These days, in the age of technology, a question like "How do you like to read?" probably raises the expectation of the familiar question about paperback-or-eBook. But that's not what I'm curious about today.
Instead, I'm wondering if you're the kind of reader who prefers stand-alone stories, or digging into a series? Going even deeper, the kind of reader who likes a series for it's main setting (a trilogy set in Saint Charles or the Grand Canyon), or for it's community feel--the ensemble cast.
I credit the Seasons Under Heaven Series by Terri Blackstock and Gloria Gaither and The Mitford Series by Jan Karon with opening my heart to community-driven stories. It's no wonder that those are the general style of books I'm writing. Set in a historical place and time.
In The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, the four Sinclair Sisters all end up in Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the late 1890's. A gold mining camp replete with a boardinghouse proprietor, a mysterious miner, and other folks in an eclectic cast of characters.
The Quilted Heart novellas feature three women from the Saint Charles Quilting Circle, a cast of characters who are dividing their post-Civil War sorrows and bolstering one another's faith as they each seek to rebuild their war-torn lives.
Prairie Song is a sequel to The Quilted Heart, taking some of those quilting circle and St. Charles community characters and folding them into a new community--The Boone's Lick Wagon Train Company.
Each of those two series (including Prairie Song) offer an ensemble cast, but that's not all. The boardinghouse proprietor and the mysterious miner were too hard to say goodbye to after Twice a Bride, the final novel in The Sinclair Sisters stories. They both serve as a bridge. In Cripple Creek in the late 1890's, they are older adults. Going backwards in time to the mid-860's in Saint Charles allowed me to feature those two characters in their youth.
Will I bridge all of my novels? It's doubtful. But one new series I'm working on as we chat, follows a similar pattern to The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek books--family members transplanted into an established community.
Will I always write ensemble casts that span a series of three or four stories? I think not. I'm entertaining a series idea that focuses on a setting rather than a consistent cast.
But for now, I'm enjoying the fact that I can visit Miss Hattie and Boney Hughes in any and all of my published Historical Fiction. :)
So, how do you like to read?
Series or Stand Alone books? If a series, is it for a compelling setting, or with a focus on a community cast of characters?
If you haven't yet, I hope you'll connect with me at www.monahodgson.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.