Hi, everyone! My name is Melanie Atkins, and I write romantic suspense and thrillers for Desert Breeze Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Whiskey Creek Press. I'm excited about blogging here today. Thank you, Donnell, for the invitation to blog about writing a series.
Some of my books are single titles (SKELETON BAYOU, The Wild Rose Press, and FLASH BANG, coming soon from Whiskey Creek), but others are series titles -- my own series (New Orleans Detectives and Keller County Cops, Desert Breeze Publishing) and not ones designated by my publisher. My first series came about totally by accident. Or maybe I should say, because of one very sexy character: Detective Slade Montgomery.
I wrote the first book in the N.O. Detective series, CHERISHED WITNESS, as a stand-alone title, but Slade, the hero's former partner at NOPD, captured my heart right away and demanded his own book. So I wrote PRIME SUSPECT just for him.
A series was born. The books are loosely connected via District Six Homicide. I set up a new detective character in each book to be either the hero or heroine in the next one, and I bring back characters from previous stories throughout the six-book series. It's so much fun to revisit them and let the reader know what has transpired in their lives. They've married, had babies, and in one case, gotten a new job. It's like writing an epilogue long after the book has ended.
At first, I had trouble keeping up with all of the characters, which is a major challenge, so I set up an Excel spreadsheet with all of the names so I wouldn't get mixed up. I fell in love with all of them...and I have just as much of a blast figuring out what's happened to them later as I did when writing each of their stories. I haven't yet tried entwining plots much yet, but I do bring up plots from earlier books when old characters return. Readers seem to like it.
I recommend writing a series not only because I like revisiting my characters [but because] series books sell so well. Each time a new ebook comes out, I see a bump in all of my titles... and that bump just gets better with each one. So, hell, yeah, I'm all for writing series. That's why I've started another one. The first book in my new Keller County Cops series, MARKED FOR MURDER, comes out in April 2011. So far this series contains four titles, but I hope to up it to six at some point as well.
For more info on all of my books, check out my website and my blog, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to e-mail me as well. The address is on my website.
My New Orleans Detective Series:
CHERISHED WITNESS, available now!
PRIME SUSPECT, available now!
CHOSEN TARGET, available now!
BELOVED CAPTIVE, October 2010
UNWILLING ACCOMPLICE, February 2011
PERFECT PARTNER, June 2011
My Keller County Cops Series:
MARKED FOR MURDER, April 2011
SHIELD OF VALOR, September 2011
QUEST FOR JUSTICE, January 2012
DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL, June 2012