Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Series

Many authors write series of books using the same characters.  There are many reasons that support this approach to writing.
For readers it is comfortable returning to characters you have gotten to know over time.  You get to continue the adventures with known good guys and bad guys, those you love and love to hate.
For the writer you don’t have to invent an entire new cast of characters.  You can pick up with where you left off at and continue the grand adventure of the cast you have already developed and your readers have come to know.
One of my favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy writers for years has been Piers Anthony!  The funny part is I haven’t read the series for which he is most famous for, his Xanth Series.  I tried one of them once and couldn’t get into it.  My reading friends tell me if I finished the first one and started the second one that I would surely be hooked.  The reason I mention Mr. Anthony in particular is because of the publishing nightmares he has had to endure because of the extreme popularity of the Xanth Series.  There was a point where he couldn’t get anything else published!  All any publisher wanted was another Xanth book and a part of the action.
When I started writing full time I researched writing, publishing, and everything I could find on the authors whose books I’ve read.  I took good notes and studied hard.  That is one of the reasons why when I was getting close to finishing my first book “Whisper”, I opted for self-publishing.
1.  I own the rights to my work.  Which means I pick where it sells at, for how much, and I can continue to change things at will, release new editions, because I have control!

2.  I can write and publish what I want, when I want.  I don’t have to wait to be accepted by a publisher.  I can throw it out there and people will either like it or they won’t.

I rushed publishing “Whisper” initially because of my own impatience and ignorance.  The initial problems with “Whisper” have been rectified.  It now has a new and professional looking cover, and has been completely re-edited.  Plus having moved on since January of 2011, it now has bonus material at the end of the book.  The first chapter of “No Rules Of Engagement” and the first chapter of the sequel to “Whisper”, “Leviathan Deterrent”, which isn’t out yet, hopefully it will be by June or July of this year.
“No Rules Of Engagement” has a new cover and is getting re-edited as I write this.  I rushed the first one because I just wanted to see if I could actually do it.  To see if I could actually publish a book by myself and get it on-line for sale!  To get some feedback as to if I actually had any talent with this writing stuff.  I published my second novel prematurely also because I didn’t want to only ever write just one book and then nothing.  I wasn’t sure I could actually do it a second time.  For those of us who have been through the process, and OMG it is a process, it is daunting to say the least.
I know I can keep at it now, keep writing, and finish more books.  I know it is worth the effort to put your best foot forward from the start.  If your primary criticism is going to be that you have poor English and Grammar skills and that can be fixed, FIX IT!  As far as who has talent and who does not, we may never truly know, for chances are by the time we get to be legendary in literacy we will probably be dead.  I have read about more authors who didn’t reach the Great Status until after their demise.  If you are writing to get rich quick, you haven’t done any research on writing, publishing, or the business aspects of the book market.  Some will hit it big during their life time.  Many will make enough to stay home and write full time.  Many more will write as a secondary job to their regular source of income.  That’s the bare facts of the situation.
I discovered as many do, that I love writing.  To me when I am doing it properly I get the same feeling you do when you’re reading a great book, only it last much longer because I can read much faster than I can write.  Just like with anything in this world there is a lot more to the work than the part you enjoy, there is a lot more to writing than just writing the story down.  We have to go through the other stuff to get us back to the fun part.  I would still write even if I never sold another book!  It brings me peace, and happiness.  That some people really enjoy reading what I write and that people will pay to buy my book, an un-known author, and give it a try is truly a blessing from God.  My goal is to get to where I can stay home with my family and write full time.
On that note, Wiley Randolph will be back this summer in “Leviathan Deterrent.”  There will definitely be a third book in that series.
Alexander Hawk, Intel and crew will be back in the sequel to “No Rules Of Engagement” hopefully before the years out.  There will be definitely a third book in that series.
2013 will be the third books in each of the series.  Stay tuned to my blog for hints of up and coming stand-alone books and New Series that I will be doing for 2014 and beyond.  If you like these first stories you’ll love the other stuff I have planned.  I have purposely held up my better ideas until I have learned enough to become a writer worthy of the stories I wish to tell.

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