Writing a series–forever!

My urban fantasy series is contracted with Kensington Books. The second one comes out in November, the third is in the hands of my editor. I’m only contracted for three books, because my plan was to write three books, wrap the universe up with a nice tidy bow, and move on to something else. Of course, the publisher has the first right of refusal, so they get to look at any further works in this universe should I write them. That’s all well and good, and certainly fair, but it was totally my intention to be like “that’s all, guys!”

So why am I currently writing a fourth book?

Because when I got to the end of the third book, I found I couldn’t wrap it up as neatly as I’d hoped. Also, my characters are still bouncing around in my head like hyperactive toddlers yelling MORE! MOOOORE!

When you write more than one book–and certainly when you write multiple books–about the same people, they start to come alive inside your head. You find out more and more about them as you follow them around, and you want to tell people about the things they do. My protagonist, June Coffin, is written so that she has a huge character arc where she grows and becomes more mature through her experiences and becomes less of a caustic brat. The thing is, now that I’ve turned her into a nice sensible lady (hahaha don’t tell her I said that) I’m more interested in her than ever before and I want to keep writing about her.

I may frame the fourth (and subsequent, dear God) book(s) as a different leg of the series. The main components of the conflict in the first three books are wrapped up by the end of the third book, so beyond that is sort of a new story. There’s also side characters I’d love to write more about and maybe one I’d love to give his own book. Sigh. Now I know why Anne Rice can’t stop writing about her vampires.

Don’t start a series folks, you’ll never stop.

9 comments

  1. I completely, absolutely agree! Ugh, when I started writing my series, the plan was to write one book and one book alone. Then it became three books. And then five. And now the series has nine books –‘ It’s like we’re addicted, isn’t it? Writing is our drug, 😀

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      1. They are always annoying little things. My problem is that I actually know where the characters are heading to, but when they’re finally there… it’s like their story is not completed yet, like they have so much more to tell me. I think I’ll never be really happy whenever I end my series because there will always be one character or another nagging me to tell people about them.

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  2. I hear you, sister. I’m also contracted with Kensington. When I wrote my first book, I didn’t think about making it a series until one of the secondary characters started asking for his own book, which ended up being the fourth book in the series since books two and three forced their way into the lineup. My contract is for four books, but book five is slowly unfolding and I have an idea for a sixth book in my More Than A Game series. Each book stands alone, but they are all related in that they are teammates for the fictional San Francisco Goliaths baseball team. I’ve also submitted a second series that currently includes three books. This one is about whitewater raft guides. But I’ll keep writing my baseball books as long as ideas keep coming and readers keep reading.

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  3. I think as long as the author still wants to write about that world then they should. I mean, I understand that maybe the author has other things they need to write, but I know for myself that I would probably have to write it down sometime to clear it from my head. I think the real problem is when an author is done with a certain world, or even a main character, but still has more books to write.

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