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I need your help!
I’ve got three printed copies of my novel, 18 Acres of England, just itching to find a new home. They will go to the most helpful comments on the subject I am asking about in this post, so please give me your two-pennies worth!
Lots of people I’ve spoken to about self-publishing tell me to write a series of books to capture people’s interest and keep it sustained. They tell me people like returning to the same central characters, the variation coming with different ‘baddies’ I suppose.
What do you think?
A lot of (but not all) series are detective novels. I’ve never written a detective novel, but no reason to think I could not do one. It is just that there are so many and very good ones too. I’ve got a couple of ideas for a series of detective/ adventure books set in historical times. Again, a number of periods of history have been done to death, so I’ve looked for times that are stirring with great change but somewhat ignored by other authors. I think I’ve found the ideal period, spanning a generation across the turn of a century. It contains many ingredients of adventure – war, change, unrest, religious discord and evolving technology. I am keen also to set these stories in Dorset where we live now after a huge amount of change and travel within our own family life!
But I have two dilemmas I wanted to seek opinion on. The first is I want my main character to be involved in more than just solving murders. I’ve nothing against murder-mystery and read a lot myself, but I wonder if it is too crowded with too many very good writers? Can you imagine a main character somehow sitting outside the establishment and ranging across a wide variety of activities, yet anchored in Dorset? I suppose more of a Dorset Poldark than a Miss Marple.
Secondly, a lot of my books contain baddies who redeem themselves. Sometimes others take the law into their own hands and force change on the villain, thus acting independently to make the baddie a better person, or at least allowing it to happen; turning a blind eye. How does this fit with murder mysteries where taking the law into one’s own hands is actually a crime in itself, making the detective no better than the criminal? And how can one square away the solution of a crime solved (leading to the judicial system deciding what punishment to impose) with the idea of redemption?
I am fond of self-redemption because I believe everyone has good in them. It just does not always come out without some assistance! I don’t recognise a world in which everyone is divided into good and evil, almost like mass scale pre-destination controlling our universe.
Besides, when a baddie turns good, it creates an unexpected twist to the story!
So, please let me know what you think of series of books, general adventure, historical and based in Dorset but perhaps adventuring worldwide!