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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anatomy of a Madman and his series

My name is J. Morgan and I write series.

Did that sound like the start of a self intervention to you? Yeah, it did to me too. Sorry, but writing series is as much an addiction as well, reading them. Since that seems to be the case with just about everyone, I thought why not give my views on why readers seem to go gaga over books that seem to go on and on forever. My brain does not assume any responsibility for any of the things my fingers might say. It more or less gave up trying to reel them in a long time ago and disavows any claim to being in control. That said, let's get this thing rolling.

What is a series? I'm sure there's a technical definition for it, but this is the one I like to use. A series is a book that refuses to end and when it does, everyone gets upset over it. I use the book Blackwood Farms as a prime example of that last bit. If you don't recognize the title, think Anne Rice and the Vampire Lestate. The second question most commonly asked about series, is a trilogy a series? Nope. Three books does not a series make. I don't care how many lost books the Tolkien estate throws at us, all you got is three books and a big maybe on The Hobbit. It's a prequel, so fits in there somewhere, but you've still only got three books in the Lord of The Rings. Pet peeve, sorry for the rant. Let's move on before somebody tries to fight me on that. Another thing about what makes a series, then I'll move on to something else equally mindlessly drivelly. A certain theme has to run through each book of the series, or an underlying subplot that ties all the books together. If you have all that, then you've got yourself a series.

Please save all questions until the end of the lecture. That means you can put your hand down in back. Tami, don't make me call you out by name. There, I did it anyway.

Why do authors write series? I don't know, but I do know why I write series. So I guess, I'll just be answering for me and the voices in my head. I write them because the characters in my books just refuse to leave me alone. Another reason, people keep buying them, but I'd write them, even if they never left my computer. I love my characters and want to know what happens to them. Why else would I waste valuable TV viewing time writing about them? I wouldn't, but that's a whole different addiction in need of treatment. I think every writer would say the same thing. Maybe not about the TV stuff, but definitely about loving our characters. It's hard to turn loose of something that has dominated a goodly portion of time. These books don't write themselves despite what Stephen King thought up in Tommyknockers. By the time, I get to the last page of a book, I've already thought up a hundred more things I could do with the characters and do to them. Insert evil maniacal laugh here. As of now, I have two bordering on three series in the works. True, two of them are trilogies but I seriously doubt I'll be able to stop at three books. Like I said, writing series is addictive.

Why are series so popular? Same reason as why we write them. If characters can capture an author's imagination for more than one book, it stands to reason readers will pick up on that vibe and want more too. I know it seems like series are something new, but they've been around forever. Alexander Dumas had the Three Musketeers way back when. Pulp writers starting tossing them out in the first half of the 20th Century. Most of the great ones are still around. Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, the Shadow, Conan, just to name a few of the greats from the pulp era. My first series was The Hardy Boys. When I read all those, I started on my cousin's Nancy Drews. Yeah, I had a big crush on Nancy. I blame Pamela Sue Martin for that. Even TV and Movies picked up on our love to read endless books about our favorite characters. Between Star Wars and Star Trek, I have one wall covered in books. Again, reading series is an addiction.

Can you see the repetition going on here? No, Tami that was a rhetorical question and put your hand down. I'm not through yet.

To sum up this blog, people love series! As someone with one major series going, I can honestly say, I don't see that changing any time soon. Once a writer creates a world so rich in detail and imagination, it's hard to let go. That goes both for the author and the reader. How long do I see myself writing them? Well, that's the thing. I have a ton of series in my head, but I don't see myself writing any one of them forever. If it's one thing I've learned from reading series it's this. You get bored with them. You run out of ideas. They get repetitive. Before I go down that road, I plan to nip it in the bud. I don't want to disappoint anyone but my Love Bites series has a set number of books in it -- fifteen. After that, it's over. Sorry, but that's all the story the series has in it. The Southern Werewolf Chronicles only has three, but that could change. The Immortally series is another three off. But, I have a least two more series rolling around in my head. What are they? Well, that's for me to know, and for you to read about.

Thanks for letting me rot your brain. It's been fun and hopefully informative. Okay, Tami, now you can raise your hand.

A short Jmo Bio

J. Morgan -- that's me -- is an accomplished TV viewer with hours of drivel baked into his brain as a result. When not glued to the tube, he -- that's me again -- finds the time to write books about things some people find funny. When not doing those two things, he -- yep you guessed it, me -- pretends to write and watches DVDs. If you're interested in reading any of these series… Well, one series and a couple trilogies. Please check out the link below, which should take you to his -- yes, me again,, last time I promise -- author page on the Desert Breeze Publishing website. If for some reason it doesn't, then he -- oh, I give up -- was probably watching TV and put the link in wrong.

J. Morgan at Desert Breeze


  1. Very cute, JMo. We all know why you write them... Because you have an excess of voices. Give me mine back damn it! LOL I need those. :)

  2. I would, but she says my retirement plan and health benefits are better.

  3. I think you just bribed her with better chocolate. Or those chicken and dumplings LOL!

  4. Um, Jmo? My arm is starting to get tired... Did you say I could put it down yet???
    After reading, then re reading your post, it looks like one of us is going to have to creat a blog for trilogies....

  5. By the way (yes, my arm is STILL up) is there a reason you have not joined the 13 others who are now following this blog? I'm-just-asken'

  6. Because my wife hadn't shown me how yet. Does that answer your question?