What’s better than reading one romance that you absolutely love? Finding out it’s a part of a series and that there are MORE books like the one you adore! At least, that’s one of my favorite joys as a reader. But then, I’ve always been a big fan of series.
|Book #1, Heartache|
For a long time, I just assumed everyone loved series as much as me. Long before I sold my first book, I was planning romance series that I would write. I didn’t just plot one book. I planned whole series—family connections, quirky relatives, past secrets and common settings that different books might visit. The trouble with this, when you are an untried writer and can barely write one book let alone four, is that if an editor doesn’t love book one—there goes your series!
I learned to tuck away my series dreams and focus on writing one good book. Later, I went back to my elaborately plotted series and used the basic story ideas for stand alones. This kept me writing for awhile because I had a lot of series planned! As I started to find my storytelling rhythm though, I grew to the point where an editor would say to me—should this be part of a series, Joanne?
Funny you should ask. It would be my absolute pleasure to add in four brothers.
|Book #1, Runaway Brides|
And just between us, that’s still one of my favorite ways to connect a series—through family. Editors urge us to be creative though, and I thought I came up with a really nice connection in my Single in South Beach series where a handful of girlfriends invested in a resort hotel property. I always like writing friendships with undercurrents, so the “friends” had some trouble working together. But either way, I loved that series and wrote six books. You might not be surprised to learn that I also worked in three brothers for one of the women—all of whom had storylines. But the hook wasn’t the family, the hook was friends who went into business together.
This month, all my practice has resulted in me having books in two series releasing. I began a Runaway Brides series with Catherine Mann and you can download the first story How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days for free. And in my second book for Superromance, Nights Under the Tennessee Stars, I was able to revisit a setting and family that I loved in last fall’s Promises Under the Peach Tree. I didn’t start out writing a series, but soon, when I didn’t leave the town of Heartache, Tennessee over the course of three books, my editor thought we’d better make sure readers knew the stories were connected. My first three books are now a series and I couldn’t be happier.
|Book #2, Heartache|
But ala Superromance, there are far more connections than just the brothers in the Finley family. There are sisters. There are shared family dynamics. And there is the town of Heartache itself that charmed me from the moment I started writing about it. There is something so warm and inviting about a series where there are familiar faces and places, kind of like taking a vacation in the same summer resort town year after year. You look forward to revisiting some of the same spots, even as your adventure changes from year to year.
I hope you’ll give the latest in my Heartache, TN stories a try. I’ve had a lot of practice writing series by now, my friends! You haven’t seen all my attempts, but I’d like to think they all paid off in the rich world I’m writing now. Consider yourself cordially invited to Heartache…
***Are there any resort towns you love to visit again and again? Vacation places that call to you even when you travel elsewhere? Tell me about a town that you love to visit today on the boards and I’ll give one commenter a copy of their choice of book from my 2014-2015 releases.