It’s Friday, so we must have a guest post! Today’s contributor is Terri Austin, author of the Rose Strickland mystery series. Her latest effort is Last Diner Standing, where poor Rose is having a blue Christmas. I asked Terri about the special difficulties in writing a series: how do serve both new readers and the folks who have read all the previous books, how do you keep things consistent from story to story? I’ve got her answers below, as well as some links to find more info on Terri and her work.
Terri L. Austin on Writing a Series
Writing a series is a challenge, but a fun one. Of course I don’t want to bore established readers with long explanations of what already happened or give drawn out intros to main characters. So it’s a delicate balance—filling in new readers and reminding previous ones of what happened in the last book. But since I tend to be a sparse writer, I keep the descriptions short and snappy. I make reference to the previous book without going into great detail. And I try to find a new way to say the same thing. For instance, my main character, Rose Strickland, is a former rich girl turned waitress and part-time student. I don’t want to keep using this same phrase, so in the next book, I might say ‘In her previous life, Rose Strickland drove cars designed by precise German engineering. Now the only thing German about her car was a wadded up bratwurst wrapper on the floor and a used biography of Nietzsche in the passenger seat.’
Rose has a lot of growing to do and some serious decisions to make. And of course she’ll have to solve mysteries along the way. Fortunately, the town of Huntingford is full of quirky characters and many shenanigans. I enjoy revisiting Rose and her gang. I hope readers enjoy it as well.
In Last Diner Standing, Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year’s tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers as she searches for the truth. What she finds will leave her entrenched in a battle for freedom she might not survive.
Terri L. Austin lives in Missouri with her funny, handsome husband and a high maintenance peekapoo. She’s the author of Diners, Dives and Dead Ends—a Rose Strickland Mystery. “Austin’s debut kicks off her planned series by introducing a quirky, feisty heroine and a great supporting cast of characters and putting them through quite a number of interesting twists.” Kirkus Reviews
She loves to hear from readers and you can finder her on Twitter, FB, Goodreads, TerriLAustin.com, and Henery Press. Terri and some of her writer friends have a Wednesday book chat on Little Read Hens. Stop by and join the conversation.