Killing Off a Series by Paty Jager

book hangingI’ve been contemplating when to end my Shandra Higheagle Mystery series.

Book eight, Fatal Fall, released recently. Book nine is in the planning stages, and I feel I could get another five or six books out before the story/characters go stale.

However, I’ve already had people asking me when am I ending the series.  My comeback, “Why, are you tired of the characters?”  I’m not tired of writing about Shandra, Sheba, Ryan, Lil, and the cast of characters who live in Huckleberry and Weippe County. I do worry about the people who complain, you can’t kill anymore people off in that small area.

But really, this is fiction. Is it that hard for a reader to suspend belief that so many murders could happen in an area and with the same amateur sleuth being involved?

I have taken Shandra to the reservation a time or two and plan to have another story or two set there. She and Ryan are going to a police conference and an art show in two different books. Kind of like Jessica Fletcher moving to New York or going to book related events out of Cabot Cove. 😉

The other reason I am contemplating the demise of the series, is because I want to introduce the amateur sleuth for the next series in one of the Shandra books before the Higheagle series ends. But I want to wait until the last or next to last book.

And yes, it will be another Native American character. I am still working out the details of him, where he lives, what he does for a living, and how I can connect it to multiple murders without getting into the “too many deaths” in one small area.

How do you gauge when a series has run it’s course?  Have you read a series or two that went on too long? Do you think there is a magic number of when a series should end or is it best to leave it up to the story and characters?

I would love to hear readers and writers thoughts on these questions.

Books 1,2, & 3, Double Duplicity, Tarnished Remains, and Deadly Aim are out in audio book.

Here is the info on Fatal Fall:

Fatal Fall 5x8Book eight of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series

When the doctor is a no-show for her appointment, Shandra Higheagle becomes wrapped up in another murder. The death of the doctor’s elderly aunt has everyone questioning what happened and who’s to blame. Shandra’s dreams soon tell her she’s on the right path, but also suggests her best friend could be in grave danger.

Detective Ryan Greer knows not even an illness will keep Shandra from sneaking around, and he appreciates that. Her insight is invaluable. When she becomes embroiled deeper in the investigation, he stakes out the crime scene and waits for the murder to make a tell-all mistake.

But will he be able to act fast enough to keep Shandra or her friend from being the next victim?

Universal Link –

SH Mug Art (2)


Print or Audio? by Paty Jager

availableI’m happy to say my first mystery audio book is now available! This has been a dream of mine since my first book in the Shandra Higheagle mystery series was available to purchase in ebook and print.

From the very conception of this series, I could hear the voices and couldn’t wait to hear them “for real.” I have the seventh book released in ebook and print and now I can say I have one in audio. And the second book is already in production.

After attending a workshop at the In’Dscribe conference last summer by Ann M. Richardson also a narrator. One who is so wanted, I couldn’t afford her prices, but she had some wonderful insights into how to get a newer narrator and cultivate them into the narrator you want.  She said to get a better quality narrator and not someone just starting out, you had to pay some per finished hour and do the royalty share.

My goal by doing it this way and getting a more professional narrator, I will have more sales and can keep building the audio editions to this series.

The fist thing I had to do was listen to the audition files. I only had two, because I couldn’t afford more than $100 per finished hour. However, one of the two did a wonderful job, had only produced half a dozen book,s and her words were, “I’m coachable.” Those were the words I needed to hear, because, as I said up above, I had these characters’ voices in my head.  I also have some Nez Perce words in the books and they need to be said correctly.

Working on the first book with Ann Thompson, a Cincinnati radio news anchor, has been fun.  She doesn’t mind changing one word in a chapter or changing up voices when they don’t sound/feel right for the character.

I’ve listened to several audio books over the years. Some have been duds and some have been very good. I’m happy to say, that Ann is doing a great job with Double Duplicity.

Do you prefer audio or print/ebook books?

Leave a comment and I’ll pick one person on Saturday, 2/18 who will win a code to download the audio of Double Duplicity for FREE.

Book one of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series
On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Detective Ryan Greer believes in them and believes in her.

Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?

SH Mug Art