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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

By Celia Yeary

   From the beginning of my Writing Adventure, the stories seem to naturally turn into a series. How did this happen? Probably because I loved a secondary character and decided he/she should have a separate story. Or perhaps the underlying theme worked, so why not try it again?
   A “series” includes stories that are similar in some way: location, family name, friends, or time frame. Each succeeding story may briefly feature a character or two from the preceding one, but the plot usually revolves around a new main character. In other words, each story, however related, can act as a stand-alone book.
   An example of a series featuring the same main character might be the vintage children’s books I loved: Strawberry Girl or The Bobsey Twins.


TEXAS BLUE
   Texas Blue is the first book I wrote. Set in the nineteenth century, it stars a pretty blond blue-eyed woman barely out of her teens--Marilee Weston.
   Banished from her home by her father, she lives in near isolation with her illegitimate baby girl deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas.
   A tracker, Jeffrey “Buck” Cameron, finds and rescues her. They eventually marry and Buck adopts the little girl. Josie Weston becomes Josephine Cameron. Buck and Marilee also have a baby together, a girl they name True Cameron—because of her “true blue eyes.”



Texas Blue sold pretty well, so I immediately launched into writing Josephine Cameron’s story, titled Texas Promise.



Later, Josephine's younger sister True got her own story titled Texas True.
Here were three stand-alone full-length novels that sold fairly well, but I was bothered that they were separated by different publishers and also by covers.
This is where Rebecca J. Vickery stepped in and accepted my wish to have these three novels under one series title: The Camerons of Texas. Still, the covers did not match. Again, Rebecca graciously allowed me to connect them with similar covers. Thank you, Rebecca, Laura, and Karen.

During the few short years I’ve been with PBRJV, I have written four short novellas that were originally connected under a general heading for numerous westerns called Dime Novels. Again, I was allowed to write four separate stories, and they are connected mainly through similar covers by Jimmy Thomas, a similar time frame and area, and also connected by similar names:
Angel and the Cowboy
Addie and the Gunslinger
Charlotte and the Tenderfoot
Kat and the US Marshal
This series became my best-selling books of all.

Still, a third series was born, and these have sold well, too.

Trinity Hill Brides:
Kathleen-Book I
Lorelei-Book II
Annalisa-Book III


I still write stand-alone novels, but creating a series is really more fun. Please leave a comment. I'd like to hear your opinions.  
(Find all my books on Amazon under Celia Yeary)

Thank you!!!!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


20 comments:

  1. Celia, I have read each of your books, and whether they are presented as a series or stand-alone stories, they are all wonderful. But I do think that writing all of your books with a Texas setting, and a Western theme, has contributed to your amazing success. I will pay you the highest compliment that one author can give another...I wish that I had written them!
    And I do sincerely wish you continued success with your books.

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    1. Thank you, thank you. Your opinion is always of great importance to me--you know that. So, I'll write Texas books, and you write Civil War books. I could never write one of those--I know far too little about the CW. It's wonderful to have our own niches, isn't it?

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  2. I like it when each book in a series includes a character or mention of a character from a previous book and when a little hint or introduction of a character in the next book appears. I also like each book to have its resolution. Leaving something to be resolved in a future book leaves me feeling dissatisfied and manipulated.
    Not only do I like to write books in a series, I love to read them, too. I have read almost all of your books, Celia, and enjoyed your unique characters and interesting plots in each of them. I like that you keep all the stories located in Texas. It's no wonder you've had such amazing success with your stories because they are just dang good reading.
    All the very best to you, Celia.

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    1. Hi, Sarah! The kind of "series" you spoke of sound more like sequels. I was in a long discussion once with a small group about labeling several similar books a series or a sequel. One main person wanted to call them sequels..the kind I like. But...I believe what I write are definitely a series. Truth be known, what she wrote were actually a series, too. Would the book that followed Gone with the Wind be called a "sequel?" I think so..Anyway, I definitely know the definition of a series...so that's what I'm sticking to.
      Like you, I do not want to read a book that ends without a conclusion, but continues in further issues.
      I like your Wilding series...those are similar to mine, in that the books follow other members of a family. Excellent. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I love books in a series which can be read as standalones.

    Denise

    ps. I still have a collection of Bobbsey Twins books.

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    1. You have a collection of Bobbsey Twin Books? Wow. I am impressed. I vaguely recall a plot or two. One was that the twins discovered that snowflakes were all different. They looked at them under a microscope. How's that for a long memory? Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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  4. Hi Celia, I enjoyed your blog. Series books are so very popular, I think because the author, and the reader, hate leaving wonderful characters behind. We just want to spend more time with them and meet new and interesting people in their world. It sounds like you've created a dynamic world in your series books that readers just can't help but want to return to again and again!

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    1. Hi, Vicki--I have tried, that's for sure. But I began writing late in life and had no idea I might ever get one published. I had four complete manuscripts complete before I decided to try for publication. I was lucky, in that I knew grammer and punctuation, etc., and I naturally wrote in a single POV at a time. And I did not know one thing about POV--it was just something that made sense to me. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. I like that series books present a bigger view than one single book can. Maybe that's why, or part of why, they're so popular. You've definitely found your niche. :-)

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    1. LK--You're the queen of the series. I loved reading series novels by numerous authors. I'd read one book, learn there were at least two more, and watch and wait for those. Now, I write more than I read.
      I, too, like the bigger view of a storyline. Thanks.

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  6. I like the idea of writing a series, as long as it's not about the same main characters. Then, it's harder to do. It's easier if I make them secondary characters in the other books of the series

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    1. I agree. However, numerous authors have made it big by using the same main characters...Harry Potter, for one. And then all those James Patterson books with the main character. No, I like the story to move on with the new people. Thanks for coming by.

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  7. I enjoy series books because I get invested in the story world. I especially love Celia's stories of Texas. While I read both short stories and full length novels, I think there's a growing niche for short story to novella length fiction. As a writer, I also enjoy creating the story world for a series and getting to rub elbows with familiar characters. Thank goodness Celia chose to write about Texans. I feel so much more connected with your state now!

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    1. Maggie-that's it--The story world idea. I hadn't thought about it like that. However, from the beginning I have written everything in and about Texas. An editor once asked me why I would limit myself so much. Limit? Texas? I'm joking, because I knew what she meant. But I told her..and I have said many times since..why would I write a story set in Minnesota? I don't know much as all about the state or the people and my ignorance would shine through. But I do know more than one author who has invested her writing life in a state she's only visited. Good for her, because she's a born researcher.
      Thanks for taking time to come by.

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  8. Celia, I also read and write series, both western and romantic suspense. I agree with what's been said here by others. You're a terrific writer with wonderful stories, be they in a series or stand alone.

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    1. Lyn--I know you do write series, and very well, too. I admire you for branching into romantic suspense. That's a very popular genre and you do well in both. Thanks!

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  9. Celia,
    I don't mind reading a series as long as each book is a stand alone story. I don't like to wait for the next installment to find out what happens. Love western romances too. :) Thanks for sharing today.

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  10. Karen--you've said what I think. A series is not a sequel. Remember the old radio programs? No, you wouldn't, you're too young. But The Shadow Knows, etc..it left you hanging at the end until next week when the story line took up again. My husband looks for certain books for his Kindle, and lately he's been angry because the book ends in what seems like the middle of the story. Then he is invited to "buy" the next installment. Ooooh, this does not make him happy.
    Thanks for your input and for all you do. Celia

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  11. I love series, too, Celia. Can't help writing them and love to read them. I think TEXAS BLUE was the first of your books I read. I so wanted someone to punch her father in the face. LOL

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    1. Hi Caroline! You know, I had a reader to tell me that the storyline for Texas Blue was totally unbelievable. She said "No father would treat his daughter like that." I ask you, what world did that reader live in? That was a long time ago, but I will never forget her making that statement. How naïve and simple-minded. Besides, I made the father suffer, though..didn't I! Hahahaha! Thanks for reminding me you'd read that book. We were all just starting out then, weren't we? We've come a long way, my friend. Thanks.

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Thank you for your interest and input.