I'm writing a series. The SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers series. I'm working on the third book of the series now. BREAKING AWAY. I wrote the first book BREAKING FREE three years ago while working two jobs and writing on the weekends. I submitted the book to several editors and moved on to a book that had been tumbling through my mind for several years TIMELESS. I grew as a writer with my Timeless story because it was so different than anything I'd ever tried to write before and my imagination had free rein. It's a cross between a paranormal romantic suspense and a science fiction romantic suspense. Maybe I've created my own genre. I've not run across anything similar to it. But I digress and that's a subject for another blog.
There are joys to writing a series. You get to revisit the characters you've created over and over again. Or at least you do the way I'm writing mine. There's something comforting knowing your characters and what their lives are like. But they don't live in a static environment and you have to imagine what they're lives have been like before and after the each book you write. Which is cool because you get to watch them change and grow just like real people do.
And there's joy in knowing there are readers out there waiting for the next book to come out because they like your characters or your writing style.
But there is stress in that also. Once you've had two good books or even one, you're under the gun to reinvent lightning in a bottle. And that's what having a book readers enjoy is like. Lightning in a bottle.
With every book you write you're pushed to recreate that winning formula. And if you're lucky you don't follow a formula and your readers think your ideas are fresh and exciting.
Knowing all that, it isn't the readers who ultimately pressure you. Though they are at the back of your mind the whole time you're writing. More pressure comes from within.
The last ten chapters I wrote for BREAKING THROUGH I wrote scared to death. I got up scared and I went to bed scared. And the whole time I was thinking is this as good or better than the first book? Is it good enough for everyone who will read it? Will the people who read my words like my characters? Will they like my plot? Will the changes in my writing from one book to the next (because writers do grow and change) put anyone off?
I've been very blessed that my readers seem to like the change from one book to the next. I hope that continues with the next one. (Which is a cross in writing style between the two first books of the series.) I guess I'll have to wait and see.
But right now I'm just writing and hoping that every reader who buys the books will love them. Which is totally unrealistic, but it's what every writer hopes for and dreams of.
Sing out and let me know what you think!!