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Is it Different Enough??? & Copy of Free Book!

At Skye McKye's Thoughts Over Coffee, drop by and post a comment for free chance at a copy of Destiny of the Wolf!

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'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!
Terry Spear


  1. Thanks, Marie and Mary Margret for saving me! :) Or my post! :)

  2. Terry... that's the challenge, isn't it? To keep doing what our readers like, and yet keep it fresh. Awareness is the first step, I suppose! But it sounds like you have a great handle on it!!

  3. I'm writing my first series and this is helpful info.

    BTW, I'm reading your Heart of the Wolf right now. Excellent! Keep up the excellent writing (with different characters, of course. wink)


  4. Terry,
    As I've told you before. I love your books. I love the characters. And I'm not at all tired of your Writing. The books are still fresh and Exciting and Different enough to be interesting. I'm looking forward to your many up coming books. and I so want to go back to Silvertown to help carol find Love. Lots of good men to choose from there. You're amazing!!!! But you work to hard. Relax a little bit.

  5. I always worry about making my characters different and unique from each other. Glad to know it's not just me!

  6. I worry about that, too, Terry, but what it boils down to is that we are writing about people and relationships, and whether they are wolves, vampires, aliens, or the people next door, while they all have things in common, they are also unique. If you give each of them a different background to spring from, they can't help but be different.
    Keep cool!

  7. GREAT post, Terry!

    I haven't written a series yet, so this is one worry I have yet to embrace (I have sooo many others). ;-)

    UGH! The heat in your neck o the woods sounds terrible. We've had an unseasonably cool June thus far and I have my fingers XXed that it continues.


  8. Thanks for sharing, Terry! I love it when seemingly minor characters get to have their time in the spotlight. And with the amazingly realistic and still incredibly unique world you've created for the lupus garou, you won't run out of things for readers anytime soon :-)

  9. Terry, you amaze me! Rest easy. I know your fans will not think they are reading the same old book with just a different title and cover.

    I do feel your fleeting anxiety, because I'm finishing up a trilogy. And yes, at times, it's difficult to give your fans what they love about your writing while giving them something different.

  10. Terry, I am so glad you are planning to revisit fav characters and expand on them!! I have always been a huge fan of serial type novels for that reason - and I am sure it is why I write a series. I never tire of favorite characters. A good writer - that is YOU - can weave new and interesting tales, can give them new experiences, can elaborate more on who they are, etc. It never gets old to me. So keep it up! I'll be the first in line to buy your book, that's a promise. :)

  11. Thanks so much, Donna! Absolutely!! And yeah, awareness makes the difference!

    Woohoo, Ash, that's great on writing your first series, and reading Heart of the Wolf!! Good luck on your series! They're fun to write, aren't they? It's like we don't have to ever let go of the characters!

    At lunchtime at work today, I got to listen to a WWII nurse speak of her story at our local RWA meeting about her experiences. And one of our chapter members had written a list of questions she had for me for Destiny of the Wolf. I loved it! When readers are so swept up in your stories, they want to know why characters have certain names, where I came up with them, makes it so much fun! Have fun reading Heart of the Wolf!

    Donna, thanks so much!!! I'm thrilled you love the characters, and yeah, Carol has to have her own hunk. She's got real problems though. Which to choose from? Thanks, lady!

    Marie...I read a series like that, and so I really, really wanted mine to have a lot of the "alpha" characteristics, but a lot of different kinds of flaws, unique backgrounds, deeper psychological issues that makes them dissimilar from the others. :) I think that helps to make them unique. Same with the heroines! :)

    Yeah, Cheryl, what I said. Great minds think alike! LOL Keep cool, argh. I came home, don't have the AC on while I'm at work and it's been an hour and the house is still an oven. :( I need to write a wolfy story where the characters are shipwrecked on a desert island. :)

    LOL, Cindy. I know what you mean about having so many worries to keep up with. :) The heat is AWFUL. I can't imagine how it would have been to live in places like this before AC. :(

    Thanks, Danielle! I need to contact a zoo about a scene to make sure I get the facts straight. And that's what makes it fun for in Heart of the Wolf and the diet they give to a wolf in a zoo. :) But imagine you're a shape shifter and fed some of that stuff??? :) Lots of fun!

    Thanks, Amelia! Super on your triology!! Yeah, I remember reading about a pair of authors who co-write a mystery romance series. The first book was great. The second book, the agent got back to them and said, "What happened? You left out the humor! Your fans love the humor." The authors hadn't even realized they were wowing their audience because of their humor. So they had to rewrite and add the humor back in. That's what made their stories unique. :) Which goes back to what Donna said about awareness of what makes our stories special to fans. :)

    Thanks so much, Sharon! I love yours too!!! And once I sink my teeth into an author's writing, I have to have all of it!! It's like having a really good habit. :) Now if I just had more time for it!!!
    Thanks again!

  12. I understand the challenge of different enough but not too different.
    Destiny of the Wolf is on my TBR pile as I write. When I'm out of deadline hell, I let you know if I think you struck the right balance.:-)

  13. Thanks, Mary Margret!!! I'm in deadline hell too. Trying to get through student lessons right now, or I'd be in bed writing!!! :) Oh, and I was zipping off werewolf/uhm, wolf questions to a couple zoos. Wonder if anyone will respond?? LOL :)

  14. Terry,
    If the zoo's don't respond. Contact Int Wolf Center in Ely, Mn
    You'll get answers.

  15. Thanks, Donna! I put them in my notebook and if I don't get any response from the zoos, I'll check them out! They're really zoo related questions, but...maybe they'd have some knowledge or a new spin on the scenario I could take.

  16. I sent you a e-mail with the Int. wolf center website that has contact information and alot of interesting information too. Facts and Q & A's and a few other red wolf sites that you might not know about.

  17. Thanks, Donna, they look like great sites! I'll check them out further!

  18. Oh wow. I want to read them all! Wonderful to see those characters I remember are going to get the spotlight too. And such great story ideas to keep it all fresh and moving.

  19. Thanks so much, Sheila!!! :)It is fun revisiting previous characters and having them interact with new ones!


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