If you’re like me (and a million other avid readers), you adore a well-written, engaging series. It means you’ll get to devour more books written about people who interest you written by an author you enjoy reading.
For authors, writing a series holds the same sort of joy.
And a few perils.
The Seed of an Idea
Virtual Match came to be when a group of indie authors saw an advertisement for an invisible boyfriend app. It didn’t take long for all of those creative minds to see how such a service could go wrong…or lead to a happy ending.
Before I wrote the original story, I mapped out Veronica Shay’s character and had a big secret in her past, one that kept her from dating anyone. Because it was a secret, it didn’t keep her controlling mother from nagging her about finding someone to love.
Enter Virtual Match, the online dating service that would match her with an employee who would pretend to be her boyfriend through texts, emails and even gifts. It was the perfect ploy to divert her mother’s attention.
You can find that story in Reality Meets its Match.
As with every writing project, there was a word count ceiling for that first story. Thus, it didn’t explore Ronnie and Marcus’ relationship. The premise was the dating app and problems it created.
But, Ronnie and Marcus started something in the last chapter of the first book. And my readers wanted to know what happened after that first kiss.
A Series is Born
The first thing you need for a series is characters with a problem that readers want to read about.
It thrilled me when readers finished the first installment of Ronnie’s story and wanted to know what happened next. These were characters I enjoyed spending time with, and I knew things weren’t going to get easier for Ronnie and Marcus. Because there’s no story if things run smoothly.
However, I didn’t have much of a background for Marcus Jordan. Originally, he didn’t even narrate much of the first story. At first, I tried to keep his identity a secret from the reader.
Beta readers thought he came off “stalkerish” when written anonymously. Plus romance readers know a romance is more enjoyable when we get time inside the skin and mind of both the man and the woman.
In Reality Bites, readers get to see who Marcus really is, and he’s not just an IT geek who knows how to hack a pretty girl’s online dating profile. His family is fun and supportive, which is a contrast to Ronnie’s flighty mother, vivacious sister and over-protective brother.
Coming from different family backgrounds adds more conflict to their relationship.
Readers learn Ronnie’s secret in the first book, but she hasn’t shared it with anyone else. I figured that would be the major event for the second story, but that didn’t feel like enough conflict.
Marcus wouldn’t respond to the reveal with revulsion. He’s not that kind of guy.
But enough about what you can expect from the second book. I don’t want to give the story away.
What I know for sure? Writing a series in smaller, Novella Niblet chunks has been fun, fun, fun. And I’m not done with Ronnie and Marcus yet because every romance deserves a happily ever after not just a happy for now ending.
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