Writing Series Romance....

 

When I start writing a series the first thing I need to estalish is the series theme, from there I take into account the link that will hold the books together. This can sometimes be as simple as deciding to write a group of friends or siblings and giving each a book of their own OR I decide it is the setting itself that will form the overriding arch.

With the Shop Girl series I decided to set the series in an Edwardian department store which gave me the freedom (and excitement!) of creating a whole cast of characters. I thought the best way to let the story unfold was to put my first main character as the person in charge of the store. 

Elizabeth Pennington is a woman on a mission, dealing with familial problems and internal conflicts that establish her as a character who understands a lot of problems and challenges her staff encounter, whatever their position in the heirarchy.

I always advise new writers to give the opening hero or heroine a backstory which gives them compassion, empathy and the need for change. This way, as you introduce new characters, both primary and secondary, the star of book one still has a lot to offer throughout the series.

In my Ladies of Carson Street series, I chose three friends as the overriding link and tackled the heroine of the first book, Louisa Hill, the same way I did Elizabeth. Louisa is strong, independent and has endured more than most of us would in a lifetime. Her bravery and compassion runs throughout the series as future heroines and characters come to her for help, often using her as a sounding board as they solve their own problems.

Of course, it is important that a reader can pick up book 3 in a series and enjoy it as much as if they had picked up book 1 - the stories must be able to stand up as single titles as well as being part of a series. I acheive this by choosing two main characters for each book and the other characters (including the stars of previous books) only play a background role.

As my career as progressed, my heart is entirely immersed in series writing and (at the moment!) I can't imagine me writing a stand-alone story again... but never say never!

Do you love series or single titles? Do you have a favourite series of mine?

Here is a simple one-click Amazon link for the entire Shop Girl series - why not start reading today?

UK: https://amzn.to/37rUvnh

US: https://amzn.to/2QiW9C9


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