Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Tuesday At The Tiki Hut - Nina Pierce

Today's special guest at the Tiki Hut is author Nina Pierce. Nina grew up in a house of readers. So falling in love with books was only natural. In her teen years she found her mother's romance books and became forever hooked on the journey of finding one's true love. Now, if you throw in a dead body and some mayhem, Nina is in reader nirvana.

A few years ago, reading about love wasn't enough. She is now driven to write stories of alpha-males with a chink in their armor and the kick-ass women who fall in love with them. And true to what she loves, more often than not, you'll find some suspense thread running through her plots, hopefully with enough twists to keep her readers turning the pages, staying up late, and burning dinner.

A native of Maine, Nina lives in what she affectionately calls "the great white North". She is fortunate to have married her high school sweetheart and true love twenty-five years ago. They share their lives with three grown children and a menagerie of pets.
To learn how you can win a free download of Nina's BLIND LOVE, head to AuthorIsland.com today and check out today's Book of the Day!


Say That Again
by Nina Pierce

Like most authors, I was a voracious reader long before I decided to write my first novel. There is nothing I enjoy more than losing myself in a great story. Sometimes the writing is so vivid and the journey of the characters so compelling that I hate to get to the last page. I don’t want to read those two little words “The End”. NOOO! Tell me more! I want to find out what happens to the hero’s brother and the pregnant wife who left him for all the wrong reasons.

Enter series writing.

The first series I remember losing myself in was the science fiction Freedom series by Anne McCaffrey. I love those books. I picked up the first one at the local library, not knowing it was a series until I was half way through. I immediately went to the library and signed out the second, only to discover (argh!) the library didn’t have the third. I drove to the local bookstore and picked up the third book in the series that day! Anne McCaffrey had pulled me into her world and I had no desire to leave until everyone got their happy-ever-after!

James Patterson also hooked me into his “Alex Cross” series. I diligently read each book as they came out, excited to find out what Mr. Patterson would do next to this poor man. Then of course, there were all the families Nora Roberts wrote about, each brother, sister, and grandparent with their own journeys of love to catalogue and enjoy. So many authors I love to read have wonderful series. I can’t name them all, but suffice it to say … I just love series books!

Hmmm … maybe there’s something to this.

When I sat down to write my first novel I decided I too would like to eventually hook readers into a world and keep them there. My first erotic suspense book “The Healer’s Garden” (published by Liquid Silver Books in December 2007) stands alone, but it is purposefully open-ended and I already have outlines for books two and three.

There are many types of series writing, but the one I enjoy reading and writing the most are trilogies. There is a major plot running through the series, but the hero and heroine of each novel resolve a minor plot and find their happy-ever-after and the major plot isn’t resolved until the end of the third book. Usually the characters in this type of series are related in some way, either by friendship, a curse, location or blood bonds. (Nora Roberts’ “Three Sisters Island Trilogy” or Michelle Bardsley’s “Broken Heart” series) It is a challenge to keep the major plot line woven into the minor plot of each book, but the payoff is worth the work! I can’t put this type of series down until I’ve read all three books and I can’t stop writing them until I’ve given each character their happy ending.

But trilogies aren’t the only type of series available to a reader or an author. There are also the series where the author uses the same hero/ine in each novel. Each story resolves a major plot, but the arc of the main character is a slow progression. At the end of these books, you understand our hero/ine has much to learn and there is still so much more growth potential. (Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” stories or Tess Gerritsen’s “Jane Rizzoli” series) In that same vein are the series where each book highlights a different character, the major plot is resolved, but new and old characters continue to pop up. (Sally MacKenzie’s “Naked” series or Suzanne Brockman’s “Troubleshooter” series)

These authors have all figured out how to hook their readers and keep them waiting on tenterhooks until the next book is released.

So, when you sit down to plot your next novel--consider writing a series. Your readers could be just one book away from falling in love with a whole new world of characters and waiting with baited breath for your next book!

Nina Pierce writes erotic suspense novels. Blind Love, the first novella in her Tilling Passions series was a liquid erotic release in April 2008 from Liquid Silver Books (http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/). The second and third books released in the summer of 2008. Visit her on the web at http://www.ninapierce.com/.

42 comments:

  1. Very sound advice from a very talented author. Thanks for sharing Nina.

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  2. Hey Gem - *blushing* Thanks for taking time to stop over.

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  3. Yep, series work. There's another type of series... the shared world. I love almost any series.

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  4. I love a good series! I can't tell you how many times I've read a wonderful single title and thought...gee, wish she'd do a story about so and so! A series can really hook a reader. I've just started doing them myself and I love the idea of playing with secondary characters and then giving them a story of their own. Great post, Nina.

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  5. It's very hard to say goodbye to character and a world you love so I'm all for a great series! Thanks for the lovely interview.

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  6. Anny - The shared world. Thanks for mentioning that. I totally forgot that aspect of series writing. A couple of my friends, Jennifer Leeland ("Command" series-LSB) and Jeanne Barrack ("Terran Realm" series-LSB) base their books on a shared world as well as characters.

    Regina - I think that was what first started me writing series. The books that came to end and I wanted them to go on.

    Julia - it's a wonderful challenge to create secondary characters that readers fall in love with and are strong enough to develop into their own stories.

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  7. As a reader, I love a great series - I'm always wishing I'd learn more about great supporting characters in the books I love.

    I'm not familiar with your work, Nina, but the covers are lovely and I'm heading to your website to check out your books.

    Jerry B

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  8. Right. Well. You know. I don't really have a question about writing. I've read all your stuff and, as expected, all great. However I do have this little detail I'd like to clear up. I know it might be a touchy subject. Or maybe not (Is that a real leather buggy whip?). Anyway, so where the blue blazes and red longjohns is my kilt? Eh?

    Nice article Nina.

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  9. Jerry - Thanks for stopping by and visiting my website.

    Roscoe - Good morning dude! Your kilt was the hard won prize for that bet we made ... you lost ... it's mine ... get over it. And the whip? Well, some things I just don't talk about in public. *wink* Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Nina,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You're such a talent, plus you're lots of fun, or so I hear. Are you working on more series?

    Jillian

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  11. Jillian - How are you? I am working on a series. Something paranormal. But you don't get any more out of me than that. *wink* Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I also love a great series - but the author need to know when to let it go (or kill them off, if it is always the same main characters). Some series simply keep getting more and more obviously written for monetary reasons (and the plot thinner and thinner in the paranormal series world, as the author seems to think they must make the "romance" portion wilder and wilder each time and often skips the character development completely).

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  13. You didn't win that bet! We didn't shake hands! grumblegrumblegrumblegrumble... Okay, so where do we post our flash?

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  14. Good morning Nina!!

    Thanks so much for being our very special guest today at the Tiki Hut and thanks for offering up a free ebook of BLIND LOVE - the first book in your series.

    I was glad to hear we may see some more books come out of your HEALER'S GARDEN (one of my favorite covers of all time - btw!) that is such a fantastic world you created there and I'd love to read more!

    Enjoy your day at the Tiki Hut, has the cabana boy been by with your fruity drinks yet??

    DeNita
    AuthorIsland.com

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  15. Series are great, especially if you get to start at Book 1.
    Cindy

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  16. Karen - That's a great point. Sometimes book series (like tv series) can go on too long. And the reader definitely knows even if the author or pub isn't quite sure.

    Roscoe - Hands? LOL! I don't think they were involved in the bet.

    Author Island - Thank you for having me! This is great fun. Anne Cain did the cover for Healer's (as well as Tilling Passions) and she is absolutely amazing.

    Cindy - Book 1 is key. I recently read the last book in a trilogy without knowing it. I soooo wish I'd started at the beginning. But I loved it so much I'm buying books 1 and 2 and starting over. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Great article. As a reader I too love a good trilogy. As a writer, I'm writing the 3rd book in my own trilogy. It is definitely a challenge, but well worth the struggle.

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  18. I love series! That's why I just wrote my second book in the Terran Realm series. Sometimes the story is so big, it just can't be contained in one book.
    Love your books!

    Jeanne Barrack

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  19. Great to meet another New Englander. I enjoyed your ideas about series. I like them too. Gram

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  20. Adelle - Writing a series is a challenge. I think that's another reason I love them.

    Jeanne - That Terran Realm series is great! And yours are hawt! Thanks for stopping by chicka.

    Gram - Thank you so much for taking time to comment. And I'm not liking this New England "spring" too much. ;)

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  21. Hi Nina,

    Welcome to the Tiki Hut - I love meeting new authors and getting to know more about their work. While I'm not a writer, your article was interesting. I'm sure as a writer a series is somewhat easier, since you already have your "world" set up and characters created. But then again, maybe that paints you into a corner so to speak.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this and any other authors stopping by today.

    Jennifer T

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  22. Hi Nina,

    Great to meet another talented author! Your work sounds great and I'll be checking out your website here in a minute.

    What's up next for you?

    Tiff

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  23. Hey Nina,

    Good post.

    John Foxjohn
    www.johnfoxjohnhome.com

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  24. I have not read your books, but am heading over to your website to scope them out.

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  25. Jennifer - Interesting comment. I'm not sure any series is easy. If it's a whole new world like I created in "The Healer's Garden" staying consistent throughout a series is difficult. Characters and situations are not static, so rethinking and expanding the "rules" of the world that's been created is often required. IMO it keeps the story interesting and adds more dimensions for the reader.

    And painted into a corner? There are some aspects of the world in "The Healer's Garden", primarily that it is a female dominated society that have me stumped. Though the major component of this novel is the heterosexual relationship between the hero and heroine, I have since discovered there is a small market for books alluding to f/f relationships even if they involve the secondary characters. This one factor is making it difficult to complete the series and stay within the rules of the world I've created.

    So the very looong answer is ... series are not easy (or monotonous to write) and yes, the rules of the world you create can be a stumbling block.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  26. Tiff - Thanks for asking. I'm currently working on a three book paranormal series involving wolf and cougar shifters. The first story "Blue Moon Rising" is available in the "Furry, Fluffy & Wild" anthology from Liquid Silver Books. I loved those characters so much I've created a spin-off for another series of novels.

    John - Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  27. Estella - Welcome. Glad you could stop by.

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  28. Great article! I like to read trilogies and series.

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  29. I really enjoy a good series and follow quite a few! I just love visiting the same people and seeing how their lives evolve.

    What's a usual writing day for you like?

    Valerie
    valb0302@yahoo.com

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  30. Hi Nina:

    Blind Love sounds very good.
    I like series books and I agree if you throw in a body or a bit of mayhem so much the better.

    Ruth C.

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  31. Chey - Trilogies are my favorite as well.

    Valerie - Though I am a full time writer, there is no "typical" day for me. But in general I answer emails and blog in the morning and spend the afternoon writing. In the evening I work on marketing. But that's only if all the stars align juuuust right (which of course they rarely do.) Then there's regular life needs, doctor's appts, PT meals, and adult children throw a wrench in things and sometimes I don't get to my writing until the evening. But writing every day is something I'm learning is extremely important. It's the routine of opening the story every day that gets it finished.

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  32. Ruth - I love writing suspense as much as I enjoy reading it. It's putting all those puzzle pieces in place that I find fascinating and challenging.

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  33. Hi Nina- thanks for sharing! As a reader - I love series... more time to get to know and like the characters and secondary characters. Blind Love sounds interesting... do I sense some suspense in it?

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  34. Martha - "Blind Love" is the first book in the "Tilling Passions" series. Definitely an erotic suspense series. In "Blind Love" Julie is trying to find the person who murdered her best friend. The book trailer gives an idea of the whole series ... http://tinyurl.com/d7gp6r

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  35. What genre would you most like to try to write?

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  36. Tigger - Hands down ... historical. They totally fascinate me. But I'm so very bad at history, I don't ever see it happening!

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  37. Hi Nina, I love series. I see you live in Maine, I am a New Englander as well. Welcome to the Tiki Hut

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  38. Debby - Thanks for stopping by. It seems mother nature is holding tight to spring in New England. ;)

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  39. Hi Nina!
    Thanks for the great insights and reminding us that writers are reader too! I think that is sometimes forgotten amid the rush of everything else!

    keatonkat

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  40. keatonkat - Most authors admit they have an addiction to books ... they are definitely a huge portion of the book buyers!

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  41. I wanted to thank Nina for being such a great guest and thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hi and ask questions!

    The winner of the Book of the Day spotlight on Nina's BLIND LOVE was Debby! Congrats and we'll see you next Tuesday when author Catherine Stang stops by the Tiki Hut!

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