What do you do to keep a series fresh? I ask that as I'm plunging into the fourth book, realizing too that summer is almost over and I haven't done most of the things I'd planned to do.
On that list was firstly, to write a short story. I don't have a market in mind nor a deadline but I thought it would be a good way to stir up the creative juices. I'd also wanted to tackle the first manuscript in an earlier series that never went past three rejection letters. I still like the concept, even after putting it aside for several years but know it really needs a another attack. Maybe I'll change it from first to third person. Maybe it won't get done this summer after all.
An aside about that book -- since I've written it, some of the details have changed such as a location and therefore, the description of that place. So, the question is, to leave it as a book set in the late nineties or update it? Of course, electronics are greatly changed, too which could impact some parts of the story. More to consider. Will I ever get back to it?
I've also toyed with the idea of writing a Rapid Read. I'm impressed with the ease my colleagues seem to be turning out these gems. I notice however, that's still on the list. Not much has been crossed off, come to think of it.
I've always looked forward to the fall. Maybe it came from working for the school board once upon a time as a community worker. All things were possible as new programs were starting and eagerness abounded. So, maybe just maybe, I can multi-track and check something off my list, along with writing #4.
But will it give me that extra benefit of writing an Ashton Corners Book Club mystery from a place of freshness? Time will tell.
So, back to my original question...how do you keep a series fresh? Start another one, perhaps?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A KILLER READ
Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012