M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, January 11, 2016

A Simple Trick to Keep a Book Series Going -- Stop Boredom

Am wondering how often your give up on a favorite author/series because the last book Bored You.

I lose interest in books I'm reading all the time. Often, I miss a following book because the I didn't finish the previous book in a series because my interest wandered, ie another book stole it.

Sometimes, I think even publishers seem to get bored with long running series and try to mix things up a bit. Think Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series might be an example. Or, maybe I'm just digging for an excuse why I've missed a couple books because I didn't see them in mass paperback. Still, the Pitt mysteries, totaling more than thirty, are running strong if their rankings are any measure.

Yeah, I ended up reading a trade paperback. When I sent the trade pile to the store, I stumbled over some copies of Perry's newer Victorian  mysteries while I waited for my credit. Haven't read the Monk one yet, but I rushed to read the Pitt one, Midnight at Marble Arch -- mostly because Aunt Vespasia is one of my favorite characters. I wasn't disappointed.

In Midnight at Marble Arch, Perry explores the sexual mores and the privileges of rank when several proper young ladies are raped by a rich banker's son, including the daughter of the Portuguese ambassador. Then, there's the seemingly unrelated rape/death of a society matron. Pitt is settling in with his new promotion to the Special Branch [a political arm of the government] ...and is nostalgic for the simpler days when he was solving murders and other crimes.  Charlotte is regaining her society chops but hasn't lost her fearlessness or compassion -- though she doesn't do much active sleuthing in this book. Pitt learns the identity of the privileged perp early in the book, and the problem becomes bringing him to justice, especially after an innocent man is convicted of the similar crime.

Relationships  -- both personal and societal -- are the keystones in Anne Perry's mysteries. In fact, they take the plot lines in new directions in this book. Don't think the hinted attraction between Charlotte and Narraway, Pitt former boss in the Special Branch, had much traction for others as well as me. Perry seems to opening up the story lines with the Pitts' matturing children and a romance between Vespasia and Narraway. That the latter possibility has me intrigued enough to go looking for the next in the series ... provided it isn't a hard back. [They cost too much and hurt my thumbs when reading for much longer than a chapter.]

Recommended. First, mostly because of  Perry's socio-political chops. She gives as good a feeling for the Victorian age as Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey did/does for the Edwardian period, especially the conforming mindsets of the better classes. The moralizing got a little tedious, but I skipped that. Second, because her plot lines are complex and intriguing. Plus, interesting subplots featuring ongoing characters with different problems, including boredom.

 My Writing Rut

Did I hear you say writing?

My brain still hasn't pushed into gear. It's not like I've writing block. I keep acquiring sticky notes. But I don't seem to be getting words added to my new chapters. Maybe the stock market has me reading more financial newsletters than cleaning off my email? Maybe I'm just feeling lazy? S. A. D. syndrom? Quien sabe?

Whatever. I'm not promoting my aging short stories. I'm not writing new short stories. I'm not working on On the Run. I'm not editing any of the manuscripts in my computer. I am watching the birds at the feeder.

I'm also setting up my old man a computer so he can transfer the handwritten notes of his memoir into a computer. Must say Windows 10 is much easier on the eyes than 8. In fact, Windows 8 is one of the main reason after costs that I have gotten a smartphone.

Hope your new endeavors are progressing faster.

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