Writing a Series? Tips from a Superstar

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the charismatic Bella Andre, New York Times best-selling author of the Sullivan series. I asked if she'd answer a few questions about writing a series, and she graciously agreed. Here's what she had to say:

 

1. What are the pros and cons of writing a series?

 

I've always been a big fan of reading connected series - it's so much fun to look forward to reading the next book! So when I started self-publishing, I knew I was going to focus on writing connected books. What I've learned in the past few years is that readers LOVE them. At this point, I will only write connected series in the future - not just because it's much more lucrative, but because readers enjoy them so much.


Pros:

  • Automatic readership for each book in the series.
  • Readers really get to know and fall in love with the "world" you're creating in your series. For me that world is usually a big family or a professional sports team (Game for Love is book 3 in my Bad Boys of Football series).
  • There are always future characters to look forward to writing about, and you can dream them up far in advance of writing them.

 

Cons:

  • You'll need to start a "series bible" to keep track of storylines and details, because once you've written more than a handful of books in the series, there is a lot to remember for future books.

 

2. What should an author know before writing a series?

 

Be careful about saying too much about future characters in your books. It can be easy to write yourself into a corner otherwise. And as I mentioned, start keeping that "series bible" from the beginning.

 

3. What have you learned from writing a series?

 

I've learned they are REALLY fun to create. I fall just as in love with the families I'm writing about as my readers do. They're also incredibly lucrative. Every time I put a new book out in the series, I find new readers who then go back to start the series with the first book and read everything in between.

 

Many thanks to Bella for sharing her hard-earned expertise. You can learn more about Bella and all her novels at www.bellaandre.com. Watch for future posts featuring writing and marketing tips from other bestselling authors in the coming weeks.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Maria

Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Comment by R.E. Donald on January 7, 2014 at 12:38pm

I couldn't agree more! I've always enjoyed reading mystery series', so it was a no brainer that I would write a series of my own. It's the series' characters that keep readers coming back, and I knew what I liked about my favorite series' characters, so developed some unique characters of my own with qualities that would attract other mystery fans. Each character has his or her own flaws, demons and desires, so there's always scope for conflict to keep the subplots moving.

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