Do you enjoy reading a series? I do. I prefer it to a stand-alone novel. It's what I write, and so that's what I enjoy reading. I want to get to know the main character/protagonist during the course of time. I enjoy the secondary characters, especially if they're quirky, or odd, or sexy. I hope that she/he doesn't become boring. I hate boring. I need him/her to find him/herself in some sticky fixes, and manages to get themselves out—maybe broken, hurt, in a hospital, narrowly escaping death.
I believe it was the Harry Potter series that got me hooked. Well, who can blame me? I remember reading the first one—you know, curious as to what everyone saw in this author's work. I had to see. I got done with that first one and had to get the second, the third and... well, I was hooked. I waited and waited for the next ones to come out—mind you, I bought the hard covers the day they released them (yes, I went to Wal Mart, and grabbed one of hundreds off the palate!)
I went on to read authors like Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, and Kim Harrison—all of them have a series with the same main character, and the supporting cast, and whatever the author can come up with to keep you hooked and reading, waiting for the next one.
But, why do we get hooked on a series? I asked myself that and want to answer it in my own way. I think when you get into a series you've come to like the main character/protag. You know their personality, have some idea of what she's like, her views and temperament, and either you like those things in these MC's or at least you accept these things. She's become a sort of comfort to you, like a friend. You need her to tell you what's going on in her world—meanwhile escaping your own. That's how it works. Sometimes it's the place that is interesting, too. Well, no one will be able to hold a candle to Hogwarts Castle, but there are a few places I enjoy reading about.
Yeah, I think this is what it is. Like an old friend, you need to sit down and have a chat—well, she does all the talking, really. And you get to know all her quirky friends, some you like some you think are nuts, and others, well...
I've lately been reading Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries. I bought several of her titles from a vendor at a local event (resale), and wanted to see if I really liked her writing, and the character. Well, I do. Now I find I've got to follow this author, and since there's a whole alphabet out there, I might be able to gobble these down quickly. Thing is, I've just about read through the G and so now need the next one, but I'm missing D. Damn!
When I created my series (I've got two, but as of now only one series has more than one title out there), I knew I needed a heroine who would resonate with the audience I was aiming for. She had to have some tough moments which had already happened to her, and many more to come. There is always at least one main mystery to solve, and one lesser one to resolve too, and a few other things... like men and romance. I'm always adding a new character. Sometimes they start out as being outrageous, and Sabrina isn't sure about them. But eventually they sort of wear on her. And really, the become her very best, most devoted friends, willing to back her up, do whatever they can to help her out.
Since I write fantasy, no reason I have to stay on the planet Earth. I've taken Sabrina to Dark World—where demons and vampires live, and lord over—and to another called Black Veil, where vampires rule (so really, do we want to go to other planets? Humm?)
Back to why I love the series. I remember closing a Harry Potter book at the end of the story and wishing it hadn't ended. I needed to see what happened after that. I wanted to be there with Harry, and his friends—such a wonderful world Rowling had created and it all seemed so real! I wanted to simply crawl inside the book, and somehow be there with them. That's what a series (or any well-written books) should have you feeling—somewhat. You've suspended your belief systems, have shared the joys, terrors, heartaches and triumphs of the main character and his/her friends. When this happens, then there's no question, you've made a fan for life.
So, do you enjoy a series? I'd love to hear about it.
Meanwhile, here's a couple links to my series. (Hah! You knew I would somehow use this to suck you into an ad for my own books, didn't you? You're so clever!)