Friday, November 18, 2016

Continuing characters. What's your take?

     Do you enjoy book series with continuing characters? Avoid them unless you can start at the beginning? Or are you just indifferent about the subject?
     I've written two romance series, but with a limited number of titles. As a writer, a series of three is my limit. I used to avoid reading long series because I'd get frustrated when the main characters from previous stories were re-introduced, and I couldn't remember their storyline.
     Back in the 90's, I tried a couple of the most famous long-term series, J.D. Robb's IN DEATH by Nora Roberts and STEPHANIE PLUM by Janet Evanovich. Neither of them piqued my interest enough to keep me reading.
    Romantic suspense has always been my favorite genre to read, so a few years ago, I tried the J.D. Robb series again and got hooked. I gobbed up the 40 plus books in less than a year. Now I'm buying the new ones as soon as they're available because the continuing characters intrigue me.
     Over time and with age, my reading tastes have changed. These days, most of the romantic suspense stresses me too much. I'm an obsessive reader who gets deeply involved in a story. I don't know if the entire genre is changing or just my enjoyment of it, but I want lighter reading material.
     So, I decided to give STEPHANIE PLUM another chance, and confess to being a total PLUM junkie now! I've read some of the books, but absolutely love the series in audio format. Lorelei King is an amazing narrator who brings the characters to life for me. I think I love this series and these characters because they're so outrageous, so politically incorrect, and so irreverent even while dealing with the guilt and values that come with a religious upbringing in a closely knit community. Janet Evanovich created a cast of characters that I love revisiting.
     This week, the latest (anxiously awaited) PLUM title,TURBO TWENTY THREE, became available. It's already downloaded to my mp3 player. I don't know how long Janet will continue to write this series, but as long as she writes it, I'll be buying it. (Cover courtesy of Amazon. com)
     Do you have some favorite series? What are they and why do they appeal to you so much?  Feel free to share!

Until next time, take care and keep reading/listening. :-)

Hugs, Becky
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  1. I love this post! I love Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries, with Kinsey Milhone--which I listen to on audio--but have to confess I haven't heard the last three. I also used to like Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta stories, but they got too graphic for me (that stress you mentioned) and I had to let them go. Truth is, I usually get kind of bored, which happened with Stephanie Plum; the books are good, but I'm just over it.

  2. I tried the Grafton books a while ago, Liz, but maybe I should revisit. The graphic doesn't bother me as much as the horror aspects of suspense. I don't like being scared. Ever. LOL

  3. I don't tend to read mysteries of any kind. I don't really care about who did it. But show why a person can be driven to murder and I'd be hooked.

    I hope you get lots of responses, Becky. I'd like to know how many books in a series is too many!

  4. For me, it depends on how many characters are actively involved in each story. If you get too many secondary characters that don't really advance the plot,it's just annoying, IMO. LOL!

  5. If I like the characters, I'll read other books in a series. I read the first 8 books in the Plum series, but lost interest after she slept with ? (can't think of the other hot bounty hunter at the moment). Her romance with Joe had been built up so much that for her to cheat on him just shut it down for me. Then the very next book in the series hardly even mentioned what she'd done!! I guess the previous story line had been very unpopular. I can't think of any series I've followed long-term. 3-5 books pretty much does it for me in a series.

  6. Joan - I've found that I prefer series where the main characters are always the focus compared to those where new main characters are introduced with each book.


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