Posted On March 23, 2012 by Print This Post

Writing a New Series After a Successful Debut Series by Christy Reece

Happy Friday, all. Today, we’re delighted to welcome back another RU favorite, Christy Reece. Christy is the author of the fabulous Last Chance Rescue series, and she’s going to talk with us about transitioning from one beloved series to a new project. She’s also generously offered to give away a Last Chance Rescue book (winner’s choice) to two lucky commenters! Welcome, Christy!

How Very Un-A-Musing

Corny, I know, but so appropriate to my topic. Other names I considered for this blog post were: Hi, I’m Christy Reece and I’m a writer in denial. Or: How to say goodbye to a successful series and start a new one in 1,557 tries.

When I first learned that SWEET REWARD, my December 2011 release, would be the last book in my Last Chance Rescue series, I was almost (not quite, because I’m the cautious sort) excited. New characters, new plots, new everything! A whole vista of opportunities awaited me in my fictional world. I thought my muse would be onboard, overjoyed and raring to light up with a multitude of fabulous ideas.

But then reality set in. The characters I’ve lived with and adored since I starting writing RESCUE ME, the first book in my LCR series, would no longer be around to talk to me. They would now only exist in the happy-ever-after state of bliss I had created for them, never to be heard from again. No! These weren’t just fictional characters to me! They were real, living, breathing, three-dimensional people. In the years I’ve known them, they’ve made me laugh, cry, angry, sad, exuberant and joyful. I love them with every fiber of my being. I couldn’t let them go! No, no, no! Okay, I admit it, I went overboard. I grieved.

Then, the inevitable bargaining took place. Maybe I didn’t have to say goodbye to all of them. There were still a few characters that were due their own story. Why couldn’t I just carry them over into stories for this new series? It’s been done before. Why couldn’t I do it, too?

Much to my dismay, I learned this wasn’t going to happen. Why not, the over-emotional writer in me cried out? These are great characters. Readers have asked for their stories. Why couldn’t this be done?

If I had bothered to discuss this concept with my muse beforehand, it would have saved me much angst and heartache. When I finally chased her down, I confronted her with my brilliant idea. Here’s how the conversation went:

Lowly Writer (Me): “Guess what, Agatha! I’m writing a new series.”

(Yes, my muse’s name is Agatha because, well, my name is Christy and that’s how my brain works.)

Agatha: (Who actually prefers to be called Superior Being): “You’re writing a new series?”

Me: “Excuse me. We’re writing a new series.”

Agatha, nodding haughtily. “That’s better. Now, what’s this new series about?”

Me: “It’s a blend of murder/mystery and romantic suspense about three sisters who return home to their small Alabama town to solve their parents’ murders.”

Agatha: “Hmm. Sounds interesting. But what about our LCR series?”

Me, sure of my brilliance: “Well, I was thinking we could use some of the characters from the LCR series and carry them over to the new one.”

Agatha, looking more superior by the minute: “Seriously?”

Me, swallowing nervously: “Yes…You don’t think that’s a good idea?”

Agatha, not even bothering to hide her sarcastic glee: “You want to take your globe-trotting, kick-butt characters who thrive on danger, excitement and intrigue and put them in a small southern town?”

Me, feeling more inferior by the minute: “Well, yes. But there’s danger and intrigue in the town.”

Agatha, shaking her head and rolling her eyes, didn’t even bother to respond.

Me: You don’t think that’ll work?”

Agatha: “Nope.”

Me: “But I…Are you sure? Why not?”

Agatha: “Because I’m the one who inspires and breathes life into these characters and I won’t work that way.”

Me, bewildered and close to tears: “But we could work together. I’m sure we could pull it off.”

Agatha, with an oh so superior sniff: “Either create new characters or I’m out of here.”

Me, walking sadly away, scratching my head and mumbling incoherent curses.

So, the idea of spring-boarding characters from one series to another wasn’t one my muse wanted and my publisher went along with her. So that left me in a dilemma. How to create a different type series but keep the kind of characters I love to write about.

Since the above conversation took place, there have been numerous discussions with my un-amused Muse and myself. We’ve argued the plot, debated the characterizations and thrown verbal insults with alarming regularity. A few weeks ago, in the midst of yet another battle, we came to a mutually satisfying agreement. I will create the small town atmosphere, the plot, and the behind the scenes machinations of the villain. Agatha, er…excuse me, Superior Being, will inspire the kind of characters we both love: strong, resilient heroines readers can identify with and dangerous, sexy, to-die-for heroes that readers, and myself, can fall in love with.

And, because neither of us can let go of Last Chance Rescue and the characters we adore, we’re excited about self-publishing future LCR eBook originals some time in the future. A happy ever after ending that even my stubborn muse can get behind.

Author’s Note: The first book in the, as yet, untitled, small town murder-mystery, sexy romantic suspense series will be released in May 2013. Agatha and I sincerely hope you look forward to the new series.

***

RU Crew, how have you handled the moving-from-one-series-to-the-next challenge? Have you ever worked on two series simultaneously? Don’t forget: Christy is generously giving away a Last Chance Rescue book (winner’s choice) to two lucky commenters!

Be sure to join us Monday when Katie Lane is here to talk about crafting the small town romance (my favorites!). 

***

SWEET REWARD

A Last Chance Rescue Novel

WHEN RISK IS THE REWARD—LET THE DANGER BEGIN

Adrenaline junkie Jared Livingston has found the perfect blend of exhilaration and danger in his new job at Last Chance Rescue. Raised to depend only on himself, Jared tried marriage, but the end of the relationship renewed his belief that he was meant to be a loner. Now a desperate plea from his ex-wife puts Jared in the unique position of using the skills she despised to rescue her missing daughter. The case brings Jared face-to-face with Mia Ryker, the only agent ever fired from LCR—for playing too far outside the box. Now Mia’s back, and as a team, they’re as compatible as fuel and fire—blowing off tension in each other’s arms, blowing open the secret life of a wealthy philanthropist and his shameful dealings. Their search for the innocent child takes them to places neither have been before—to the edge of danger and to the edge of their hearts.

Bio: Christy Reece is the NYT bestselling author of dark romantic suspense. She lives in Alabama with her husband, five adorable canines, and one very shy turtle. When she’s not writing, reading or laughing at her husband’s weird sense of humor, she can be found feeding, walking and playing with her fur-kids. Find Christy at:

http://christyreece.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristyReece

https://www.facebook.com/LastChanceRescuebooksbychristyreece

Similar Posts:

Share Button

Characterization

Discussion

31 Responses to “Writing a New Series After a Successful Debut Series by Christy Reece”

  1. Hi Christy,

    Welcome back to RU! I’m so glad you and Agatha came to a consensus. Your new series sounds great.

    I’ll be faced with this dilemma soon. I’m getting ready to write the final book in my trilogy and have been noodling which concept to put to proposal. I have two possibilities. Like you, I’m sad to see my Nexus series go, but am excited to write about something new.

    Good luck–and I’ll be on the lookout next May.

    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | March 23, 2012, 4:35 am
    • Hi Tracey! Thanks so much. I’m thrilled to be back at RU.

      Yes, creating something different is exciting and fun. I’m enjoying meeting new characters and exploring new themes. I just wish my muse and I had come to an agreement earlier!

      Best of luck to you on your new proposal!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 4:51 am
  2. Hi Christy,

    I’ve written one book in hopes of it being a series, but no takers. When you start a series, do you know how many books it will take? Three seems to be a magic number.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | March 23, 2012, 5:34 am
    • Hi Mary Jo! Congrats on starting a series! I actually had no plans to write a series when I wrote the first book, RESCUE ME, I just kept meeting secondary characters I wanted to write about and their stories kept appearing in my head. My agent saw the potential and wanted to market the books that way. I feel fortunate it turned into a 9 book series but I had no real idea how many would be the right amount.

      Regarding the magic number, I think it depends on a lot of factors: Popularity of the books (sales), how that particular genre or sub-genre is selling overall and how the author and publisher feel about continuing. (And probably a whole lot of other factors I have no clue about) Some series end at 3, others are still going strong at 30+.

      One thing I always tried to do from first book to last was write each one as a stand-alone. Not only because each book might end up being the last one, but that way a reader could pick up book 2-9 and not feel totally lost.

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 6:41 am
  3. Christy – Thanks for a great post!It is so timely for me as I start a new series and work on another pre-existing one. I’ve never done that before – any tips?

    And, are you excited about the self-publishing venture? what have you encountered on that road that was unexpected?

    Robin

    Posted by Robin Covington | March 23, 2012, 5:48 am
    • Hi Robin! Congrats on starting a new series while continuing a pre-existing one. That’s awesome! I wish I did have tips for you but I’ve always had issues with working on more than one book at a time–even within my series. As you can tell from my post, my muse likes to work a certain way.

      Though working on two series at the same time isn’t something I’ve done yet, I’m hoping to do that in the future with this new series, self-publishing new LCR books and possibly a women’s fiction, too. It’s such an exciting time to be an author! Now if Agatha will just cooperate!

      My self-publishing venture isn’t fully realized yet, however, I’ve got several storylines ready to go so when I complete the first book in this new series, I can get started.

      Since it is so new for me, I haven’t encountered anything unexpected. I know those things will come and feel fortunate that several authors who are successfully self-publishing are generous enough to share their wisdom and knowledge. I love the generosity of romance authors!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 6:55 am
  4. Morning Christy!

    I’m so glad your muse and you came to an understanding. Or…um…that YOU finally saw things HER way. =)

    When you first started writing your LCR books, did you plan on a series of any particular length? And did you decide to end the series or was it “just time”?

    Thanks for posting with us today!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | March 23, 2012, 7:35 am
  5. Hi Christy. Loved this post!

    I’m making my first attempt at simultaneously writing books from two different series’. It’s a new challenge for me, but I’m enjoying creating the new characters. Still, I like going back to my “old” guys. :)

    So glad we’ll see more of your LCR books!

    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | March 23, 2012, 8:09 am
    • Hi Adrienne! Congrats on writing 2 series simultaneously! I admire you for being able to do that. Agatha has informed me she’s not a multi-tasker and I recently informed her she’d better learn how. LOL We’ll see who wins that argument!

      Thanks for looking forward to more LCR books. I’m excited about being able to offer my readers the stories and characters they’ve told me they want.

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 8:15 am
  6. Hi Carrie! LOL Yeah, Agatha definitely won that round!

    I had no real sense of how long the series would or should last. My LCR organization rescues kidnapped victims, so there was a plethora of ideas and plots I could have utilized. My books were bundled into back to back trilogies. Each time I completed the last book in the trilogy, I wondered if I should end the series. When I contracted for the last trilogy, I thought I’d write maybe one more trilogy (making it 12 books) and then wrap everything up nicely. It didn’t work out that way. My publisher was interested in me starting a new series. So, though I still had a few characters I wanted to write stories for, I ended the series. I didn’t tie things up neatly because by then I knew that I would self-publish more LCR books.

    Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 8:10 am
  7. Christy –

    Thanks so much for being here today. We always loving hosting you at RU.

    Will your self-pubbed LCR books be about characters who have already had their own books (I.e. sort of epilogue stories) or stories about totally new main characters?

    Can’t wait to see what you and Agatha cook up for this new series!

    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | March 23, 2012, 8:52 am
    • Hey Kelsey! Thanks so much for having me back!

      The LCR books I’m planning first will be secondary characters from previous books. Several of them caught my imagination and have been feeding me tidbits of their stories since I met them. I get reader emails about certain characters, such as Aidan, Angela and Anna. (LOL I think I must have been stuck on A’s the day I came up with these characters’ names) I’ll always have Noah in each book, since he’s the LCR leader. But I also get as many emails wanting to know what’s up with previous characters. I plan to include some of them in each book so readers can see their HEA continues.

      Lately, Agatha and I are working well together. Hopefully that trend will continue. Usually if I feed her chocolate and wine, she stays fairly content. (:

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 9:43 am
  8. Christy – I LOVE that your muse’s name is Agatha! Brilliant!

    I can totally relate to you grieving over the end of a series. It makes perfect sense that the author who created the characters we know and love would grieve for them, since the readers DEFINITELY do.

    I’m always sad when a series I love ends, even though – as you mentioned – it’s exciting to think of what might come next.

    I do know some authors who work on one (or more) series at the same time, but I don’t think I could ever do that myself. My mind boggles a little just thinking of it!

    I’ll be sure to pre-order your next book as soon as it becomes available!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | March 23, 2012, 9:51 am
    • Hi Becke! LOL Agatha named herself, as you might imagine.

      Grieving is the only way to explain how I felt in saying goodbye. And yes, readers do too! I know I’ve gotten upset on learning there would be no more books in a series I’ve loved.

      I’m with you on the mind boggles to work on more than one series at a time. Will be interesting to see how Agatha reacts to this particular challenge later this year.

      Thank you for pre-ordering as soon as my new book becomes available to order. Magical words to an author’s ears!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 10:09 am
  9. Morning Christy… sitting in the corner waiting for your next book…..LOL lots of love to you

    Posted by Kay B | March 23, 2012, 10:05 am
  10. Hi Christy,

    I was very sad at first thinking LCR was coming to an end. I’m glad your “Superior Being” stood firm on her ground!! I don’t think I can yet part with Noah.

    I also look forward to a new series,new plots, new location and new characters. Knowing your wicked ways im 100% certain it will be a non-stop page turner. I may miss the heroes/heroine trotting all over the world.

    Are you going to focus only in your new series at first or are you also going to write LCR in between releases of your new series.

    Best of luck to you& Agatha in the new series and continued success with LCR

    Marta

    Posted by Marta | March 23, 2012, 11:32 am
    • Hi Marta! LOL Love the “your wicked ways” phrase! So very cool! Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Since I have a contract and my deadlines are set by my publisher, they have to be my first priority. As soon as I finish this first book in the new series (meaning it’s off to my editor and agent) I want to get started on an LCR book. I might not be able to finish one this year simply because I have another book due in October. I’ll do what I can to complete an LCR book asap so my readers won’t be too long without an LCR fix! (:

      Thanks so much for coming by!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 11:44 am
  11. You had me totally believing in the conversation between you and Agatha, until the end when you walked away cursing. I know this couldn’t have possibly happened because sweet, genteel, Southern-bred ladies such as yourself would never curse!! hahahaha.

    I’m so very glad for two things:
    1-LCR will live on in the *ahem* not too distant future. and
    2-Agatha decided to cooperate with you. (I am not Southern and would have had no problem giving her a piece of my mind to coerce, I mean gently prod, her into helping you out in getting the new series off the ground.

    Posted by kris | March 23, 2012, 12:09 pm
    • Hey Kris! LOL I’m always surprised when people think sweet, genteel, Southern-bred ladies don’t curse. Of course we do! However, sometimes our accent is so thick, people can’t understand us. Bless their hearts. (:

      So happy your glad about more LCR books! And I’m very glad too that Agatha is cooperating. I keep thinking if I continue to talk nice about her, she’ll stay in a good mood. Gentle prods no longer work on the old girl…I mean, Superior Being! She’s developed some tough skin.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 12:31 pm
  12. Hi Christy!

    I think it’s great that you have the option to continue your LCR series via the self-pub route. I’m sure your fans will appreciate it!

    Since you’re published in the traditional sense, how do you think experience in working with a publisher will help you when you self-publish? I ask because there are self-pubbed authors who eschew the traditional route, but I believe working with a publisher has its advantages.

    Thanks for joining us again!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | March 23, 2012, 12:44 pm
  13. Hi Jennifer! (LOL I feel like I know you because my new hero’s last name is Tanner)

    Thank you. I’m thrilled self-publishing is an available option. I love giving my readers what they want!

    I’ve learned so much from being traditionally published and feel fortunate to have had that opportunity. I do think a publishing house can give you more exposure. Also, as a self avowed procrastinator, having publishing contracts with deadlines helped me become more disciplined and focused than I might have been if I’d taken the self published route first.

    I’m a big believer in doing what feels right for you and your career. I see absolutely nothing wrong with only wanting to be traditionally published but I’m also thrilled when I see a non traditionally published author succeed at self publishing. It’s such an exciting time for all authors and being able to control our own destiny is an awesome feeling.

    And thanks for the welcome. I love coming to RU!

    Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 1:05 pm
  14. Hi Christy..Great to see you again!!since I have just finished Rescue Me, I’m glad to know that all the rest of the group is waiting for me to read them!! I won’t have to wait and wait for the next one. Until the last one.

    Posted by Hollie | March 23, 2012, 2:06 pm
    • Hey Hollie!

      There’s definitely an advantage to discovering a series after several are out. Not having to wait for another one to be released is always a plus. So glad you found my books! Hope you enjoy them all.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 2:32 pm
  15. Awesome post. I’m glad you’re going to self-pub some LCR books as well as start a new series. We get the best of both worlds!

    Posted by Mary G | March 23, 2012, 5:40 pm
  16. I am looking forward to your next LCR book. Hoping I will get to see an Aidan or Angela book oneday. By any chance does Agatha resemble a rubber chick in a bikini? :)

    Posted by Jackie P | March 23, 2012, 8:21 pm
    • Hey Jackie! Thank you and yes, Aidan and Angela are at the top of my list to write their books. I don’t see them together unless something changes but both of them definitely need their very own HEA.

      LOL Amazingly, Agatha does resemble a rubber chicken in a bikini. Thanks for sending her to me. She sits in a prominent place on a bookshelf behind me and looks over my shoulder as I write.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Posted by christy reece | March 23, 2012, 8:38 pm
  17. So glad you and Agatha worked things out! I really enjoyed the post. It’s always a little bittersweet with a favorite series ends and a new one begins. Sounds like it’s going to be an interesting year :) Looking forward to the new series!

    Posted by anna | March 25, 2012, 1:18 am
  18. Congrats to Carrie and Anna, winners of Christy’s giveaway!

    Please email, Christy at christy@christyreece.com and include your mailing address and which book you’d like.

    This link will help you choose! http://christyreece.com/books_main.html

    Congrats again!
    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | March 26, 2012, 10:30 am

Post a comment

Upcoming Posts

Subscribe

Writer's Digest: 2013 Best Writing Websites (2013) Top 10 badge 2012 100-BEST-WEBSITES-2014

Follow Us