It seems everywhere you look, authors are writing books in
series, and that includes me. As both an author and an avid reader, I love series. Why? Here
are my top five reasons:
1. More complex plots – When stories span more
than one book, the author has the ability to have multiple levels of plots. Typically, each book
has its own storyline that’s begun and resolved within that book, but there’s an overarching
question or plot line that’s not resolved until the end of the series. Think about TV’s
While the immediate mystery was solved in each episode, viewers kept tuning in to discover
who killed Kate’s mother. In the case of my Cimarron Creek books, the overarching question
is, “What happened to Aunt Bertha’s daughter?” Although there’ve been partial answers, the
final one comes in A Tender Hope
2. Familiar Location – Consider the difference
between visiting a place the first time and returning to it. While there’s adventure the first
time, there’s also a bit of apprehension. Will I get lost? Will I like this place? All of that’s gone
the second time. Instead of being worried, you’re excited about returning to a place you’ve
visited and loved. So too with books set in the same locale. When readers tell me they’ve
fallen in love with Cimarron Creek, I couldn’t be more pleased, because I have too.
3. Continued Relationships – How many times have
you finished a book and asked yourself, “What happened next?” A series allows the author to
answer that question, showing you what happened to beloved characters by giving them
cameo roles in the subsequent books. Lydia, whose candy store made readers’ mouths water
in A Stolen Heart, plays a role in each of the three books, espousing my philosophy that there’s
no problem too big for chocolate to help.
4. New Stars – Sometimes secondary characters
threaten to steal the spotlight and the author has to try to rein them in. With a series, it’s
possible to give those characters their own stories and turn them from supporting actors to
stars in the next book. That’s precisely the reason Catherine, Lydia’s best friend, had to have
her own story in A Borrowed Dream
5. Fun – Yes, it’s fun to read (and write) series.
When I started asking myself why that was so, I realized that one reason was that a series of
books combines the best elements of the sagas that were so popular during the second half
of the twentieth century with our twenty-first-century desire for shorter reads.
But, in the interest of full disclosure, there are two things I
don’t like about some series:
- Having to read them in the order they’re written –
How often have you picked up the second or third book in a series and felt as if you were a
stranger who’d come late to a party, that everyone knew everyone else, and you were lost? I
certainly don’t enjoy that. That’s why I try very hard to make each of my books, even though
they’re written as part of a trilogy, stand alone.
- Cliff Hangers – As much as I love cliff-hanger
endings for chapters, I hate
reaching the end of a book and discovering that the conclusion of a key plot point is in the
next book. That makes me feel as if I were being held hostage, being forced to buy the
author’s next book. Remember what I said in the “complex plots” paragraph: the main
storyline is typically resolved within a book. I’m a firm believer that a book should have a
beginning, a middle, and a satisfying ending, and for me, a satisfying ending means that the
key plot points are resolved. That’s why I promise my readers no cliffhanger endings.
And now I turn it over to you. If you enjoy reading books that
are written in a series, what appeals to you most? Are there any aspects of series books that
you don’t like? Do you share my dislike of cliffhangers? Don’t be shy. I’m looking forward to
hearing from you.
Cimarron Creek #3
As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it's time for a change. With her husband murdered and
her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted
a position as Cimarron Creek's midwife, she has no intention of remarrying and trying for
another child. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned
baby, Thea isn't sure her heart can take it.
Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn't concerned only with the baby's welfare. He's been looking for
Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon
becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated--and he'll need
Thea's help if he's ever to find the justice he seeks.
Amanda Cabot invites readers back to Cimarron Creek for a tender story of loss, betrayal, and
love in the majestic Texas Hill Country.
Inspirational Historical | Romance Historical [Revell, On Sale: March 5,
2019, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780800727581 / eISBN: 9781493416578]