Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Martin Sharlow on Writing a Series

I've been asked before what inspired me to write a series. I'm not quite sure exactly how that happens, except that every time I seem to finish a book, I find the story isn't quite finished yet. I mean the story itself is done, but it just seems like the story could keep going on. So I find it hard not to write a sequel to almost anything I write. As it is, so far I've written three series in my career, and I find it very difficult not to. So basically when I do write something that's not a sequel, I'm actually having to hold myself back from making a sequel to everything I write. Sounds goofy but that's the truth.
Writing series however, can be very difficult. Even though there always seems to be more to add, sometimes it's not quite enough to actually fill another book. So then I'm forced to add more to the story, which almost always creates new questions and thus another sequel to that. It's kind of a catch 22. I think the other problem with sequels, especially if you take breaks between books, is keeping the voice of the characters accurate. I like to take breaks from writing the same series, so I jump from series to series, but when I go back to another series, sometimes I can't get the voices of the series I'm returning to back in my head. Usually, if they don't come back, then my best bet is to just go back and reread the prior book. That usually gets the characters voice back so that I can write about. In the end though, I think writing is more about creating, at least for me. I mean there's a great feeling to be able to share your stories with people, and even better when they like them.

Still, I'd have to say, I'm Creator, and there's just no better feeling when writing than creating something inspiring or just plain cool. The characters themselves seem to spring to life all on their own. I'm not sure I created any of them. It was more like they were just waiting to jump to life inside the stories I was creating. Well, I hope that gives you quick look at my writing style. I know sometimes I'm surprised by what I write here as well. I want to thank you for being here on your blog today, and being able to share with your readers.

Blurb from Shades of Blood:

Melissa, Michael and Debbie's evening of celebration and victory ends with a chilling realization: something out there is still taking people off of the quiet streets of Hazel Dell.

While searching for answers, Melissa's other friend, Sarah, is dragged into the mess with them. and soon Melissa must divide her time between solving the mystery of the disappearances, figuring out what it means to have a vampire boyfriend, and finding a way to protect both of her friends from the new and unknown dangers of Portland's nightlife. But even if Melissa can muster the strength and resolve to try, can she really protect the people she cares about from vampires and the monsters that still lurk in Hazel Dell Park, when even Michael is keeping dangerous secrets from her?

What do Melissa's dreams mean? Who are the robed men that slink through the shadows of Hazel Dell? And just what isn't Michael telling her about vampire blood?

Melissa must discover the answers to all of these questions herself, or even her vampire protector might not be able to save her and her friends from the dangers that stalk through the shadows of Hazel Dell.

Shades of Blood is book two of Shades of Twilight.

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