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Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Letter To Romance Authors

Dear Romance Writers,

Hi! I'm a big fan. In the four years since I started dedicating my considerable reading time to your genre, I've pretty much seen it all. I have my favorites, just like anyone else, but lately, something has been bothering me a lot.

You see, as much as I love the books you produce, I have to wonder...Why in the world are all of you writing series books now? Is it really necessary to write a book for every character your first novel introduced? Do you really have to leave me hanging at the end of one book, so I'll buy another?

Hey, I like a good series just as much as the next romance reader, but I haven't seen a good stand-alone book - with no connecting storylines or plots - in so long I'm developing a twitch in my right eye starting to wonder if I didn't just imagine they existed in the first place.

Now, I understand that us romance readers are pretty demanding. If we fall in love with a secondary character in one of your novels, we're going to want to read his/her story, to see him/her get an HEA. But honey, really, you could have stopped at book four. No, really. The world would still spin if you stopped now. I promise.

And while I'm on the subject of series', would you please stop telling me your books stand-alone when they, in fact, go together with another book. As tired as I am of seeing new series' cropping up every damn place, my frustrations there pale in comparison to the burning rage I feel when Jazz complains - for the 500th time - that she accidentally read a serious out of order.

Personally, I don't really care if I read a series in order, but Jazz, well, the poor girl has issues. Could you help her out a little? You know, maybe instead of pretending like your books are stand-alones so they appeal more to people like me, you could say, I don't know, maybe put a little note on the front cover saying "HEY! YOU CAN'T READ ME YET, BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T READ *insert book title here* YET, AND SHE COMES FIRST!!!" or even better, "JAZZ! DON'T READ ME UNTIL YOU READ *insert book title here*" See, that wouldn't bee so hard, would it? (*side note*Nora Roberts is excluded from this paragraph*end side note*)

So, what do you say, Romance Authors, do you think you could give the series' a rest for now? Maybe you could pen just one book that wasn't related to any other, for any reason, and then put that particular pen aside. Permanently. You know, use a fresh pen for each story. You get what I'm saying, right?

And if you just absolutely cannot write one book without connecting it to another, in any way, shape or form, could you maybe, for my sanity Jazz, put a little note on the cover, or right inside the book?

I'd forever be grateful.

Thanks so much,

Holly

Labels:

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19 Comments:

Blogger Chantal said...

I just want to say..I AGREE! Holy hell, do I ever agree!

January 19, 2007 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger nath said...

haha, it's quite true what you've been seeing. I don't care either if I don't read a series in order... but coming back to the stand-alone books... I've been thinking of it since I read Kristie's rant... and I've come up with a few that don't write series...

1 - Nora Roberts hardcovers. Obviously not talking about the In Death series or the trilogies... i'm talking about the books that come out every July.

2 - Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall.
I've read most of her books and so far, I know only a series and it was written in the 1990s.

3 - Linda Howard...

anyway, it was just to give you some hope again!

The thing, dear authors, is that if you are going to write a series, please don't take your "main characters" give them different names, hair and eye colors and write the same stories, but with different settings... Please.

January 19, 2007 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Isabel said...

ha ha. You know I don't mind a series, but I think authors should know when to stop. SK for example. I mean, writing about the main dark hunters, I get. But what was the one girl dark hunter... dangerous or something... I could honestly care less about her.

January 19, 2007 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh my do I agree with you on that one. I cannot stand it when I pick up a book and find out that there's like three other books that go with it. No wonder I own so many dang books. I buy one then realize it's in a series and have to go buy the other books that go with it. It's a problem (and hard on the bank account...lol) It's not like I would stop buying an author's books if they didn't write in a series...you know what I mean?

January 19, 2007 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

You know what is even worse...when you pick up a book, read it, find out it is part of a series, go to find the other books and find they are out of print. That has happened to me a couple of times now.

I don't mind series (in fact I love them) and I don't mind reading books out of order, but I would like to be able to still get other books in the series if I chose to.

January 19, 2007 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Chantal,

I figured you would. :)

Nath,

Yes, I know there are some that don't, but even authors like Linda Howard are writing connecting books more often than not, now. It's frustrating.

And you are SO right about just changing the general appearance and names of one set of main characters and then adding them to another. *shudder*

Iz,
AMEN!

Emily,
I'm so with you, girl. My pocket book can't take much more. lol

Jennifer,

WELCOME! You have an excellent point. I just hate it when that happens. Why can't they re-release the first few books in a series when they have new stuff coming out?

January 19, 2007 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

THANK YOU HOLLLY! For speaking on my behalf. lol. Cause this is a MAJOR issue! Just freaking admit they are in a series or at least connect with another book, and tell me somewhere, say BEFORE I read the entire book. Sheesh! Thank you!

January 19, 2007 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Dylan aka Rowena said...

LMAO! You guys are kooks, I swear! haha.

Welcome to Jennifer Y, I haven't seen you around here before but I hope you stop by and visit from time to time, it's great to have new faces on our blog! ;)

January 19, 2007 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Thanks for the welcome...I have been lurking for a few weeks now, but have enjoyed reading the posts...this one finally made me decide to comment...it's a pet peeve of mine.

January 19, 2007 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Kristie (J) said...

I hear what you are saying!!! And in my rant - there is a series I started and then the publisher cancelled the third book - that really REALLY makes me mad! Get us invested against our will then cancel before it's finished. And if you do write 4? Stop there!! Well - except for the very rare series like the In Death or Stephanie Plum books. I'd be devastated if she stopped writing about Eve, Roarke & Co. But Kenyon et al - enough already! Move on!

January 19, 2007 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

*clapping*

So well said. I'm also one who is so not a series slut, but sometimes you just need to know when to stop a poor series. I swear, I thought there were Bridgerton siblings to the Zs. I lovelovelove Julia Quinn, but Violet & Edmund should have used some freakin' birth control after #4 or 5!

And I'm so laughing at, ermmm, with you, poor Jazz... I think you need to team up with my pal Anne. You can be series sluts, ummm, I mean series freaks, ummm... series lovers together *big grin*

January 19, 2007 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Nonny said...

*applauds*

Most of the time, these romance "series" aren't true serials. They're connected stories, rarely featuring the same characters except for brief cameos. Speaking as a long-time fantasy reader, this annoys me, especially when (as in the case of MANY paranormals) the "story" is obviously not over yet. In many cases, the loose threads are either totally dropped or later picked up by characters who had no real reason to do so.

Because, of course, romance ends when the two characters gets together. /sarcasm

(Yes, I know there are romance series that follow the same two characters, but those are in the minority... and very often, as in the case of Nora's J.D. Robb books, they're not classified as romance.)

At this point, if I read a paranormal which has a prominent side character, my automatic assumption is that the next book will be about that character. More often than not, that's indeed the case.

A few books, I don't mind... but at some point, you ought know when to stop.

January 19, 2007 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger Author Dara Edmondson said...

I'm a romance author - a relatively new one. I don't do series, just single title. But I will say that agents and editors tell us at conferences and events that publishers lover series. Why - the obvious reasons - once you gain reader loyalty, those readers will fall for your characters and want to see them again and again. Personally, I don't care for them for teh same reasons you don't. I don't want to read a book and feel like I've missed something that came before it. Series should be clearly marked and ordered. Unfortunately, they are not.

January 21, 2007 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Jazz, you're welcome. Though it was more for my benefit than yours. :)

Jennifer,
Come back whenever! Don't be afraid to post now. The first time is always the hardest.

Kristie, exactly! I forgot to mention the cutting off a series thing, but you're right. And I read your rant. I can't remember if I commented or not, but I know I tried to.

Lori,
JQ is just one of many, unfortunately.

Nonny,
Yep. That's exactly how it is for me, too, and I'm over it. I'm ready for some straight up romances, no series involved.

Dara,
Welcome to our blog! And if you're not writing connecting books, sign me up!

January 22, 2007 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Lol. Holly. You're a doll.

Well, when I come out with my first book, it will probably be young adult, but I have MANY ideas, so I could write an out-of-series one for you all here at Sanctuaries Finest.

I haven't been here in a long while, and I enjoy stopping in to see what new things I can read about. This just makes me want to write faster for everyone.

Thanks for the note, Holly.

January 27, 2007 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

Hey Marie! I've been wondering where you disappeared to. lol

I can't wait for you to write your first book. And thank you SO much for thinking of us and writing a non-series. YAY. lol

HUGS!
H

January 27, 2007 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

You know what would be so GENIUS, girls?
If I specially included you all in on my acknowledgements in my first series. That would be so great. : )

February 16, 2007 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Holly said...

What would be even better is if you sent us ARC's to review. :P

February 17, 2007 at 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Haha. For sure, girls.

Which story do you want?

(I have over 30 stories... gosh, maybe closer to 50. I dunno. They just keep coming and coming. My problem is, a new idea pops into my head and then I can never finish thinking about the last one to make a general storyline.... but the basics are all there. I have fell in love with MANY of my stories. I know if I can make it as good as I think I can, I know others will enjoy them too.)

February 21, 2007 at 10:33 AM  

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