Monday, 25 May 2015

Difficulties finishing a series

It’s been approximately 16 years since the second in a trilogy
by one of my favourite sci-fi/fantasy authors, Melanie Rawn. This is a continuing series following the same characters, and for all that time I have been pulling my hair out wondering what happened to them since war was brewing between the good guys and the bad guys and the good guys had fled to safety – although the hero was tragically killed. Sadly, Melanie had a major illness after that last book and has talked about the problems of getting back into this series. Instead she had written other books, although has promised to bring out the last in this trilogy….

Another author of a sci-fi series (David Feintuch) similarly wrote about the same characters, but each story was self contained and the next one usually moved the timeline on some months or years. Except the last one where he left the good guys in an alien spaceship with aliens that they had made friends with after battling them for decades, swiftly following the bad guys (in this case other humans) back to Earth to stop them. When a friend was reading this series and got to the end I warned him there wasn’t another yet and he jokingly asked if the author was still alive. I checked on google – not expecting to find his funeral was that afternoon! Myself (along with his other fans) have had to mentally work out what we think would happen!

So all this was before I became an author myself and realized the difficulties an author can have when writing series. I have suffered from drops in energy levels, caused, mainly, by the fact that I also have a full time day job. Receiving some poor reviews, which puts you off writing other stories in that series. No ideas where to take the series further. Lack of interest in the characters. Having other plot bunnies demanding that you write their stories! (This latter is a HUGE problem). And readers requesting you write more stories about specific characters.

Most of my series have followed the fortunes of different characters with those from previous books being minor characters in the later ones. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter that I only did two in the Duoterra series set on a colony planet sometime in the future – I might do more but I’ve got more interested in other sci-fi series.

Some series I have completed – the Friends & Acquaintances trilogy and the Doms & Acquaintances trilogy which has cross over characters. I have an idea to do a 10 year follow up of these six friends to show what happened to their lives. I’ve done a few chapters, so that may get completed. Similarly, the Battle of Wills duo was only ever intended to be two stories. And Susan Laine and I still hope to do a follow up in the ‘Weres of Europe’ series – although we weren’t originally intending to write about the same characters, but readers have asked so we are going to bring the characters to England for this story (last time most of the action was in Finland as my fellow author is Finnish).
However, I still have to do more in ‘The Haunt of the Wolves’ series – and book number three is in the early stages of being plotted. Number two in the ‘Captured in Space’ series is being written as we speak. I had no intention of doing more than one but the sister of one of the heroes went and got herself kidnapped so it became a series (bloody characters won’t always do what we want them to do!!).

This, though, has been put to one side because I came up with ideas to finish off the ‘Alien Manhunt’ series (actually the series is called Hunted but each book is called Alien Manhunt 1, Alien Manhunt 2 and so on, and a different one of the heroes gets himself hunted in each one). Again, I wasn’t going to do more than one but several readers said they wanted to know what happened next! (LOL I won’t say ‘bloody readers’ as I love you to bits and thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying my books).

The last series I want to work on further is ‘The Manor of Decadence’. I have lots of ideas for the setting… just haven’t any ideas for characters or plot so far.

I will try not to come up with any more series until I have finished the others… but I can’t promise that a fabulous character won’t walk into my head, smile and say, “Take me, I’m yours.” Actually they are more likely to say, “If you don’t put me in your story I will hound your every waking moment…….”


  1. I wrote three trilogies, all tie-ins to each other, which added up to twelve books in all with shared characters and situations. The continuity issues were a nightmare. Would I do it again? Yes, probably, if I felt inspired

  2. Life definitely gets in the way. I have several series going, under more than one pen name, but my husband was diagnosed with cancer in February and it's put a kink in my writing schedule. Thankfully, my readers have been patient and I hope to have new books out to them soon.