Posted On February 9, 2015 by Print This Post

Why Are Series Romances So Popular and What Makes for a Great Series? by Renee Vincent

Author Renee Vincent is one of the hardest-working people I know. In addition to taking care of her kids and horses, she is always hard at work on her next book or her next series. She’s both prolific and talented, and she can always make me laugh. She has also taught me to appreciate the wonders of men in kilts. 😉 Please give Renee a big RU welcome! (Scroll down toward the end of this post – just above Renee’s bio, you’ll find the details of her giveaway!)

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I’ve asked both readers and authors why they love to read series romance and one key reason seemed to stand out above the rest—because they weren’t ready to say goodbye to the characters.

This truly intrigued me as an author, because I, too, have a difficult time parting from the people I’ve created. I mean, let’s face it…sometimes, though we hate to admit it, we authors spend more quality time with our fictional characters than we do our own loved ones. We’ve breathed life into these make-believe individuals, giving them an identity and a purpose. Through our careful molding, our beloved protagonists find each other. And little by little, we shape the course of their lives, allowing them to grow, to come to a realization, and make that final move toward securing love and happiness.

 

In writing that perfect “happily ever after,” our own heart and soul goes into the grand making of these memorable characters. Because of that, it seems perfectly understandable why authors wouldn’t want to say bon voyage to them. But readers too?

 

Through my research, I’ve found that readers enjoy—and often times gobble up—series romance for the same reasons authors write them.

 

  • Attachment: Readers get attached to the characters, both primary and secondary. They make us laugh. Sometimes they make us cry. And every so often, they make us crazy. Essentially, they become family to us…people who capture our attention, grip our hearts, and hold us on the edge of our seats as we follow along through the twists and turns of the story. As New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster states, “I write HUGE series because I fall for all of my characters.” To give them up would be like shipping your own family to another country and never seeing them again. Series romance allows readers the opportunity to spend “precious time” with the people they’ve grown close to, without the threat of saying farewell after the last page is turned.
  • Familiarity: Readers love the familiarity of the places they visit in our stories. It takes time to get settled into a location and, once we’ve immersed our readers into that lovely world, they don’t want to leave. It feels like home there. As national bestselling author Elena Aitken describes, “Series romance feels as familiar as a comfortable sweater.” Or as New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas says, “It’s like taking a trip back to a favorite childhood place or a favorite vacation spot.”
  • Investment: After the first book, readers are already “invested” in the characters, the place setting, and the conflicts that revolve around the storyline. It’s not enough to see the protagonists achieve their HEA (happily-ever-after.) Readers want to know if perhaps the sister will find her true love down the road. Or maybe the heroine’s best friend had a secret crush on the hero’s little brother. Will she overcome her insecurity and make her feelings known in the next book? Secondary characters intrigue readers as much as primary ones, and with series romance, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken says it best: “Readers get to catch a glimpse into the other characters’ lives.”

Anyone who knows me, has figured out that I truly enjoy writing series romance. At this time, I have three series romances:

The Jamett & Joseph Series (contemporary romance)

The Start of Something Good, Book 1

The Road to Something Better, Book 2

The Gift of Something Grand, Book 3

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The Emerald Isle Trilogy (historical Viking romance)

Ræliksen, Book 1

Mac Liam, Book 2

The Fall of Rain, Book 3

 

The Warrior Saga Series (historical Viking romance)

The Temperate Warrior, Book 1

The Warrior’s Captive, Book 2 – Coming in 2015

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If you enjoy reading series romance, then check out this amazing bundle of Twenty “First In Series” Romances presented by the New York Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors of InkHeart! I’m so thrilled to announce that the first book of my Warrior Saga Series, The Temperate Warrior, is included in this very boxed set!

 

FALL IN LOVE, Twenty FIRST IN SERIES Romances Boxed Set

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Now I ask you…why do YOU like to read/write series romance? Leave a comment (along with your email addy) and I’ll draw one random name to win a copy of my Amazon bestseller for Viking romance, the Emerald Isle Trilogy Boxed Set (Kindle or Nook format – winner’s choice.) Contest ends February 11th, 2015.

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Join us tomorrow when Hazel Gaynor presents, “How do you know when your book is finished, and what happens next?”

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Bio:

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Renee Vincent is a bestselling historical and contemporary romance author who also pens humorous chicklit romance with a smidgen of spunk under the name Gracie Lee Rose.
Renee Vincent writing as Gracie Lee Rose
Stand-alone Novels, Book 1                                            Coming soon…

She blew through his perfect world like a gale force wind.
He took her heart by storm.

Dropping everything and leaving her idiot boyfriend behind, Carly Fuller heads to the country to start her life anew, never expecting the dolt to turn possessive and follow her. On the run and in fear for her life, she turns down a long blacktop drive with beautiful black-board fencing. Hoping the wealthy, respectable owners will help her get to the authorities, she finds that the gorgeous horse farm belongs to one hunky carpenter who has more than enough muscle to safeguard her.

While his childhood friends have eagerly left the country, Jeremiah Kessler remains as far away as possible from the busy city life. Content to live in the quiet, rolling hills of Kentucky, his perfect world is torn asunder the day Ms. Windy City Whirlwind blows up onto his doorstep looking for sanctuary from her volatile ex-boyfriend.

As every goodhearted country boy had been taught, he doesn’t turn his back on a woman in need—especially when a funneling tornado is threatening to rip through his town. As the two take shelter in his basement, Jeremiah learns that some good can actually come from the city, in particular the feisty little windstorm under his roof.

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36 Responses to “Why Are Series Romances So Popular and What Makes for a Great Series? by Renee Vincent”

  1. Thanks Becke for the warm welcome and to all the lovely ladies at Romance University! I’m honored to be here today talking about series romance.

    I’m eager to learn from your readers why series romance is a favorite for them! And good luck to all who enter my giveaway!

    Posted by Renee Vincent | February 9, 2015, 7:43 am
  2. I love series romances. When I read a novel and fall in love with the characters, I hate to say goodbye to them at the end. In series work, even if the main characters of the first novel become secondary characters in the new installment, they still make an appearance. And the secondary characters from the first novel get to shine. I see no downside. Yep, I love series romances.

    Posted by Staci Troilo | February 9, 2015, 8:24 am
  3. Even if the main characters of previous books don’t have key roles in the following books, their presence is like running into an old friend. You can see what they’re up to and see if their HEA really was that. No matter how brief the encounter, it’s nice to run into old friends 🙂

    Posted by Dee Connell | February 9, 2015, 8:33 am
  4. There is something cozy and familiar about the characters in a series. I’m always interested to find out what they are up to in a future book. As well, I love knowing there is another book. It allows me to really become invested in the characters because I know I will be “seeing” them again soon:)

    Posted by Staci | February 9, 2015, 8:51 am
  5. I love reading romance series..sometimes you just can’t get enough in one book!

    Posted by Rita Navarre | February 9, 2015, 9:05 am
  6. Renee – I had hoped to be here earlier this morning, but I’ve been on the phone with my daughter. She’s on her way to work and already she’s fallen twice. It’s sleeting and VERY icy in Chicago. I’m sure a lot of cities are suffering with similar weather conditions. Be careful out there!

    Anyway, I’m excited to have you here, Renee. I want to laugh when people brush off internet friends as if they aren’t real people. I met Renee online several years ago, and we’ve since become friends in real life.

    We have so many fun times, it makes me laugh to think of them all. I miss you! ((hugs))

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 9, 2015, 10:26 am
    • OMGosh, Becke, I miss you so much too!!! It’s so strange you being 5 hours away from me now 🙁

      But I hold our times together like treasured gold. And I’m so thankful when we are able to hook up every now and then at RAGT!

      I appreciate you having me on this site. It’s such a lovely place with so many great readers/writers here! Thanks again for this opportunity darlin 🙂

      Posted by Renee Vincent | February 9, 2015, 2:58 pm
  7. Renee – How do you keep track of all your characters, and what’s happened in what book? Do you use a computer program, a magnetic board, a notebook?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 9, 2015, 10:40 am
    • Great question, Becke.
      I’m a pantser through and through. I can’t hardly plot anything out to same my arse. However, I do create a timeline with each series so I don’t mix up dates, ages, and places my characters have been at what times in the stories. That for me is a must. Course, I think that is due to my diligence of being historically accurate on my Viking romances.

      I’ve not used any certain program per se, but initially I just wrote them down in a notebook. I now have the timeline typed out, saved, and printed out so I can keep adding to it as I go along.

      Posted by Renee Vincent | February 9, 2015, 3:02 pm
  8. Actually, I have a love-hate relationship with series. Love?…you spend so much time with the characters that you become invested, wondering what they’re up to, etc..even when not reading. When a book ends, its like ending a friendship. Hate?…that might have something to do with the fact that I’m in the middle of the never-ending, but fabulous Outlander series (meaning I have no other life).

    Posted by Charlotte Copper | February 9, 2015, 11:02 am
  9. Your comment CRACKED me up, Charlotte! And I’m now reading the Outlander series too as my friend just gifted me with the first two books just a few weekends ago!!!

    I’m super thrilled to start it soon!

    Best of luck to you!

    Posted by Renee Vincent | February 9, 2015, 3:04 pm
  10. I love series and if I found an author I really like, I’ll buy all his or her books.

    Janice~

    Posted by Janice Seagraves | February 9, 2015, 3:58 pm
  11. Renee,
    For all the reasons you said and one more… I love series books because I’ve fallen for the author. I know what to expect with the author, their writing and their style. When I find an author I love, I read all their books and series are just about the best find!

    daringzoey@yahoo.com

    Posted by Melissa Keir | February 9, 2015, 5:57 pm
  12. I don’t sit and write with the idea of starting a series. I write a book. Then the minor characters in it start bugging me to write their story. Etc. That’s how I ended up with 2 very different series’ of romance novels.

    Like everyone else has said, when you get really fond of characters, you want to be with them again. In my case, I want to show what happens after the HEA also…so in subsequent books, the former heroine and hero will make appearances so we can all enjoy “catching up” with them.

    Posted by Fiona McGier | February 9, 2015, 8:21 pm
  13. Wow, Renee – 86 retweets and counting! I think you broke Twitter! 😉

    Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. Have a wonderful week!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 9, 2015, 9:26 pm
  14. Thanks Becke! You too!!!
    And good luck to everyone who entered the giveaway. I’ll reveal the winner tomorrow!

    Posted by Renee Vincent | February 10, 2015, 7:16 am
  15. When I fall in love with the author’s voice and story telling magic – as well as with the characters and setting – I’ll buy every book in the series. As an author, I’m drawn to writing series and have three in various stages of completion now. I love weaving the characters from one story into the other stories. What fun! Thanks, Renee!

    Posted by Gemma Juliana | February 10, 2015, 11:26 pm
  16. ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

    Congratulations to DEE CONNELL! You are the winner of my Emerald Isle Trilogy Boxed Set!

    Contact me at rv at reneevincent dot com and let me know if you’d like Nook or Kindle format.

    A big thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and participate in my contest. Your company and thoughts on this subject were very appreciated!

    Posted by Renee Vincent | February 11, 2015, 6:18 pm
  17. I agree that it’s all about the loving the characters, at least, for me! It’s a thrill to be in a new story and suddenly a familiar, beloved character comes along.

    Posted by Anastasia Abboud | February 11, 2015, 11:59 pm

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  1. […] Why readers love series romances.  […]

  2. […] RU article looks at why series are so addicting and why both authors and readers crave them. Some of the […]

  3. […] Vincent presents Why Are Series Romances So Popular and What Makes for a Great Series? posted at Romance […]

  4. […] Renee Vincent […]

  5. […] her Romance University post about series, Renee Vincent reminded us that, “Readers get attached to the characters. That our creations essentially become […]

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