So Many Characters

What happens when you write a book full of characters that tumble over each other and overlap in crazy ways? Especially when these kids attend a high school where everyone is in your beeswax on the daily and dating is about as secret as morning announcements.

Let them live their best jumbled life. Sure, that works. Or better yet…turn the high school drama into a big, fat, juicy series!

Series allow an author get all the characters out of her head (nothing to see here) while letting them tell their own stories. If you have read katastrophe, you know that Kat encounters quite a few different people, including classmates, Lily, her neighbor, her dysfunctional family (ugh), and her besties pretty much every day. And whether you think about it consciously or not, these people all have backstories too.

I even had one reader ask for Lily and Dane’s story. She thinks it would be cool to know from where angels come, if they just exist, how they get chosen for assignments from The Council…and what the heck happened to Lily in Seattle?! She’s right, those things are cool and Lily and Dane will eventually share their own stories in a prequel.

First though The Hidden Angel Series will, over time, introduce you to a few of Kat’s classmates. There’s IT geek extraordinaire, Adam Plonski (looks can be deceiving, folks), Gothy pro-ana blogger (so busted) Raven Connelly, cocky LAX bro Traves King, and gloriously transgender Alberta Phun. Four more books. Four more intimate peeks into how these teens negotiate their world.

Each has a story, a perspective, and a lot to say about life, dating, school, drugs, food, crappy situations, sad families, and life. Did you know that Adam tours with Dead tribute bands? Or that Traves’ grandma is in jail? Series have the added bonus of not having to say goodbye when you fall in love with a character, place, or plotline.

Some of my favorite series—aside from the super-obvs older ones like Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games—include Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy (does a trilogy count as a series? Sure, why not.) and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. Neither are especially new, but still, both of these showcase smart, savvy young women encountering suspense, mystery, massive family problems, and even, in one case, the supernatural. Great stuff.  

Then there are the one-offs or even the twosies that are so phenomenal, you wish they were a series, like Virginia Bergin’s H2O and follow up, The Storm, both of which will make your skin totally crawl with their apocalyptic creep factor. So good.

Or even Speechless by Hannah Harrington, a book about bullying and what happens when a Mean Girl decides to speak up and out over violence by saying nothing…ever again.

Do you have some favorite series? Let’s hear about them…

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