It’s just a theory, this idea to explain the popularity of books in a series. Could it because they provide a sense of community? Think back to your younger self, sitting with your back to a tree, reading another Nancy Drew mystery or the same one for the third time. Weren’t they friends that welcomed us back with each book? Even today, seeing an old version of a cover of the Mystery of the Spiral Staircase gives me a warm glow. Growing up in the country, as I did, with a working single mom, my summers were spent in the barn with a stack of books, the latest litter of kittens playing around me and a glass of grape soda. Nancy and George were my substitutes for unavailable friendships.
We long for community in a fast-paced culture.
From recent conversations with readers, I’ve learned the role of books for some in these adult years may be as it was when they were children. Women come home from work, tired and stressed, curl up with the next book in a series and find comfort in a familiar community of fictional characters. The readers may close the cover when the page reads ‘The End’, but they can pick up the next book and find those same friends waiting to welcome them into the next episode of their lives. Closing the cover of a book in a series is not like the closing of a door in real life.
So, what does the reader expect from a series? The settings may change and there may be new characters to meet. Perhaps, the protagonist will grow more fully into their essence, discover more about themselves in that next book. Maybe a new challenge will threaten a relationship that had once seemed secure. As in the Harry Potter series, the villain may be more fully revealed and the hero finds greater strength for the battle. As we plot the next book, we authors should remember that the reader is invested in a series' characters. As dear as those characters are in our minds, so they are for our readers. In some ways, a certain quality of sameness is paramount to the success of a series. The world changes too quickly but our reading world doesn’t have to.
Do you agree? What do you want from a book series?
Meet the Author
This month I'm offering Kat's Law, the first book in The Sawtooth Series,
for a special reduced price. Find your next series to love.
"In beautiful strokes, Samantha St. Claire draws the reader into Kat's Law by painting, breathtaking views and dynamic characters with interesting pasts, realistic hopes, and dreams for the future." —Readers' Favorite, Five Stars
Kat's Law by Samantha St. Claire
Genre: Historical Fiction
Heat Level: 1
Language Level: 1
Violence Level: 2
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