Recently, I had three historical authors ask me if writing a spin-off series based on their first series is a good idea.
Could they make it work?
Do readers want to read about secondary characters enough to read an entire novel or series about those people? Are the characters interesting and intriguing enough to carry an entire new string of books?
Can I keep all those facts straight?
Of course, I said, “Go for it!”
We know it’s not uncommon to see a short story or a novella based on secondary characters. I could name dozens of authors who have done so, often even offering the stories for free reads.
My newest release, A Kiss for Miss Kingsley (a Regency Novelette) and Bride of Falcon (Captivated by His Kiss Regency boxed novella set) are set at the same ball where Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore is introduced in Triumph and Treasure (Book I in the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series.)
I have another short story, Heart of a Highlander (Gifts from the Heart Valentine Anthology) that is based on characters from the Castle Brides series too.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Personally, I adore a long series and spin-off series—especially if a character piqued my interest or emotions—is just icing on the cake. I knew several of my characters from the Castle Brides series had to have their own stories, but it didn’t work to add those books to that series. Hence, the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series was born.
But I don’t always know I’m going to write a book about a secondary character until I create them. Such is the case of Bradford Kingsley. I gave him a quirky sense of humor in A Kiss for Miss Kingsley, and if you know me at all, that’s reason enough for Olivia’s brother to get his own book…eventually.
To be totally honest, though, I have started a few second series and found they just didn’t have the pizzazz, the zing, of the first. I didn’t finish them.
So, what are your favorite spin-off series? Why?
Have you ever started a second series and thought the author should have stopped at the first?
Can a spin-off historical series be as good as the original?
Let’s take a little poll, shall we?
Answer in the comments since I cannot find the poll option anymore.
A. I adore a spin-off series. The more books the merrier!
B. I like short stories and novella’s based on a series, but not another entire series.
C. Authors need to learn when to quit and move on to something fresh.
Here’s a little something from Bride of Falcon
(Captivated by His Kiss boxed novella set)
Available for pre-order now-Releasing January 12, 2015
Splaying the fingers of his ruined hand, he stared at the empty space where the digits ought to be. Peculiarly, but he felt them at times. They itched, ached, twitched—not in actuality, of course, but phantom sensations of what once was. At times, he even tried to pick up items with the missing appendages.
Losing himself in the magic of music had been his singular passion, other than Ivy. Now, both were lost to him.
Sighing, he set aside the brandy. Brooding served no purpose. After shoving to his feet, he banked the fire before circling the room and blowing out the candles, except one three-branched candelabrum. A final glance at the fireplace assured him the meshed brass guard prevented embers from escaping.
Determined to put the day behind him, he snatched the candelabrum and exited the room. Across the hall, the drawing room door stood open. Lid closed, the grand piano washed in the moon’s silvery glow beckoned him. He stood in the doorway for several long minutes, his emotions vacillating.
A scan of the corridor confirmed Chance alone remained below at this ungodly hour. He advanced into the room, standing unsure for a moment. He placed the candles atop the piano and ran a hand along the carved mahogany. A truly grand instrument.
After shrugging out of his coat, he tossed the cutaway on a needlepoint parlor chair. Before he sat, he unbuttoned his shirtsleeves and rolled them to his elbows. The ivory keys gleamed in the soft light. He rested a tentative hand upon their surface, relishing their familiar cool presence beneath his fingertips.
His useless left hand lay on his thigh. He ran his right fingertips across the keys and, pressing the quiet pedal with his foot, played a familiar melody, one-handed.
“Falcon?” Ivy whispered his name, her voice a blend of curiosity and wonder.
Today’s Romantic Pursuit trivia question is: Why can’t Chance play the piano anymore?
Remember to answer in the game section.