Our guest blogger is Susan Kraus the author of “Fall From Grace” and “All God’s Children,” the first two novels in a character-driven, psych thriller/mystery series that tackles provocative social issues and features a female therapist/mediator protagonist. “All God’s Children” focuses on a custody battle over a child in the gay-bashing, funeral-picketing Westboro Baptist Church. Kraus is working on novel #3, to be released August 2015.
Confessions of a Series Addict … Why Go On a Blind Date When You Can Go Steady?
Starting a new book in a familiar series is like having a standing invite from an old friend (or beau) for an evening of engaging and satisfying conversation. With every new ‘stand alone’ book, I’m not sure how the date will end. Like many blind dates, it’s a roll of the dice… with uncertain odds.
With a series, we can start up where we left off. We already know something about our “date’s” background, family history, friends, habits, even food and drink preferences. There is a comfort in settling down in an easy chair with a Horsefeather (one part whiskey, two parts ginger beer, splash of bitters) … and the latest novel in a series.
A good series, for me, requires the following: a protagonist with whom I share some sensibilities (political, world view, etc.); an ensemble cast of family or friends that is engaging; a narrative that is both unpredictable and logical (with elements of surprise, but a logic that, upon reflection, makes sense.) Of course, the writing must be reasonably intelligent. (It makes me crazy to read a best-selling writer, series or stand-alone, with boring and formulaic language. I’ve been known to yell and rip out pages. Fifty Shades of Gray made me fifty shades of apoplectic.)
I want a protagonist who is not static, who evolves as their attitudes and psyche are shaped by their experiences. Read more »