So, I write the Otherworld Series–a popular urban fantasy series. But last year I began a new one, in addition, and the first book–NIGHT MYST–comes out at the end of June. I’m eagerly awaiting reader reaction, and a little bit scared, too. While it’s for the most part, the same genre–the Indigo Court Series is darker and edgier.
You see, there’s an excitement to writing a new series, even when you love the series you’ve been writing for awhile. It’s like taking a new lover–will we click? Will we get along? By the end of the first date (book) will we ever want to see each other again?
And at times, I feel like I’m cheating on my other series. How can I enjoy writing the new books as much as the ones I’m used to writing? Will I do a good job? How can I fall in love with these new characters while still adoring my old characters? All novelists are polyamorous when it comes to our characters because, with very few exceptions, we skip from book to book and each book usually has a different protagonist. Unless we write a series, and then we’ve usually been writing about the same group of people for awhile. But the truth is: I do love writing about new characters, even as I love my old ones. I love alternating because then I don’t get tired writing about any of them.
I thought I’d make a list here of the pros and cons of writing two different series simultaneously, and since I’ve done this twice now (first with two different mystery series, now with two urban fantasy series), I’ve got plenty of experience to draw on.
The Cons (why end with the negative?):
* Some readers get very bent out of shape that I’m not devoting my time solely to their favorite series/characters. They don’t understand the need for diversity in the creative field and they may act out by writing you nasty letters.
* If an idea for Series A strikes you while you’re writing a Series B book, you have to put it on hold till you finish your current obligation.
* If you aren’t organized you can get very confused, very fast.
* If one series does well and the other doesn’t, it can be very disheartening and can affect your enthusiasm for the work.
* Shifting gears as you switch back and forth between worlds can be very odd at times.
Writing two series can keep the characters and worlds fresh for the author and make both series last longer–when you are still doing good work on them, you have less desire to let them go.
Sometimes your series will feed off each other, spurring fans of one to read–and love–the other and then it’s all good for both readers and author.
If one series doesn’t have a good reception and fails, you don’t have all your eggs in one basket and you still can make your career work out.
You can stretch your wings as a writer and in one series, do things you can’t in the other. Especially when you’re writing two paranormal series that have different worlds/creatures/villains.
It’s fun to have two worlds in which to create and play–it’s wonderful to have two different sets of characters whom you love to write. Makes the work so much more delightful.
So, what do you think about your favorite writers who write two (or more) series? Do you have favorites among the competing series? Do you love both offerings your fave authors give you? Will you read one, but not the other?
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New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy for Berkley: both the bestselling Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley and the upcoming Indigo Court urban fantasy series. In the past, she wrote mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and nonfiction metaphysical books. Her books have hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists numerous times.
Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 30 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Bellevue WA with her husband Samwise and their cats. Yasmine can be reached via her website and on Twitter.
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