I'm writing a new series for NaNoWriMo. It's spinning off from the Boom Town books--the brothers of Jolie, the heroine in book six. While I love writing Boom Town books, visiting the town and characters there, I may have limited myself too much by making the town too small. I like limiting the number of characters, but having only a couple restaurants, a few stores, that certainly limited what I can have my characters do together. I have the festivals, but really, who wants to read a festival in every book? I tried something different in this last book, sending them to a nearby town for an event instead, but I really locked myself down.
Of course, when I planned the series, I had only planned four. The other books grew organically from the characters I introduced in those books, but if I'd thought about the ideas earlier, I would have planned better so the books had more variety, the characters had more to do.
Writing this new series is fun, because while I have familiar characters, introduced in Blame It on the Texas Stroll, I'm able to create another "world," a bigger town in Texas set in the Texas Hill Country. Small, still, but big enough to have wineries and a Walmart. I'm hoping this will give my characters a lot more options when it comes to having romantic moments. I will plan out the next two (possibly three) books so that they have enough variety, but the same familiarity.
My three series are all small-town related, and two of them are, or at least started out, as relatives, siblings. I have an interesting idea for my next two series that are not siblings, but connected in other ways--one by a shared event in their past, and another through their jobs. I like series--they keep you in a familiar world and help you explore interesting characters that you wouldn't get a chance to explore in a single title.
I'd love to hear from both writers and readers about how they go about series. How long is too long? I am dreadfully behind in both Jill Shalvis's Harbor series and Robyn Carr's Virgin River, so I've kind of given up. I don't remember where I am in the In Death series or the Longmire series. But I am ON TOP of Shannon Stacey's series, both her Boston and her Kowalskis. What is your favorite series?