Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Know When to Fold 'Em - When to End a Series

A new year signifies intent to grow, and I like to think I have a head start on that. I have a few new releases coming soon, and some coming later in the year. As I map out my writing wish list for 2014, I haven't missed the fact that something is missing. Of the projects I hope to work on in the near future, none are connected to my first series in erotic romance.

In November, I'll celebrate ten years as a published romance author. My first novel Truth or Dare, was originally meant to be standalone, but I found I enjoyed the characters so much I built a community around that first story. Next came four long books and several shorts, all of which star different residents of this fictional Virginia town. As I wrote, I set aside notes for more stories I hoped to one day write. Ten years after that first book, though, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I have told all the stories.

There are other factors that led to my decision to leave Dareville be, if only for a while. Sales could be better. I check what reports I get and see the numbers plateau or dwindle. Of course, if I don't put out more series books new readers are less likely to grab the backlist. Piracy is another concern. From what I've researched, my gay romances ranked among my most pirated titles, but the Dareville stories are pretty close.

Please bear in mind, though, I'm not blaming anybody for anything. I'm responsible for my writing and my career, and I know I haven't made all the best choices. I want to write stories I enjoy, stories I believe romance and erotica lovers will as well. This year I'll test the waters with three new series - one M/M, one F/F, and one M/F. It may sound like I'm throwing sex against a well and seeing what sticks, but I enjoyed writing the first installment of each one, and I look forward to something new. I'm also awaiting the fate of another M/M novella, and there could be more to do with that book.

I apologize if this sounds like nonsensical prattle, but I felt the need to air out the cobwebs today. Is Dareville done? I don't really know. Next year I could come up with a great story and write it. If my Dareville stories suddenly spiked and people demand more, I'll definitely make a return trip.

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