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!)
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
The Emerald Isle Trilogy (historical Viking romance)
The Warrior Saga Series (historical Viking romance)
The Warrior’s Captive, Book 2 – Coming in 2015
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!
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.
Join us tomorrow when Hazel Gaynor presents, “How do you know when your book is finished, and what happens next?”
She blew through his perfect world like a gale force wind.
He took her heart by storm.
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.