What are the advantages and disadvantages of series or standalones?
Many mystery readers enjoy series because they like following a particular protagonist. But series also run the risk of going stale. I’ve heard readers comment on how they followed a series for a while but then became disenchanted. Some authors have also said they became tired of their protagonist.
I have written a variety of books because I’m interested in exploring different situations with unique characters. Paul Jacobson and I spent many happy years together, but I also wanted to try my hand at a non-fiction book (The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe), a paranormal mystery (The V V Agency), a historical mystery (Murder on the Switzerland Trail), a theater mystery (Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse), a thriller (The Tesla Legacy), and most recently a professional organizer mystery (Unstuff Your Stuff).
When I started the first book in the Paul Jacobson series (Retirement Homes Are Murder) I wasn’t thinking about a series but only telling a specific story. But as I got into it, I discovered that it could bridge into additional stories. All of my other novels lend themselves to becoming series, but I also want to continue to pursue different characters and writing challenges.
That’s the beauty of writing. There’s no one way to do it.