Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

CRAFTING BOOKS READERS LOVE


Writers struggle for new ways to please readers. One of the ways we do this is to create a fictional community or family series. In this way, readers who grow attached to a hero and heroine see them reappear in later books.


I love creating series and have five: the historical Stone Mountain, Kincaids, McClintocks, and Bride Brigade and the contemporary Texas Caprock. Of course, I’ve strayed from the series a few times with special projects like the American Bride book, PATIENCE, and the two Montana Sky Kindle World books, AMANDA’S RANCHER and my recent THE RANCHER AND THE SHEPHERDESS. But, usually I stick with series.



As a reader, I’ve read and enjoyed many series, including those of the other authors who are members of this blog. Our group of authors offers a long list of entertaining books. (In addition, Beth Trissel and Jacquie Rogers have non-fiction books available.) Have you read the books of the Smart Girls Read Romance members? If not, you're missing a treat.


Revisiting a favorite fictional place and learning the progress favorite characters have made keeps me buying the next book. These characters become real people about whom I care.


As a writer, I found myself with a dilemma. Instead of progressing in time, my latest Bride Brigade series is about seven women who to Tarnation, Texas together. This means the same people experience the same events while hoping to meet and marry. Oops. My challenge is to make each book different while keeping some major events the same.


Writing JOSEPHINE, book one, was great. ANGELINE had special problems to make her story slightly different. I worried CASSANDRA and OPHELIA’s books were too similar to book one. Ah, but the current book, RACHEL, is different. The last two of this series will also be different.


Here’s a problem—keeping the story fresh even though it’s in the same genre and possibly the same series. Now I’ve written twenty-eight books and am in several box sets and anthologies. I don’t want readers to say, “She always writes the same story with different character names.” I’ve heard this said of other writers.



Writing comes down to how many ways can people fall in love and what obstacles do they face? I have favorite books that made an impact on my reading and writing. I sometimes re-read them and always enjoy the journey.


Those books are PRINCE CHARMING by Julie Garwood, LORD PERFECT by Loretta Chase, FALLON (and many others) by Louis L’Amour, and THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES by Maggie Osbourne. I strive to learn from these books. What is it about these books that speaks to me each time I read them? How can I incorporate that quality into the stories I write?

Do you have favorite books you re-read?  If so, please share the titles with us.    



5 comments:

  1. I seldom reread books, but there are a few that I read many times because I wanted to understand why they were so wonderful. The first was The Most Unsuitable Wife by Caroline Clemmons. Then I studied the first two of Leigh Greenwoods The Cowboys series, and then of course I was starving for another Caroline Clemmons book, so I studied The Most Unsuitable Husband. I confess, I've only read The Most Unsuitable Courtship only once.

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  2. I don't think you have to worry about readers thinking your books are all the same. Your books are always fresh. Good luck with the new one.

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  3. I confess that it is easier for me to list the authors than the titles of books. The authors that I read and re-read are Caoline Clemmons, Jacquie Rogers, the Dixie Cash books, Anna Jeffrey and Cara Copelin to name a few. Some books I love to re-read when I am in a certain mood.

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  4. My go to books are Daniel's Desire and Emma's Journey by Callie Hutton, also the Terms Western series by Lorrie Farrelly especially the first one Terms of Surrender.
    Love these books and have read them many times.

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  5. I buy books so that I have them when I get time to finally read. I somehow can't make the time to read, let alone re-read, but years ago I'd reread some of LaVyrle Spencer and Elizabeth Lowell's books. And the famous Angelique series I've reread.

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