ZoŽ Archer | The Tricky Building of a Series
April 3, 2013
Writing a book series is a tricky business.† You want the reader to be able to
choose any book in the series and understand exactly who everyone is and the
world those characters inhabit.† But you also want readers to be excited for
each book in the series, and follow the overarching storyline.† Not an easy
When I was planning my historical paranormal series, THE HELLRAISERS, I knew I
wanted to have an central plot that connected all three books.† I also wanted
each hero and heroine to get their due.† On top of that, I knew each book would
build upon the next, leading to the final, climactic book, SINNER'S HEART.
I needed a main idea that linked all the books. The genesis for the Hellraisers
came when I read about the actual Hellfire Club: a set of early 19th
century aristocrats who were notorious for their wild gatherings (some might say
orgies) and possible links to dark rituals.† Wouldn't it be cool, I
thought, if there was a group of wealthy, privileged men who were infamous for
their rakish exploits, and who wound up literally raising Hell?† Why would they
do it? How dark could I make my heroes, and how could they be redeemed? What
would be the consequences of their actions?††
So the Hellraisers were born.
At the beginning of their tale, the Hellraisers inadvertently free the Devil
from his prison.† In exchange for this act, the Devil grants each one of them
one supernatural power, a power that speaks directly to their darkest desires.†
For Whit, the gambling-addicted hero of DEVIL'S KISS, that power is
the ability to change the odds. Leo, the hero of DEMON'S BRIDE, is self-made
man who makes his fortune through investments, so his power is the gift of
seeing into the future. †Bram, the hero of SINNER'S HEART, is a
veteran who tries to bury his memories of war through sensual pleasures.† His
supernatural gift is the ability to persuade anyone to do anything—though
he can only use his power once per person.
SINNER'S HEART might be
the last in the Hellraisers series, but I wanted to make sure that when a reader
picked it up, they were quickly brought up to speed so that not a minute was
wasted.† The heroine of Bram's story has also appeared in all three books, and,
as such, can give information about everything that's come before—things
that not even the Hellraisers knew.† Valeria Livia Corva was once a priestess in
Roman Britain, and it was she who first summoned the Dark One over a thousand
years ago.† Now she has to convince Bram to turn his back on his powers and
wicked ways, and join the fight against darkness.† It's not an easy task, but if
anyone's up to the job, it's Livia.†
So, my question to you is this: when it comes to reading a series, do you have
to read the books in order?† Or can you pick up at any point?† Do you wait until
every book in the series is out before starting it?† Leave a comment, and you
could win a copy of SINNER'S
HEART (US and Canada only).
The Hellraisers, Book
Demons Of The Past
Abraham Stirling, Lord Rothwell, was a fighter once, a soldier in the Colonies.
But Bram returned to London with more nightmares than tales of glory. Now he
drowns his senses in the arms of countless women, while his friends, the
Hellraisers, ensure he needn't sin alone.
Until, that is, the Devil himself grants them each a wish, undoing their
camaraderie as they explore their wicked powers. Bram finds himself magically
bound to Valeria Livia Corva, the sensuous priestess who raised the Devil the
first time--and died to send the demon back.
She may be a ghost, but Livia is no angel. The raw passion she witnesses in
Bram's memories isn't much different from her behavior when she had a body to
enjoy. But it doesn't make it any easier to convince Bram to become a warrior
again, lest all London burn. And the fierce desires reawakening within her might
just start the blaze. . .
Get all the Hellraisers
ZoŽ Archer is
an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in
tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the
rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies
her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines
and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series
and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and
her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, created the steampunk world of THE ETHER CHRONICLES
together. ZoŽ and Nico live in Los Angeles.
Excerpt | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr
To buy: Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, Chapters
36 comments posted.
Re: ZoŽ Archer | The Tricky Building of a Series
I just read the books as I pick them up. I sometimes go back and read the other books in the series if I liked that one but if I didn't enjoy the characters I might not.
(Kathleen Yohanna 4:13am April 3, 2013)
If i find a book in a series it doesnt need to be the first one. But if I like it I will go back and read from hte beginning.
(Lisa Fitzgibbons 8:14am April 3, 2013)
Oh my...these books sound wonderful. I plan on reading them all! Thanks
(Bonnie Capuano 8:14am April 3, 2013)
Historical paranormal! Wonderful!
(Marjorie Carmony 8:56am April 3, 2013)
Oh my goodness, yes! I MUST read a series in order. If I
get the last book in a series, I have to get all of the
others before I can read any of them. When books are
written as a series, you can sometimes read them out of
order and still get a great story...but you won't get all of
it. Some details will be lost or the history hinted at
won't be fully revealed. It is just a richer experience.
I don't wait for all the books to come out. With some
series, I would never be able to start. Plus, it is much
more cost effective to buy them separately when I have the
funds for it.
(Karin Anderson 10:07am April 3, 2013)
I like to read them in order so I don't miss anything. :)
(May Pau 10:26am April 3, 2013)
i read them in order and i don't wait for all the books to
come out first.
(Kent Cook 10:28am April 3, 2013)
This sounds like a great series. I always try to read series in order. It drives me crazy if I read a book and then find out it is in the middle of a series. I don't have to wait for all of the books to be out before starting a series but it does make for a long wait for the next book when you read fast.
(Ellen Thompson 10:55am April 3, 2013)
It varies for me... I can read them out of order, but eventually may read them again back to back.
(Colleen Conklin 12:19pm April 3, 2013)
I do not necessary read the books in a series in order, I can pick up at any point and I definitely do not wait until each book of the series is out because I often do not know how much time will be between books
(Shirley Younger 1:19pm April 3, 2013)
If I can wait, then I try to read stuff in order. But if the books can be stand alone,
then I just go ahead and read it and then put the stories together in my head when I get
around to the other books. Slightly confusing, but I always re-read stuff anyway. I have
never read historical paranormal, I don't think. "The Hellraisers" sounds interesting.
(Lazydrag0n Puff 1:47pm April 3, 2013)
I can hardly wait to read all of these books!
(C Culp 2:12pm April 3, 2013)
If I know that the book is part of a small series I like to read them in order, if
they are part of a large series like Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter's I may
read them out of order if I find one really tempting. My personal preference
is to keep them in order though. Sometimes I find it is hard to know which
order to follow, a historical timeline or the publication dates. In some series
you get conflicting opinions from readers. These books sound particularly
yummy though. Thank you!!!
(Patti Paonessa 3:34pm April 3, 2013)
When I read a series...sometimes I pick up them in the wrong
order. I realize that usually after the fact and then go out
and buy the first one. I then wait until the next book comes
Then sometimes I'm lucky enough to get the first one and
then WHINE if the others aren't out yet.
I almost always have to read the whole series...!!!!
(Bj Gaskill 4:34pm April 3, 2013)
I always try to read series in order, otherwise I don't have the background of the characters from the beginning when the author uses some of the same ones. If I love the first book, I'm more than anxious to read all those that follow as they are released. I like it when authors write about 4 to 6 books per series, and then start with something new. I have not read a historical paranormal before, but I have read paranormal.
(Linda Luinstra 5:40pm April 3, 2013)
I can't wait to read this book! I love your books!
(Sharon Shearouse 5:48pm April 3, 2013)
Ok... I love this series... I normally read a series in
order if i know it is a series... But if i get a book that
is in a series and i like it i will go back and buy the
whole series so i can catch up and reread books... I have
done this with may series books... I actually started
Sherrilyn Kenyons Darkhunter series on book 2 and kept
buying the series as i couldn't find Fantasy Lover for like
a year and ended up with books 2-7 before i finally got my
hands on it. lol
(Jeannie Platt 8:25pm April 3, 2013)
I prefer to read as I find them. If they are well written you don't necessarily need the other books for background because the author will give you enough to go with. Then if I like the book I will buy the rest of them and read in order. I could never wait for all of the books to come out because I would go crazy waiting or worse (for the author) move on to something else. I love historical paranormals because they combine everything I love in one ... history and hunks.
(Annetta Sweetko 8:33pm April 3, 2013)
I always read books that are in a series in order. Sounds like a good series. Would love to win.
(Linda Hall 8:56pm April 3, 2013)
I started my reading adventure 5 yrs ago with 3 authors
reading each from their 1st to their last published and have
added new authors based on recommendations from these
authors and now I have 50 authors I follow reading each new
book as they are released for a total of 1070 books read. So
yes I prefer to start from the first in series as subsequent
in a series tends to spoil plots for previous books in the
series. I like surprises!
(Marie Scearce 9:06pm April 3, 2013)
I can't wait to read this one! Also love the cover art!
(Carrie Butler 9:12pm April 3, 2013)
If I happen to pick up a book that's in the middle of a series, and I like it, I'll go back and start at the beginning of the series and read through. I can wait to read new books in a series - though it's sometimes difficult to do so - so I don't have to wait until the entire series is written before I read it.
(Janie McGaugh 9:15pm April 3, 2013)
I'm a bit obsessed in having all the books in the series before I could read them. I know I do missed out on what's going with the series. I just can't read the series without having all the books in the series first.
(Kai Wong 9:22pm April 3, 2013)
I usually start at the beginning but if I accidentally start
in the middle, I love to go back and read it all.
(Mary Hay 9:22pm April 3, 2013)
i picked up a book in the middle of the breeds series ny lora leigh and fell in love with the series. so i got them all.love the cover and thanks for the chance.jen
(Jennifer Beck 9:23pm April 3, 2013)
I am really bad about having to start with the first book before I can read anything else. I especially like when I discover a series after all the books have been released because nothing is worse than the wait for the next release and I always go back and read the earlier books to have a fresh recollection of the stories and characters. This gets really time consuming and painful with some series!
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 9:51pm April 3, 2013)
So far, with every series that I've read, I've started with the first book in the series. The only reason it started that way is because they were recommended to me by a librarian. To me, I don't think it would matter where I would start in a series, unless it was the last book. I would just grab the books that I didn't read yet to catch up. Your latest book sounds so interesting that I'm really anxious to read it!! I must admit that I haven't read the others in the series, so I have some catching up to do!! Congratulations on your book!! I'm sure it will do well!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:05pm April 3, 2013)
I believe that it is best to read books in order when there
is a bunch in a series or otherwise you could miss out on
the best parts and it is like being confused and jumping
around all over the place. Life is better with organization
and things being in order. Thanks for the great contest.
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 10:23pm April 3, 2013)
I like to read all the books in a series if it is good. I don't have to start with the first one. I can get hooked on another book in the series but I will go back and read the others in order or if I'm desperate the order I acquire them.
(Laura Gullickson 11:24pm April 3, 2013)
yes i like to read the series in order if i can..love to win
(Kimberly Hoefs 11:38pm April 3, 2013)
I definitely don't wait until every book is out until starting it! I don't have that much self control ;-) But I do try and read them in order. If it makes a difference, anyway. If the books are kind of series-yet-stand-alones, well, who knows. Maybe I'd go wild and read out of order ;-)
(Chelsea Brooks 11:45pm April 3, 2013)
PRETTY MAN!! er - un - cover!!!
(Pamela Faye Howell 5:57pm April 4, 2013)
I always have to read a series from the first book in order.
Usually I read them from the first book to the last in the
series one after the other with no interruptions. Sometimes
I'll start a series with the first book and read to current
release if the series isn't finished. I love being saturated
in the books world and the author's details within the
world. You pick up a lot that way. Thanks for the giveaway
(Lenna Hendershott 10:44pm April 4, 2013)
It's better to get introduced to the characters from the start because otherwise you know too much about them by the time you do read the first one. But I first read Elizabeth George in one of her more recent books, and it was a very good one. That got me reading her earlier ones which lacked the same level of detail because she had improved as she went along, like we all do.
If I pick up Book Eight of a series and I have not read earlier ones, I won't buy it! Crime is the exception because each case is different even with recurring characters.
(Clare O'Beara 2:09pm April 6, 2013)
I find that I almost always like a series better when i read it in order :)
(Melayne Bennett 6:19pm April 6, 2013)
i usually read one book and if like i read them in order after that..sounds like a great read
(Kimberly Hoefs 6:38pm April 20, 2013)
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