Friday, July 24, 2009

Kicking a Dead Horse

I'm 'speed posting' today because my poor old computer keeps shutting off every 10 minutes or so. We have several in the house but this one is in my office and I've grown attached to it. Better get 'un-attached' really quick because this one is about to bite the dust.

I've been thinking about something lately. When does an author know that it's time to pull the plug on a series? Personally, I adore series because it's like this endless story that just keeps on giving. But at what point is it just not fun anymore? There are some really popular series going on out there but, frankly, I've quit buying some of them. By the time an author gets to about...oh, let's say...10 of these books, I'm pretty much over it.

Guess the reason I'm mulling this over is because I have started my own series and I'm wondering how this all works. So far, sales on the first book are rocking, the second book is out and the third comes out in August. Wonder if I'll just get 'a feeling' that it's time to move on? Will people stop buying therefore telling me they are DONE with it? Hey, I just don't know. Like I said, this is new for me so I'm waiting to see how this all unfolds.

Here's what I'm thinking about this so far. As long as the stories for the series keep coming, I'll write them but I'm ALSO thinking that working in another series or a few single titles into the mix is a smart idea. By the time, I'm fairly ho-hum about starting another, I figure I'll know when to quit. If I'm bored, I guaran-damn-tee ya, my readers will be too.

Lately, I'll see a new book in series that seems to have been out there for umpteen gazillion years and just roll my eyes. They kick that dead horse repeatedly trying to raise him from the dead when, in my view, it's time to walk away and do something else.


Kris Norris said...

This is a great question. And while there's no absolute right answer I do feel many series just go on too long. I'm a long standing fan of some very epic ones, but quite frankly, after book 5 or so, I just want to know how it all wraps up. I mean, you can only put so many stopping blocks in front of all the characters, and after a while, it feels like you're reading the same book, just with different names. And I don't really blame the author, but in order for the books to be linked it seems most of the stories revolve around the same subject.
I've also got a couple of series started and can't see making more thn about 4 or them, but that's just me. I think Kim Dare's idea of just linking a theme might be okay with all the books as stand alone. But there is something special about repeat characters that make you smile.
Food for thought. And by the way, loved Highland Beast, so I'll be looking to read Lone Star Lyncan... series are good.

Anonymous said...


I'm thinking that as long as you aren't bored, your readers won't be either!

As long as plots are coming down the track, I say hop on the train!

When it gets really tough, when you have to stretch for a plot or are bored senseless yourself, well, maybe it's time your baby to sleep!

So far, you are rockin' it big time!

Katie Reus said...

It depends on the author. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter books, Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books (are those considered a series?) and Roxanne St. Claire's Bulletcatchers b/c they can be read out of order. I don't mind if an author continues with a series but I get seriously annoyed when a series has a 3 or 4 book arch and they have to be read in order. That's when I stop reading. If an author has a series but all books are stand alone, I'll keep reading if I like the story and characters :)

Amber Skyze said...

For me, I usually stop reading after 3 or 4, unless I'm SOOOOOOOO hooked I can't wait for the next one.

But hey if additional stories keep popping up, you should run with it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Good points from all. I have one story arch in the first three High Plains Shifters books and in book four, I have the same characters popping in but a whole new set of villains/problems to hopefully keep things more interesting. Will have to see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy getting wrapped up in a well written series of stand alone stories. It's always fun to find out which character is written about next and how characters and plots mesh together. I think that as long as the author is still creating fresh new plots and loving the series, so will the fans.
Tessie Bradford

Regina Carlysle said...

I think what is so appealing about the Dark Hunters is that each is really a different story. It can stand alone although she'll bring in older characters.

Anny Cook said...

I would say the end is somewhere between three and five. If there seems to be interest in that world/group, maybe do a "related" trilogy that doesn't require reading the first series... Very few long running series survive anymore.

And I will never announce a specific number again. What happens when I reach book three and I'm bored myself?

Regina Carlysle said...

Exactly, Anny!

Kelley Nyrae said...

I think its different with each series but I think you'll just know when its time. You'll feel it.

Fran Lee Romance said...

It's never a dead horse until someone plugs it with a bullet, girl! If you keep each new book fresh and have new, fabulous storyline tied in with the prior, you can keep a series going forever! Especially with your talent!

Paris said...

I think if you're having fun writing it that your readers will enjoy reading it! I'm looking forward to Lone Star Lycan;-)

Regina Carlysle said...

Well, I don't have my pistol loaded for the horse yet. Still on a roll. Like you, I think if you keep mixing it up and putting different spins on things you can go for quite awhile. On the other hand, once readers stop buying that seems like a pretty good indicator to me.