Thursday, October 11, 2018

Series vs. Standalone Novels

I have a six book series, The Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, and nine other published books. I have under contract two books to come out next year that will be sequels to two of these other books (The Back Wing and Court Trouble). In the future I may add additional books to the Paul Jacobson series or sequels to other books I’ve written.

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.

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