Series Fiction, Yes or No

Well, I Have Two Minds About It

By Jeff Salter

Topic: “Do you enjoy reading SERIES fiction? Is there a “magic” number of titles in that series that you find most agreeable? Moreover, do you WRITE series fiction? How many titles do YOU plan in your series?”

Do you enjoy reading SERIES fiction?

My answer is a qualified “yes”. That said, I’ve not read all that many adult fiction series. Most of the series titles I’ve read extensively have been juvenile books – yes, I’ve read or re-read them as an adult – including Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Penny Parker, Three Investigators, Miss Minerva, Dana Girls, etc.

In adult books, I’ve read several of Jana DeLeon’s stories… though I can’t remember the titles and can’t swear they were all in the same series. I’ve read (and enjoyed) two or three titles in Duffy Brown’s series set in Savannah, and at least two in her series set on Mackinac Island. There are probably others which I simply can’t remember at the moment.

One of my “issues” with fiction series, particularly LONG series, is the matter of timeline. In those juvenile series I mentioned, for example, the Hardy Boys remain in high school for what must involve several DECADES of cases and other activity. Similarly, Nancy Drew never seems to graduate (or grow older). Nor do the Dana Girls. Penny Parker is an exception, as some of her series titles actually show the start of WW2 and, later, a character returning from Army service. [However, Penny herself does not seem to age.]

Though it wasn’t part of this original question, I’ve also read a few NON-Fiction series, including Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy (about WW2). I remember reading (and enjoying) the James Herriot books about his time as a veterinarian in Wales.

Is there a “magic” number of titles in that series that you find most agreeable?

No. In those juvenile series I mentioned above, there are several dozen titles in the most popular ones. Others, like Penny Parker, stopped at 19. I’m now reading a new (modern day) juvenile series called Mystery Searchers (by Barry Forbes) — just finishing Book Seven and hoping they’ll release volumes 11-15 before I get to the end of Book Ten.

Generally speaking, however (about ADULT fiction) — I’m more drawn to fiction series that number between 4-8 titles. [To me, it’s quite an investment (on my reading time and my wallet) to commit to something like the 20+ titles of Janet Evanovich’s bounty hunter.]

Do you WRITE series fiction?

Yes, I’ve actually written several short series:

Somerset Series [Hid Wounded Reb & Called to Arms Again]. I actually wrote (and re-wrote) a prequel to these two titles, but it’s never been published. I had also envisioned a fourth title, but it has not yet materialized.

Amanda Moore or Less [Scratching the Seven-Month Itch & Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold]. I’ve got some notes and a partial outline for a third installment, but have not had the time (or drive) yet to work with it.

Rose Roamer: Time Traveler [Cowboy Out of Time & Cowboy Joins the Fight]. I have notes and partial outline for a third and fourth installment, but have not had the time yet to work with either of them.

Ghost Battalion [Operation Snakebite]. As yet unpublished, this proposed series of four titles – set in the mid 1980s – links to Bill Webb’s Last Brigade Universe.


Do YOU enjoy reading fiction series? Long series (with MANY titles)… or short series?

[JLS # 616]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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6 Responses to Series Fiction, Yes or No

  1. Yes, I do enjoy series and if I can get my thoughts together now that the NV corner of the family has left,I may have enough of a mind left to talk about them tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie Zack says:

    I enjoy series. I’m not sure about a magic number. haha! The more, the merrier? Martha Grimes has a Richard Jury detective series that I enjoyed over the years. They are best read in order. Also, Diane Mott Davidson has a cozy mystery series involving a caterer Goldy and her sheriff husband. (Also best to read in order.) I think that once you love the characters, it’s absolutely wonderful to “see” them again! 🙂 A fun, Christian series for kids is the Cooper Kids series by Frank Peretti. My children really enjoyed them, and I did too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’ve read and laughed with your Amanda More or Less books. I haven’t yet dug into your other series. I totally agree that characters need to grow and change through the books in a series. The Miss Fortune series by Jana DeLeon and the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews have characters who do that, so I keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Thanks for the compliment about my Amanda Moore series.
      Yeah, I’ve enjoyed the several DeLeon novels I’ve read… though I’ve not paid that much attention to which series they were in.


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