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What I’m Most Often Asked

A photo of books on a shelf.
© Can Stock Photo / Baloncici

As a contemporary romance author people ask me a lot of questions, and the question I’m most often asked is, “Are your books a series?”

The answer is no.

Some authors write series books which their readers seem to like. However, the authors who I consider as mentors, such as Rosamunde Pilcher, don’t write their books in a series. Their novels are stand alone books. One trick I have borrowed from Ms. Pilcher is to take a minor character from one book and incorporate him or her into another. She took a minor character from The Shell Seekers, and used him to introduce a new cast of characters in September

My first contemporary romance novel was The Reunion. (Which will always be my personal favorite.) When I wrote my second contemporary romance novel, The Deception, I set a chapter at a fictitious location I used in The Reunion. It was a nice way to incorporate the two novels together.

My third contemporary romance novel, The Journey, comes the closest to being a sequel. It uses the same cast of characters as The Reunion, but it too is a stand alone book. Ian and Gillian, the lead characters from The Reunion, appear in The Journey as supporting characters. Their story has already been told. This time the lead characters are Ian’s son, Jeremy, and his wife, Cassie. There are references to events from The Reunion included as part of the backstory. However, I worded them in such a way so those who haven’t read The Reunion, won’t be confused.

Kyle Madden, a lead character in my next contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal, also had a bit part in The Reunion. This time around the roles are reversed when Gillian makes a cameo appearance.

While I won’t be able reference every prior novel in my later books, I’ll continue to include something from one of my earlier contemporary romance novels, such as a scene set at a same fictional location, or a minor role for an earlier character. Those who have read the earlier books will enjoy the references, while those who haven’t won’t feel left out. 

Marina Martindale

Posted in Characters, Marina's Novels, Writing