THE MAKING OF A WESTERN SERIES and a giveaway by Charlene Sands

Most of the romantic series I’ve written are family sagas, with the stories centering around one set of family members or friends and usually, (but not always) the stories are set in the same town, territory, or city.  But the key factor is how to tie in the stories, while still making the plot easy to follow for readers who have not read the other books.  Authors often say the books are part of a series, but they can also be read as a STAND ALONE, meaning they have all the elements in the story to make for a satisfying read even if you haven’t read the other books.   It’s the task and joy for the writer to make sure the story holds up and is a cohesive enough to stand alone.

My series are usually a set of three stories, but sometimes as I’m writing, another character pops up that needs his or her to be told.  So there’s no hard and fast rule about how many books can be in a series.  If an author has a vision for six or ten or fifteen stories and the readers are invested enough and love the stories, the writing, and the setting, more the better.

 

 

What’s Fun About Writing a Series:

The Setting—once the town or ranch or territory is established, readers (and the authors) love to revisit familiar places from the earlier books.  In my Forever Texan series we often see the Bluebonnet Bakery and Wishing Wells and 2 Hope Ranch.

Taming the Texas Cowboy

The Characters—it’s fun to see the characters interact together from one story to another. Brothers, sisters, cousins, moms and dads and best friends all play a role, but the writers strive to make sure the romance between the hero and heroine is the main event in every story. The secondary characters often get their own stories later down the road.

The Theme – Often there’s an underlying theme that connects the stories.  It can something as simple as a holiday, Thanksgiving or Christmas maybe, or a special event such as a rodeo coming to town.  It can also be a wedding or a pregnancy that connects the stories.  The themes know no bounds.  I was once  part of a multi-author series about a Bachelor Auction.  I’ve also written a series centered around a winery called Napa Valley Vows, a series centered around a hotel called Suite Secrets and around a ranching family called The Slades of Sunset Ranch.

The Love–  Not between hero and heroine, because that’s a given,  but for the author.  Once I’ve established my town and the people in it and yes, even the stories I plot and plan out, I sorta fall in love with the whole idea.  These people are my friends, this town is somewhere I’d love to live and it’s the journey and the challenge to make the series click and stick, as I say.   One thing I know for certain, once the love is gone, once the writer tires of the setting or runs out of story, it’s time to move on, to be inspired once again.

I’m really proud of my new Forever Texan story set in Hope Wells, Texas.  The stories center around two cousins and their best friend.  It’s been a labor of love for me, as I started this series long ago and have finally found the right time and place to publish this trio of amazing Texans.   I’ve been lucky enough to have input in the covers, the titles and series name.  It makes this all the more special for me.

You may already know the first book in the series Taming the Texas Cowboy starring Trey and Maddie Walker, but I’m happy to say the second book in the series (Jack and Jillian’s story) is available for pre-order.  And this is the OFFICIAL COVER REVEAL for Loving the Texas Lawman.   I know, it’s a hardship looking at this guy, isn’t it?

 

 

The last thing honorable Sheriff Jack Walker needs is a blast from the past, but that’s exactly what he gets when his high school love, now sexy lingerie designer, Jillian Lane arrives on his doorstep needing his help and protection. 

Jillian is desperate to save her company, Barely There and turning to Jack Walker, the town hero, is her only option. The trouble she left behind in California has followed her home, leaving Jack no choice but to protect her. Unwittingly, Jillian’s put everything Jack has ever wanted in life at risk. 

The years have not made it easier for Jack to say no to his first love, but saying yes may threaten all he holds dear. Jack may have a solution: marriage–the temporary kind. And how can a girl from the wrong side of the tracks refuse a marriage proposal from her one-time love? 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y3MW7HJ/?tag-tulepubli-20&tag=pettpist-20

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1126172852?ean=2940157567781

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/loving-the-texas-lawman/id1224208557?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/loving-the-texas-lawman

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y3MW7HJ/?tag-tulepubli-21&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

For Fun:  Take a guess at the names of my hero and heroine from FOREVER TEXAN Book 3 titled, Redeeming the Texas Rancher coming this August.  Post either number ONE, TWO OR THREE and be entered into a random drawing to win a backlist book of your choice, either print or digital from my available titles.   Random drawing winner will be posted later tonight.  Be sure to stop by again!

 

  1. Conner and Willow
  2. Tristan and Susanna
  3. Colby and Dakota

 

 

Charlene Sands
Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She's a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heartstopping "real good men" heroes! She's the recepient of the National Readers' Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award and the Cataromance Reviwer's Choice Award. When not writing, she spends time with her "hero" husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappucinos!

Charlene loves to hear from her readers.
Drop her a line at www.charlenesands.com or write her at PO. Box 4883, West Hills, CA 91308
"LIKE" her at www.Facebook.com/CharleneSandsbooks
Updated: April 11, 2017 — 12:08 pm

27 Comments

  1. I will guess 1. Love your series, looking forward to this series as well.

  2. Charlene- good morning, these sound like great books, I’ve never read your books before but always love finding new authors. So I’m going to guess, since I have the faintest idea, the names that grabbed me 1st. So that would be: # 3.
    Happy Early Easter to you.

    1. Hi Tonya,

      Thanks for the early Easter wishes.. Same to you!!

  3. Ooh, this series has caught my attention! I do like series because you get to come back a time or two to characters you fell in love with in the first book. As for names, I have to pick #2 because those are the two names I always loved together! I laughed when I read that selection, were you reading my mind!?! 🙂

    1. Hi Susan P!

      Ha! Maybe I was reading your mind! But actually, I would use either of those 3 combos in a story. Those are some of my favorite names!

  4. I will pick #3.

  5. I am going with #2. Happy Easter!

    1. Happy Easter to you too, Melanie!

  6. At first I number 3 caught my eye but after giving it some more thought I’m going with:
    #1 Conner and Willow.

    In mentioning some of the things you enjoy about writing a series, do you happen to find that you include smaller life lessons or “truths” in your stories, maybe something that you yourself experienced? By the way, I really love series. too.

    1. Hi Eliza!

      Yes, I think in all my writing I do try to add in some life lessons. Many romances revolve around trust, and faith and second chances, which are big things, but it’s the smaller things in life that matter almost as much. And I am always listening, and always delving into my life experiences, which help layer the stories.

  7. I am going to guess Colby and Dakota

  8. Oh, this is hard – I truly love them all. I am going with #1 because Willow really caught my attention.

  9. It’s always fun reading a series.

  10. My guess is 2.Tristan and Susanna

  11. Oh my, Charlene!! Loving a Texas Lawman is simply gorgeous! I love that hunky guy. That alone is a reason to get this preordered and pronto! Your series books have always brought me so much joy. I love seeing how families and relationships weave together in a story.

    Wishing you tons of success, Filly sister!

    1. Hi Linda!! Such nice words and lovely thoughts from you. Thank you so much and Happy Easter!

  12. Hey Charlene, Happy Easter, and I loved the blog, I am a big fan of series books, love to read how you write them. I would choose #3. Love those names. But I think you could write a book with all three couples!

    1. Hi Pam,

      So glad you enjoyed the blog! I think I might just write books with all three sets of names! One day… Ha!

  13. #3, this is the couple, they both love homemade tamales.

  14. Ha! Bonnie you are so right!!

  15. I need to get here earlier. I enjoy your books, both contemporary and historical and am certain that this will be another enjoyable series. I think #1, Conner and Willow are the names.
    I hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter.

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