During my thirty year writing career my novels have leaped from bookstore shelf to bookstore shelf.
And yes! Wow. It’s been thirty years this month since my first novels arrived at your local bookstore. Both were romances. My first book was a “sweet” romance, and while I am epubbing some of my early romances now, you won’t find Brendan’s Song among them. It was my practice book. It deserves to lie quietly unread after a long, happy life.
The Unmasking came out the same month, and that one has been reedited and republished as an ebook. Why two in the same month? Both publishers were trying to be first. It was a heady experience to be wanted that badly.
When I say my novels have leapt from shelf to shelf, I’m actually talking about genre and bookstore placement. I began in what we call series romance, each book part of a series of books with similar parameters faithfully issued each month. Brendan’s Song was a Silhouette Romance, and The Unmasking was a Harlequin Superromance. The first was shorter with no sex but lots of sexual tension. The second was longer, sex allowed and a more involved story required.
Through my first years I wrote for both lines, adding two more lines, as well. The point of series novels of this type? To quickly help each reader find the books she wanted to read without having to thumb through every novel in the romance section. Series romances are still being published and you’ll find them everywhere.
To complicate the meaning of series, within series romance I wrote my own “series,” novels that linked together, like my Tales of the Pacific series which are now available as ebooks.
In later years I also wrote a cozy mystery series. The Ministry is Murder mysteries were published by Berkley, and consisted of five books. Possibly more in the future.
When I stopped writing romance novels I began writing Women’s Fiction. Novels classified this way are broader stories about the lives of women, their relationships, issues, and place in the world.
Within that genre I’ve written interconnected novels or “series” about families or groups of women who walk through each others stories:
- Iron Lace and its sequel, Rising Tides
- Whiskey Island and the sequel, The Parting Glass
- The Shenandoah Album Novels
- The Happiness Key Novels
- The Goddesses Anonymous Novels
The Shenandoah Album novels and the Goddesses Anonymous novels are not complete. At least not in my head. But when the time came to write another in each my publisher wanted something different.
So now, in my thirtieth year of publication I’m working on a single title, and there won’t be a sequel. My next book will also be a single.
HOWEVER. . .
With the dawn of independent publishing, I can now write books my readers want but my publisher may not.
And here’s where the QUESTION from my blog title comes in, and it’s a big one for me, so please help.
When the time comes for me to write the novel you most want to read and publish it myself, which series do you most want to see revived or finished?
- The Shenandoah Album series
- The Goddesses Anonymous series
- The Ministry is Murder mysteries.
I really would appreciate your help. Would you go to Amazon or another online bookseller and buy the next book in one of these series if it were available? If you would be interested in more than one, please list in order if you can.
You can email your answer, or you can comment on this blog. It’s that simple.
I’ll let you know what I learn. Thank you in advance.