Blogger: Rachel Kent
I have been reading Lois Lowry’s The Giver series. I read The Giver when I was in junior high and really enjoyed it and only recently saw that it is part of a series. The Giver was published in 1993 and the second book in the series, Gathering Blue, wasn’t published until 2000. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think that Lois thought that she would ever be writing more books as a continuation of The Giver.
This got me thinking about how unpredictable publishing can be. A character or story can be hated or loved by the readers and it’s the response of the readers that often dictates what is written by an author in the future.
We all hope our characters will be so loved by readers that they will be begging us to write more books about them, and this may seem like a wild dream, but I believe it’s best to be prepared. Make sure you like your characters and that you leave openings in your story for future ideas to sprout.
I doubt Robin Jones Gunn ever thought she’d still be writing about Christy Miller and Todd Spencer 25 years after the first book, Summer Promise, was published. Her characters spoke to the readers and became so real that many fans–myself included–consider them friends.
And Agatha Christie ended up writing more than 40 Hercule Poirot stories. I read that some readers have done a timeline of her stories and estimate that Poirot would have been 150 years old at the end of the last book. This is a sign of a character that has been extremely well-loved in an unexpected way.
If you are writing fiction, could you see your characters in future books? Have you left enough questions in your book to spark ideas for future books in a series?
As a reader, what are some long-lasting series that you have enjoyed?