TO SERIALIZE OR NOT TO SERIALIZE

The Cereal AisleSERIALIZE (sîr′ē-ə-līz′) verb 1. to transform cookies, donuts, waffles, french toast, crunch berries, etc. into miniature candy-like form to be dredged in milk and consumed for breakfast. 2. to broadcast or publish (something, such as a story) in separate parts over a period of time.

No sooner was my latest thriller Presence of Malice released than readers began asking if there was to be a sequel or series following it. To be honest, when writing Malice I never envisioned it as a series. It was always to be a stand-alone thriller, one of many other non-related thrillers I plan to release. I already have two ongoing series, taking on a third is, frankly, daunting.

On one hand, Malice is by far the best received book I've ever released, and not to capitalize on it's popularity by releasing a sequel or series feels like leaving money on the table. On the other hand, my writing muse has never been very motivated by monetary concerns, but mostly on whether or not I have a worthy story to tell.

On the other hand (I know, that's three hands) you always want to please your readers, and to have them clamoring for more of something you've written is not only awfully flattering, it also makes you want to do it, if for no other reason than to please them. JK Rowling can't seem to leave the Harry Potter franchise alone - even though she promised after the release of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows that there would be no new Harry Potter books, she has repeatedly tweeted or blogged new information about the wizarding world she created in those books, then released The Tales of Beedle the Bard, then the movie Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them followed by a book of the same name, then the stage play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child...

The point is, it's hard to walk away from something you so enjoyed writing and that readers so enjoy reading. So while it never started that way, Presence of Malice will most likely become a third ongoing series, if perhaps more episodic than serialized. In the end, while you may have other stories teaming around in your head demanding to be written, it's also irresistible to go back a revisit old friends and favorite villains.

Ah, had I but world enough and time!

Kevin Paul Tracy
Kevin Paul Tracy, writer, philosopher, and all 'round raconteur, has traversed half the globe and both sides of the equator. He has SCUBA dived under ice and snow, and flooded craters hidden deep under ground, and he has done just about every odd occupation you can think of, from cave spelunking guide to wildlife photographer to interstate courier.

Kevin's fiction tends to deal with themes of bravery and fortitude in the face of extreme adversity, most often featuring very ordinary men and women forced into extraordinary circumstances, called upon to plumb the hidden strengths and resourcefulness they never knew they had.

Don't miss Kevin's latest twisted thriller "Presence of Malice", as well as his other books, the startling and engrossing Kathryn Desmarais Gothic Mysteries "Bloodflow" and "Bloodtrail" and the wonderfully entertaining espionage thriller, "Rogue Agenda."

He currently lives in Colorado with two very charismatic St. Bernards. More about Kevin on his website and on Amazon.

6 thoughts on “TO SERIALIZE OR NOT TO SERIALIZE

  1. I’ve been playing around with the idea of putting short stories related to my existing published book, An Unsinkable Love (https://goo.gl/dxgd72) such as backstory on some of my characters (parents, strong sub-characters, etc.), or maybe what happened to them after the end of the book, but haven’t been able to find the time. There are just so dang many things I could/should/would do. I would either price them cheap (99cents) or free just to keep momentum. It’s not the same as a serial and not as daunting as a series, but I’m thinking if I can carve out the time it might be worth it. I have a ton of backstory and more on my characters from my story development pages.

    • Love the idea of publishing short stories on a blog or make them free online to sort of flesh out areas of a book that interest you and readers. And it has the great side effect of providing additional marketing for your book. If I’m on the fence about reading a book, I’d take the chance to read a short story connected to it as a way of deciding.

      Fantastic idea, Terri!

  2. I could never keep that many series going at the same time, Kevin. I couldn’t even maintain my Sylvia and Willie mysteries beyond two books. But writing a standalone and then doing a sequel works for me. It’s still a one-book-at-a-time commitment.

    • I won’t lie, the prospect is daunting. There’s a chance that I could fail miserably at all three. But I plan to just take one at a time. And you’re right – if I think of them as sequels, not necessarily a series, it seems less intimidating.

Leave a Reply