It’s with great pleasure that I welcome Marissa Elliot to my site today to talk about reading and writing a series.
Over to you Marissa…
The Seduction of a Series
I love reading series books, and I love writing them as well. Falling in love with characters is part of the joy of both reading and writing, so being able to immerse yourself in a storyline where you don’t have to leave the characters for a very long time is an absolute joy.
Series books and serials are everywhere at the moment—from Sylvia Day’s ‘Crossfire’ books to Hugh Howey’s ‘Wool’. No matter what the genre, series books are hot stuff
If you’re a writer, series books also have the advantage of selling well. If you’ve got a series, it gives you more options as far as promotion goes—you can offer the first book in the series as either free or at a reduced price. If you put time or money into advertising one of the books in the series, it’s inevitably going to have a knock on effect onto the other books. Once you’ve hooked the reader into that series, they’re almost guaranteed to go on and read the rest of the books.
I’ve recently completed my first series of five books (The Serenity Series), written in my fantasy name, Marissa Farrar, and the first book in my new series (The Spirit Shifters—yes, I like the alliteration of the letter ‘S’!) will be out next month. I’ve used free prequel short stories which lead onto my novels and novellas as a way to hook in readers (‘One Bite’ is the free short story for my vampire novella, ‘Deadly Beauty’), and I’ve even linked relatively unrelated anthologies together by using a series name (my ‘Some Love it…’ series, starting with ‘Some Love it Hot’.)
My latest erotic project, ‘Model, Wanted,’ is a serial. The first part is already out, and I intend to publish the rest in 10k chunks, assuming this is where each part finds its natural break. Read to the end of this blog if you want to check out a seriously steamy excerpt of the first part!
So I guess you could say I’m a bit of a series whore! Hopefully, with this amount of series books under my belt, I’ve learnt a few things about writing them. Here are five things to consider when writing a series:
1.) Make sure each book ends with a satisfying finish. Yes, it’s fine to leave certain questions unanswered, but there must be a beginning, middle and an end, just like any standalone novel.
2.) A story arch needs to be considered for the whole series, not just for each book. When you’re planning, consider what you want to achieve by the time the whole series is finished.
3.) Secondary characters make great primary characters. If a secondary character has a fascinating back story, this can be used to chase their story into the next book by having them as the lead character.
4.) Watch out for ‘rules’ you set yourself which make it difficult for continuation in later books.
5.) Make each book bigger and better than the previous book—up the stakes, kill off more characters, write hotter sex!
So what about you? Do you love to read series books, or even write them? What are your favourites, and, if you’re a writer, do you have any tips as to what makes a good series?
Model, Wanted: Part One
Eric Rutherford is a photographer with aspirations. At the top of his game, he creates images for five star hotels and portraits for wealthy families
But Eric has a dream. He longs to create erotic art. He has an eye for a woman’s beauty, but he doesn’t just want to photograph a woman naked, he also wants to tie her up, and down. He wants to bind rope across her breasts, tight enough that the rope leaves an imprint on her skin. He wants to have her on her knees, with her hands handcuffed to her ankles. He wants to whip her rounded pale bottom with a leather flogger, and then photograph the red stripes.
So his search for his perfect model begins and when an advert brings the beautiful, blonde Anya into his apartment, his one fear is that she’ll say no.
Follow erotic photographer, Eric, and model, Anya’s sexy exploits as they push the boundaries of not only their art, but their relationship. How far will they go to fulfill their sexual and artistic desires?
Please note: This book has a word count of approximately 11,000, or 36 pages of a paperback. It contains explicit scenes not intended for anyone below the age of 18.Eric and Anya’s story will be published as a serial, with a new addition to be released every couple of months at only $0.99!
Back in his apartment, Eric waited for Anya with his nerves on edge. Not only did he have a hundred things he wanted to ask her, he also had something prepared which he hoped she’d want to do.
She walked into his apartment and headed straight to his studio area, not mentioning what had happened earlier. He couldn’t let it go so easily.
“What were you doing at the university today, Anya?”
She turned to him with her innocent smile. “Perhaps I was following you.”
“Really? How did you know where I’d be?”
She shrugged. “I saw a poster in the hall. I’m a student at the college.”
“Is that right?” He didn’t know whether to believe her or not. She was such an enigma. He couldn’t tell when she was being serious.
“Am I not allowed to speak to you outside of this apartment?”
“Yes, of course you can.” She always managed to trip him up. “I just …” Want to know more about you.
He couldn’t say it, not allow her into his life as any more than a subject of his art.
“Good.” She smiled. “So, what do you have planned for me today?”
From his box of tricks, he lifted a length of hemp rope. Her eyes widened, but she nodded and began to undress.
This was his time now. He would take control of her, harness her to his own will.
He bound the rope around her body, first around the narrowest part of her waist, knotting it at her navel. Then he brought one end up, between her breasts and across, to loop over her shoulder and down her slender back, down to her waist. He repeated the motion with the other end of the rope, tying it tight so the ridges dug into her soft, delicate skin. The result was that the rope tightened around each breast individually, squeezing them toward him. Her nipples were rock-hard, crinkled peaks, and he longed to touch them, graze his palm across the hardened nubs. But he did not.
“It’s not hurting you?” he asked.
Her lips were slack, her breathing shallow, but she shook her head. “It’s fine.”
He’d finally managed to affect her, he could tell.
Eric stepped back and lifted his camera, moving around her to snap shots of her bound breasts, stomach, and shoulders. Already, he could see the red marks of the rope and the thought of removing the rope to photograph those marks made him dizzy with anticipation.
But he wasn’t finished yet. He picked up another length. “Can you handle more?” he asked.
“Yes, oh, yes.”
Gently, he reached down and nudged her naked thighs apart. Again, he started with a loop around her waist, knotted, instead, at the base of her spine. This time he headed downward, pulling the rope between her thighs so it pressed between the crack of her buttocks. He looped it back over the length of rope at her navel and pulled tight, the coarse rope pressing between the delicate lips of her cunt, right against her clitoris.
Anya gasped and then exhaled a small, shuddery breath.
“Is this okay?” he asked her again, not wanting to hurt her, but still wanting to take their art to the edge.
She nodded frantically, “Oh, yes.”
Eric continued to wrap the rope around her body, framing her buttocks, encasing her thighs.
“Lie back,” he instructed. “Spread your legs.”
She did as she was told.
Such perfect contrast, the coarse material against the delicate lips of her pussy. The contact against her clit sending the blood rushing to her most sensitive area. The inner lips almost purple with stimulation. He took a number of shots.
She rolled onto her stomach.
“Lift your ass in the air.”
Every movement would be creating more friction against her clit. He saw her arousal in the wetness on her pussy lips when she lifted her ass for him, heard it in the moan she tried to stifle against the wooden floor. The rope hid the perfect star of her anus and, for that, he experienced a momentary dip of disappointment, though it didn’t last long. He knew what his next project would be—to capture her sweet ass. Perhaps she would even allow him to penetrate her with something? He had a slim, silver butt plug that would look stunning as it slipped into that tight little hole, the light glinting off the metal.
Oh, fuck. The idea caused more blood to rush to his cock, his balls tightening, his dick throbbing. Or perhaps his cock would look better in her ass, swelling the spot at her lower back as he held himself deep.
He had to stop now.
“Okay,” he forced himself to say. “I think we’ve done enough for today. You did beautifully.”
She turned her head to look at him. “You’re not going to leave me like this?”
How did she mean, still tied up or ultimately unsatisfied?
“No, of course not.”
He got to his knees beside her, carefully undoing the knots around her middle. With tenderness, he unraveled the rope, revealing the red marks he knew would be imprinted into her skin. The rope fell in a pile beside her and she rolled her shoulders, about to move.
“Wait, just one minute.” He held a hand out, stilling her. “I can’t miss this.”
Eric grabbed his camera again, taking shots of the imprints on her skin, her shoulders, hips and thighs.
She turned her face to him, her eyes locking with his. “Are we done?”
The air between them buzzed with tension. He wanted to kiss her, but he forced himself to step back, needing to keep control of himself. His life was about control, a strict regime which kept him on track. If he allowed himself to veer to far from it, he didn’t know if he’d find his way back again. Desperate to create perfection, he’d suffered from obsessive behavior about his work when he’d been younger, something that had plunged him into a depression, feeling like he’d never be able to achieve what his heart and soul desired. He’d work every hour, trying to obtain that perfect image, neglecting sleep and food, running himself into the ground.
Would she be his downfall? he wondered. Or his saviour?
M.K. Elliott (a.k.a Marissa Farrar) is the author of eight novels, two novellas, and numerous short story collections. While traditionally published by small presses since 2009, she discovered she only started making enough money to live on when she started to self-publish her work. Since then, she has had a #1 best-selling erotica collection on Barnes & Noble, and her novels and short story collections have also been on the best-seller lists for their genres on Amazon.
When she’s not writing (which isn’t often!) she spends time with her young family in Devon. She’s come to term with the fact that her house will always be a bit of a mess. Since the money has started rolling in, her husband has finally stopped complaining about the amount of time she spends at her computer.
If you want to learn more about M.K. (Marissa) please visit her M.K. facebook page https://www.facebook.com/M.K.Elliotts.Erotica or her Marissa Farrar facebook page https://www.facebook.com/marissa.farrar.author as this is where she hangs out the most!
Thanks again Marissa- great blog! I now have the urge to write a series!
Happy Reading Everyone!