As I write this blog, I'm putting the finishing touches to my latest M/M erotic mystery novel, “Mated” (book 4 in the Mingo McCloud series) coming to www.eXtasybooks.com September 15. Mingo and his lover Francois have become two of my favorite characters to write and I've loved creating this series in which Mingo is involved in criminal cases but not as a cop, private eye or attorney. He's a mild-mannered forensic accountant.
His occupation is one that came to me after watching an episode of “Forensic Files.” A forensic accountant was interviewed regarding a woman's homicide. I'd never heard of this occupation and tracked down the man in question. I've been bugging him ever since, especially since the Mingo and Francois books have been selling so well.
Since the first book, “Wanted“ came out in January, I've been blessed with great reviews and wonderful emails from readers. Its success spurred book 2. I asked some of my readers for book title suggestions, and Silver Pixies, herself working on a werewolf novel, suggested “Needed”.
It struck me that in writing a series where readers are attached to characters that authors can go one of two ways. In her long running “Stephanie Plum” series, author Janet Evanovich made a decision at the start to never let certain elements in her books change. She has said many times that the character of Grandma would never die. Neither would Stephanie's hamster, Rex. Her torn feelings for good cop Morelli and bad boy Ranger will never be resolved, and so on…
Though there is a comfort in that knowledge when you crack open a Stephanie Plum book, the formula for me, has started to wear thin. I mean I sure don't wanna see Rex snuff it, but frankly, after sixteen books her series is getting well, stale. Janet must have been listening to some of the criticisms though because in her latest installment, the bail bonds company where Stephanie works, closes down. This opens the way to interesting new employment in book 17.
This got me thinking.
How far does one go in a series? For me, the stories must evolve. In my M/M paranormal “Phantom Lover” series for example, the characters of Kimo and Lopaka are now married with three children. There is now also a spin-off series featuring the children, “Children of the Rainbow”.
With the Mingo series, I felt that Mingo and Francois shouldn't rush to the altar and they won't, but I do chuck them into one scary situation after another…and the two men into each other's arms, often. Though I base my fictional crimes on real events, I give my own take on it and bustle the guys off onto the next wild ride.
In the last book, “Bonded”, Francois revealed he had a son, a 13 year old firecracker named Ferric who now lives with them in Maui. This is the plotline of Mated:
Mingo and Francois thought they'd be safe from catastrophe in beautiful Connecticut but even on the mainland, Hawaii's hottest crime-fighting couple can't stay out of trouble…
Mingo McCloud, his lover Francois and Francois' son Ferric are in Hartford, Connecticut for their best friends' wedding. Mingo and Ferric are carjacked on the way to picking up the brides' wedding cake. Francois, furious that he wasn't there to protect his family, drops the super-secret case he's been working on to take Mingo and Ferric for a quick, sun-drenched trip to his birthplace of St. Martins in the Caribbean.
Unbelievably, Mingo and Ferric encounter the same two men who carjacked them in Hartford…and it soon emerges that they are connected to Francois's latest security case. Francois is now hell-bent on revenge, whilst Mingo must deal with long-dormant feelings for his ex-lover Kaolin who is on vacation in St. Martin. He wants Mingo back and will do anything to win his heart…even to marry him. But there's another guy hovering too, hunky FBI agent Sage Brantley, who wants another hot threesome with Mingo and Francois. Who will die? Who will get bedded? Are Mingo and Francois fated to be mated…and, were the carjackers' guns made in Taiwan?
How about other authors and also, more importantly, readers? Do you ever feel a series jumps the shark with outlandish new developments or do they not even attempt to skirt the shark's razor sharp teeth?
Which do you prefer? The knowledge that nothing changes when you visit your favorite characters or do you prefer the chance that maybe something drastic will bite them in the butt?
I really want to know. I'm inclined to enjoy both but as an author, I adore sharks and I guess I like to flirt with danger. On the page at least, it keeps me out of trouble.
So please give me your opinion. I really want to know. Leave a comment. Best response wins a free ebook from me!
Mated: Coming September 15 to www.eXtasybooks.com
Page link: http://tinyurl.com/2ay9ctf