The Creation of a New Series by guest author Staci Trolio.
Hi, everybody. I’m glad to be here today. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.
The second installment of my Nightforce Security Series, Gamble, just released. I have a few standalone pieces, but I mostly write series. Over the course of my fiction career, I’ve been asked about my decision to write series rather than single titles. So, I thought I’d share my process with you.
Quite often, when a storyline forms in my mind, it develops in discrete chunks. When I link them altogether, the true story forms. Each installment is the “short game” or, in other words, what the villain hopes to accomplish at that particular time. But the series on the whole is the “long game” or the resolution of the overarching problem—the villain’s ultimate goal and whether it is achieved. In the case of my Cathedral Lake Series, the stories followed the Keller family. The first novel started with a family tragedy, and the last novel ended with all the mysteries solved. The process was similar with my Medici Protectorate Series. The first book began with a family in peril and ended with the danger revealed and dealt with.
But I started the Nightforce Security Series with a different goal in mind. There was a secondary character in my Medici Protectorate Series who really spoke to me. He had a story of his own, and not just as support for other main characters. This guy, Danny Caruso, was a lead character stuck in the background, and he really needed to be put in the spotlight. That’s how Password came to be. Funny thing was, Danny had supporting characters in his story who also had lives worth examining. And that’s how my new series was born.
Instead of shorter installments as the overarching problem was resolved, these are standalone stories all linked together through character association. All of my heroes are employees at Nightforce Security, and every one of them is a magnet for strong women and dangerous situations.
If you’re a novelist with a list of standalone titles and you’re considering writing a series, you’ve got a few options.
- Make the same character your hero in each standalone work. (Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
- Follow a different character in each story, starting with a problem in book one and solving it in the end of the last novel. (Sign of Seven Series by Nora Roberts)
- Or, and this might be easiest for you, mine your existing novels for secondary characters that seem to have more to say, then write their stories. In other words, a spinoff. (Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spinoff of the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling)
I usually follow the second option, but with my newest series, I’m following the third, and I have to say it’s been a lot of fun taking supporting characters and making them stars. Even better, I get to revisit beloved characters whose stories are over. My readers and I miss them, so their cameo appearances are enjoyable for all of us.
If you’re thinking of making the move from standalone novels to series writing, maybe this method will make for an easy transition for you.
Blurb for Gamble:
Sometimes stakes are too high to gamble. Other times they’re too high not to.
Noah Crawford is a consummate bachelor—until a one-night stand piques his interest in something more. The only problem is, she wouldn’t give him her name, and he has no way to find her.
A week later, resigned to forgetting her, he accompanies his friends to a casino. Floor traffic promises to be light while everyone clusters at the sportsbook for the college basketball championship game. But Noah isn’t in the mood for frivolity and sets off on his own. No one is more surprised than he is when he bumps into his mystery woman.
He’s playing a far different game than cards when armed criminals take over the poker room. Noah is separated from his friends, and somehow the room has been cut off from security. Help isn’t coming. It’s up to him to keep everyone safe while he tries to thwart the gunmen.
Noah quickly realizes he’s trying to prevent more than a simple heist. And he doesn’t know who he can trust. The stakes have never been higher, and he’s all in. But one of the thieves might have an ace up his sleeve, and that could cost Noah everything.
Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.