Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Obligation do Series Writers Owe their Readers?

It’s funny how my perspective changed on book series when I started writing two different ones. As a reader, I was very impatient to see the next book in a series be released. Really, I was about as bad as my son with the Harry Potter books. When was the next Elizabeth George book coming out? What do you mean she’s not writing an Inspector Lynley novel? A book of short stories, instead? Oh no…

You get the idea. I was just as bad when the incredibly productive M.C. Beaton would turn out an Agatha Raisin instead of a Hamish Macbeth. Although I enjoy both, Hamish is my favorite.

Then I started writing series.

I thought it was very interesting to read a post by author Neil Gaiman on this same issue. Because, if you think about it, we now have a real window into the world of our favorite authors. We can follow them during the day on Twitter, we can read their blog posts, we can see that they’re messing around on Facebook. So what if you do have a dedicated reader who’s put out that you blogged about spending the day doing yard work instead of churning out his eagerly awaited book? What obligation do writers owe their readers?