When I came up with the idea for a mystery series, the second thing I thought about after bringing Shandra Higheagle to life was: Can I write enough stories to make this a long running series?
So I sat down and thought about where she lives- a ski resort; what she does- a potter; and then the people she is closest to. Her family history and heritage also can play into several story lines. All of these things figured into stories I could write to expand the series.
I’m also finding that as I write a story, something will pop up that sends me to my list of story ideas and adding another one. Also, things I hear and see on the news starts and idea for a premise of a story.
I figured if Sue Grafton could write 26 books with the same sleuth, Janet Evanovich went for Tricky Twenty-Two, and Tony HIllerman put out 19, I should be able to come up with that many mysteries for Shandra to solve without her or the stories getting stale.
Right now I’m researching for Book 5. I know who will be killed and who will be suspected, but I still need to write up my suspect chart, which will happen after I know more about the murder venue. Usually by this stage I have a title for the book. This one isn’t coming to me as easily. But I’m sure by the time I get to the middle of the book, I’ll know my title.
If you read series, has there come a time when you’ve found the series going stale? Why do you think that happened?