciate the input!


  4. Missy,
    sometimes it's the idea that 'I wonder where so-and-so will pop up?'.
    And, as a reader, like an author, i don't have to invest in learning a new setting and I can get more of the characters! I agree with the idea of it being a familiar hometown, and it's a pleasure to visit again.

    Debra Marvin

  5. Debra, thanks so much for your input, too! Maybe it'll be easier as an author to keep the same town. But then I worry about all the little details.

    I've kept a file, and right now I have a sticky note on my computer to be sure to add in my files that Lindsay's grandma's house has 4 front steps. LOL Little things like that can't change from one book to the next or someone will catch it. :)


  6. Missy, I don't think I'd notice something like the # of steps from one book to the next. But I would if you commented on it frequently in one book. I've read series where the characters' ages went up and down, as if the author forgot. Couldn't give you a specific example now, though, so it didn't hindered my enjoyment.

    I'm working on a couple wip's that are related. They're in the same fictional town. I worry about the police department being in the same location from book to book! But you shouldn't beat yourself up over front steps. I'd be hard pressed to tell you how many I have at my own house, where I've lived for 17 years!

  7. LOL! Yeah, I think we have 2. But it may be 3. :)

    I've drawn a map of the town and had to pull that out the other day because I couldn't remember how far out one person lived. I need to figure out how to put it in the computer because I'm afraid I'll lose that little notebook.


  8. I like related books because I can get into the story faster since I already know the background. I also like a new viewpoint on the same area. I love Jan Karon's Mitford series because I know the town and characters so well.


  9. I really enjoy related books. It's fun and interesting to see a situation /location through different eyes - or to see characters develop.

    I also like books where the narrative voice changes that the first section is voiced by "Mary", the second by "a shepherd", the third by "a wise man" etc ... not the same story - but the story progresses through different eyes. Makes you undestand (a bit better) why different things happened and the reasons behind someone's responses etc.

  10. I like related books for the familiar setting, but mostly because I enjoyed the previous story and DIDN'T want the main character's stories to end! So I like to know they're still Happily Ever After.

    One series that comes to mind is Mary Conneally's Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon. Her characters meshed between the two stories and now I'm wondering who the 3rd will be about! I actually read the 2nd one first - and that was fine - but I probably would have gotten more out of who the main characters were in book 2 if I'd read 1 first! Anyway! I enjoyed both. I think a lot of authors must enjoy reading and writing books with related characters in them. I'm thinking of about half a dozen authors right now who are doing that!

    Good luck on your proposal Missy!

  11. For me reading a series with the same people and/or the same location is like going to a favorite vacation spot. There's a familiarity about it. I get to reminise about the people I "knew" from before, "see" the old haunts.

    My series that pulled me along were Janette Oke and Karen Kingsbury. I say those 2 because they had more than 3 in their series.

    Of course, I enjoy shorter series as well, the vacation is just shorter, more like a weekender than a full blown 2 week vacation. For me it's a combo of a lot of things. I really like seeing characters from previous books as part of the story. I also enjoy going to the same diner, merchantile, grandma's house, etc. There tends to be an overall element that weaves them together...a feel, I guess.

    Blessings during this time of searching Missy.

    Mimi B

  12. Oh, I like Mimi's description best. It is like reminiscing about "back when" as well as meeting new people.

    Another reason I like related series is that I can feel confident that the style is something I'll like. Taking Mary Coneally's series as example again - I read #1, loved it, wanted more. But I also knew it would be not only a setting I like, with familiar characters, but I also knew her voice would mesh with me - - the liberal doses of humor, particularly.

    Sometimes I get hooked on a series and it leads me to read other works by that author. This doesn't apply to you, Missy - right now! In the future, though, it will :D

  13. I love series cos you get to revisit and see whats happening to the charactors. The way Mary Connealy has dont it in Petticoat Ranch and Calico canyon its great. where its a new book but you see the charactors from the first one.
    I like to see what next for the charactors. You feel like you get to know them also. although cliff hangers are good but if its awhile before the next book it can drive you mad having to wait.
    I love the way Gilbert Morris does a series too. You see the people from past books but the new one is focused on a different member of the family. like in the House of Winslow series.

  14. Missy, I love series books. It is always like returning to a favorite spot and visiting with the same quirky residents. You feel such a connection and kinship with the characters. My favorites are/have been Patricia Sprinkle's series set in Hopemore, Georgia; Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum; Tamar Myers's Magdalena Yoder and there are others. I always look forward to the next book.