Girls Write Out
Monday, January 31, 2011

Novel Series

It's time for me to come up with a new series idea, and I could really use your help! I think readers love series because they get attached to a group of characters or a familiar setting and anticipate going back to those people/places.

Think of your favorite series. What ties them together? That's what I need help with! Series are tied together in 4 ways that I can think of.

1. Relationship The characters are either related by family or friendship. Karen Kingsbury's Baxter series is an example. Or Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet, where all the heroines are friends.

2. Setting All the books are set in the same place. My Nanutucket series, for example. Or Colleen's Rock Harbor and Lonestar series.

3. Occupation The characters share an occupation. This would include military series, cowboy series, and first responders, for example. Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet is an example also as the 4 heroines own a wedding business together.

3. Unique Concept This kind of series is less definable. Francine Rivers's Lineage of Grace series would fit here. All the heroines are from the lineage of Christ.

Tell me your favorite series and how they're tied together or share which of the above appeals to you most. Please!

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:14 AM  
  Comments (17)
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At 8:27 AM, Blogger collettakay said...

My favorite are relationship series and setting series.

Relationship because you almost become a part of the family through reading and getting to know then.

Setting because you grow to love the town and feel like it is your hometown as well as getting to know the people of the town.

Whatever you choose, I will definitely be anxiously awaiting to read it!!

You are at the top of my "Favorite Authors" list!


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I wrote a series that I tied together around one character, Sara, who was the leading character in the first novel and has a key role in the other books.

In listening to some of the ladies at church discussing books in the hallway, I believe that what is key to a series is that the stories within the series be part of a bigger story. Each story should be so complete that it can stand alone, but the change the characters experience as a result of the plot should feed the larger story.

To give an example, if in one story a character has a dispute with someone trying buy a parcel of land, the story would conclude with that issue resolved, but the person trying to buy the land might have been speculating that a company would want the land. The next story in the series would then have an even bigger dispute over that land and maybe even a bigger area of land. It isn’t until the final story that the issue is completely resolved with a showdown with the big boss.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Casey said...

Characters, like in Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston Series and then moving over into her new Winds of Changes series. Each one builds on the other until you have woven a complex plot and story theme. Plus none of your favorite characters go away and still get some good "air time". :) That is what I love! :)

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

My favorite series are relationship series or occupation and the characters still run into each other in the next book.

I think the reason I love the relationship series is that we get to be with those characters for a longer period of time and we feel like we get to visit with old friends even when their story is finished.

A newer series I love is by Irene Hannon. Heroes of Quantico. But I really loved the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. One of my all time favorites.

Then there was this series from Gilbert & Lynn Morris about a female doctor from the 1800's named Chaney Duvall. Those books had great chemistry between the two characters. I couldn't wait to get the next book to see if they'd finally get together.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Ellie said...

Two of my favorite series are the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson and the Glenbrook series by Robin Jones Gunn. For the Glenbrook aseries I appreciated how each book could stand alone, and that as the series progressed the stories interweaved.
For the O'Malley series I appreciated being able to see what happened next with the characters, yet the main character of each book had their own story.
I am more keen of a character/relational series than location.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Great answers, everyone. Relationship connections seem to be the most preferred kind of series so far. Keep those opinions coming!

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I can't wait to read this series, Denise! I like community based series. I think small towns have their own personalities, and readers feel as if they're part of that community. Your books are always a hit with me.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

I like location series a lot. Partially becuase relationship series tend to not get resolved satisfactorially - unless - the "relationship" is, I suppose like you said, sub-characters from the previous book. Then that works for me too. Wow. I'm a lot of help. :P

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Thanks, Cheryl!

I agree, Jaime. I like each book to focus on a different heroine but be present in the other books as sub characters. That way, each story is complete on its own and each woman gets her own love story. :-)

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

My favorite are relationship series. I like when a minor character in the first book becomes a major character in the second and then appears in the third book as a minor character again. I like when the settings are in the same place, too.

Favorite series? I really liked the Nantucket series (setting) and Colleen's Lonestar series (setting and character).

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

My favorite series was "Montclair Brides" by Jane Peart. It was generational and followed the setting of a southern mansion and the heroes who inherited it. Very fun reads. I think there were 13 of them.

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED the Nantucket series (so much so that I plan on adding the new & revised editions to my collection :)). Location series are great, and your writing style has proven excellent in this area.

I have also enjoyed relationship series, but I've really enjoyed some non-relationship series (such as Nantucket!). Elizabeth White doesn't create series, but some of her characters make appearances in her other books. I like that; you get to "check in" on past heroines & heros. :)

Or maybe you could follow one main character throughout the series, like the wonderful Ashley Stockingdale series. :)

New story ideas....I really enjoy the Pensacola/Destin/Seaside area and would love to read a series based there. ;) Maybe 3 different books on women from each generation, who lived in the same location (and we get to see how it changed over the years)? My family used to vacation at the same beach every summer for 20+ years. I also love Northern Cali & the west coast area. I have no doubt that whatever you come up with will be amazing! You have a special gift to communicate God's unfailing love like noone else. Glad to know more books are coming! I've been counting down the days until A Cowboy's Touch arrives in my mailbox...

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Thanks, Pam! K, I read Jane Peart YEARS ago. I don't think I read that series though.

Notsoprano, great ideas! And your kind words made my day. :-)

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

I loved the Nantucket series and am so ready for your next ones!! I love Karen Kingsbury and Julie Lessman and how they continue books on certain families. Loved Hannah's ER series. Just got Colleen's lonestar series. Guess you can tell....I love to read!!

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite aspect of a series or any book is the setting. I love reading about places I have never visited before. I feel like I know all about Nantucket even though I have never been there. :)

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Thanks for your input Jackie and Alicia. Often series are tied together by both relationship AND setting, so that helps.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger adge said...

I like series where you grow attached to a family member. Often that seems to be the theme in the series books I read.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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