When I'm writing a new book, this is something I'm always concerned about. Is the new story different enough? The hero and heroine new? The plot unique? The setting different?
I work at a library and I hear, "Do you have a writer who writes like this person?" Which is the good side of the equation. It means the author has fans and they're not getting enough of her books to satisfy a need.
But what we don't want to hear is, "I quit reading this author's works because it was the same old story. Same plot. Same characters. Same setting. I got tired of them." And in a series where the characters have to be the same, "No growth in the characters. Same old characteristics, faults and I was tired of the same old stuff going on in book after book."
I know when I read a story, I want it to be new. I want the characters to have new dilemmas to face, a new setting is fun, but as long as the characters and plot are new, I don't mind a setting that hasn't changed a whole lot. Or the characters can be the same, but the plot needs to be different, the setting too, maybe to make it more unique.
But on the other hand...it's a Catch 22. If we don't give enough of the same--our readers might be disallusioned. Soooo....striking a happy medium is the fun part.
In Heart of the Wolf, I show a gray and red wolf mixing it up, a loner and a pack wolf, a pack divided, but a reunion of sorts, set in both Oregon and Colorado. But in Destiny of the Wolf, I wanted to show pack dynamics, the family relationship between wolves/uhm, werewolves, and both the hero and heroine are pack lupus garous who don't know each other, set in an old silver mining town in Colorado where the lupus garous actually run the town.
In To Tempt the Wolf, I wanted to have a story where the heroine is actually human, but something's different about her, and the hero is a gray lupus garou. He loses his pack, his sister, his home, his memory, and gains more trouble in the form of a spunky woman who rescues him from her Oregon beach, while she's trying to free her brother from prison.
And in Legend of the White Wolf, the hero and heroine are both human, but tangle with a bunch of Arctic wolves of the lupus garou variety in the Maine wilderness and find they are in lots more trouble than they bargained for.
And now with Seduction of the Wolf, for the first time both the hero and heroine are red lupus garous, and this is finally Leidolf's story, who has had bit parts in all four of the tales up until now. :) So will he get the girl this time??? It's set in Portland and so was part of Heart of the Wolf. I wanted to show more of "zooman" Thompson, who was a fun secondary character in Heart of the Wolf and much loved by many fans. But the heroine and the villains are all new, and since we didn't get to see much of the pack before when Alfred, one of the villains in Heart of the Wolf, ran it, it's all new too.
The 6th book will be set back in Silver Town, Colorado with the pack there, and Carol, the psychic, will have her story. But will she find a mate among all the eligible bachelors or have to look elsewhere? And if so, will her pack leader let her? :)
So all are radically different set ups, yet it still is based on the lupus garou society, the same rules that most live by, the same world.
Ever fall in love with an author's works, but after reading several, feel it's going to be the same thing all over again? Ever worry about that with your own writing?
Hope everyone has a super Saturday! I'm off to work!! And at 110 heat index, inside an AC building is the only way to go!