Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I love reading—and writing—books in series, but that can mean different things to different people. A continuing character series like the demon-hunting soccer mom series I write as Julie Kenner. Or a series that’s set in one world, but which focuses on different characters in each book, like the Shadow Keepers series I’m writing as J.K. Beck.
When Blood Calls

Someone asked me recently if I have a preference, and I realized that I really don’t. They both have pros and cons (pro to the first kind—you really get to know specific characters; con to the first kind—your view of the world becomes pretty myopic). And so much of it is integral to the story/world/characters. Do I want stories set in Eve & Roarke’s world to focus primarily on characters other than Eve & Roarke? No, I don’t, though I do love the tidbits I see of favorite secondary characters. But I really want them to be secondary.

But those books aren’t romances, and that’s the primary distinction. In a romance series, like the Shadow Keepers, the world is the setting upon which we see many different players. Almost like your kid’s Barbie Dream House, only we’re letting different dolls move in and play instead of watching Barbie’s soap opera play out.

When Pleasure Rules

In the Shadow Keepers, for example, the world centers around a paranormal judicial system, and with a world that ripe, the series practically screams for new characters each book—there’s just so many to choose from! In WHEN PLEASURE RULES, the book that’s out now, the story touches on the investigative part of the system. A new werewolf has come to town, and the powers that be think that he may have inside information about a recent spate of murders. In order to get the investigation rolling, the agent in charge suggests an unusual plan—the use of a confidential informant with a particular skill set: Lissa, a succubus who, when she takes a bit of soul, can also take thoughts. Of course, since it’s a romance, the attraction between Lissa and Rand sparks, and all sorts of delicious complications ensue. And the story rides out the course of their relationship—but it also lets us see snippets into the other characters living in the world, both as they interact around Lissa and Rand, and as they move through related storylines. So in that way the series lets me have a bit of my cake and eat it, too. An overarching character in the form of the world, and individual focus in individual books.

When Wicked Craves
Either way, I’m having a great time writing the Shadow Keepers books. I hope you check them out. The first two, WHEN BLOOD CALLS and WHEN PLEASURE RULES are on shelves now! Learn more at or visit my blog at And, of course, you can follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook ( &


So fess up: Do you like series books? And if so, what kind? One lucky commenter will win a $15 Amazon gift card and an advance copy of WHEN WICKED CRAVES (Book 3).

~JK Beck

Contest will end Sunday evening and a winner will be picked randomly Monday. I'll list the winner on here later that day and then one of us will contact you from there!

Thank you so much for stopping in JK-- and I'm sure the readers want to thank you especially for the contest! 

And if you have any questions, feel free to ask them and I'm sure JK will be popping in and out for the next day or two to answer as many as she can!

Until Next Time,



donnas said...

Series books are my favorites. Both kinds. I always want to know what happens next. But I also like to find out about the supporting characters or others set in the same world. So really either way I am happy.

Thanks for sharing! I loved When Blood Calls and just got a copy of When Pleasure Rules, cant wait to dig in.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

mslizalou said...

I love books in a series. Love getting to see favorite characters reappear in future books.

Nicole said...

I LOVE series. As for type, it depends on the author. Obviously, if you're going to stick with a main protag for several books, then the plot must follow. I do love learning more about "minor" characters, however. So, sometimes a "main" series with some spin-off books in same world (a la Jeaniene Frost) work, or how Julie, Kelley Armstrong, Alyssa Day, Kerrelyn Sparks (to name a few) write each book from different character POV is just as fun. I guess long story really short is I like either types ;). Getting ready to start "When Pleasure Rules" :D

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more frustrating than to read about fascinating characters, heart-thumping romances, or lost loves when you know that after the last page, you'll never hear about them again.
Give me a series anyday! If I'm going to allow myself to care about these characters, I want to know that I can check in on them from time to time :P

Melissa Ecker said...

I like series books. When I'm in love with the characters, it makes me sad when a story ends. But when I know there is more or will be more...I'm a happy reader!

jackiesln said...

I LOVE series books. One off the top of my head that I love is the Duchess series by Eloisa James. I also LOVE the McKettrick series by Linda Lael Miller. :)

Dea Lea said...

I like series. If you get into a character or a set of characters, you want to stick with them and see what happens to them

Kelly said...

I am SO glad that I dound this series... Julie is the BOOM!!!!!
I am so in love with the charaters in her stories... But I do have to say that I ma really looking forward to Nicholas's story (When Wicked Craves)....I am SO in love with Nicholas.... I do believe he is my favorite of all the charaters... I want to see him happy and loved....

Kelly said...

and I can't spell... BOMB not BOOM!!!!


Syar said...

My favorite books are stand alones. Although I'm sad to see the characters go and close the book, I get great satisfaction out of a good story. The series books of brothers, sisters, team mates, friends...all end up kind of tiresome. Sometimes when characters appear in more then one book they lose the impetus that pulled me into the story and I don't finish the second or third book.

Unknown said...

I love series books. Each book adds another layer. I like how the story continues and you learn more about the characters. I also like if each story portrays a different viewpoint. Each book contains a piece of the puzzle to view the whole picture.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Yes! I love series books. I especially like when old and beloved characters from previous books make appearances in the new! It's like a continuation of their book and we learn what they are doing and so forth. I love a variety from romance to fantasy..

Raonaid (at) gmail (dot) com

Victoria said...

I love series books. In fact that's mostly all I read. Paranormal and UF are my favorites. I have everything Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter and Larissa Ione have written.

Emily said...

I prefer a series with continuing characters, mostly because I enjoy watching character development over a period of time/books. However I also enjoy a series with varying characters -- if it's well-written, fun, compelling, count me in. Snappy dialogue and action are big draws for me as well. As long as writers keep writing, I'll keep reading! :)

Barbara E. said...

I love series of both kinds, same characters throughout the series, or new characters (with some recurring characters) with each book. I've just been reading more of Lara Adrian's Breed series, and I love that each book is a different character, but all of the characters from previous books are still around.

JennJ said...

I love series books! I have so many that I have and that are on my keeper shelves I think when you have a series you get to learn so much more about the characters and it just makes you so much more involved in the depths of the story. And if we get to see the same characters a little in each book or even better a lot then it's an extra plus it's like getting to visit a friend! :)

DrkCherry said...

I definitely like a series, more than a one-off. I want to read about the next big adventure/mystery/murder. I always feel like there is more for the augthor to say, and I hate for it to end.

Marie said...

I actually prefer a series. Love to keep track of past events with new tied in. More of a paranormal reader.
Just bought When Pleasure Rules. Be reading it real soon.

Liz said...

I'm not that fond of series books for several reasons. They work fairly well for genres where character development isn't of ultimate importance, like old-school mysteries. A few authors take a minor character from the first book and make him or her the central character of the next, which seems to work better than the series with all the same main characters.

However, no matter how good the first book was, the series normally degenerates over time. I also dislike how series authors, in order to make sure readers can start in the middle, devote so much space to bringing new readers up to speed with information that's redundant if you've read previous books. Some series are exceptional, of course, and don't fall into these traps.