Saturday, April 26, 2014

Let's Get 'Series' Us!

Hello All,

I know I’ve been away for a minute, but a girl deserves some much needed “me time,” and that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.  Of course, I’ve been reading, reading, and more reading because life would be just plain ‘boring’ without my words to give me that comfort I crave!

I’ve been contacted by a few authors offering me their most recent body of work, and I’m thrilled to say I cannot wait to delve into ‘em!  I will be offering up my reviews later next month.  Most of you know I can read pretty fast, but I’m not that fast, so please bear with me as I work through my reading list.

And while we’re on the subject of reading, there’s something that has been burning on my mind for quite some time now, and y’all know me, when I have something to say, well. . .damn it, I will.  So here it goes without any sugarcoating nor biting of one’s tongue, but I’m sick of you authors with your SERIES!

Woo. . .ok, I said it, and now let me catch my breath because I’ve got more to add!  Does anyone remember when authors wrote a single story and when they popped back up on the literary scene again, they had a new “genre” to bring forth?  Umm, ok. . .I thought it was just me, but perhaps some of you avid readers know what I’m talking about?  That seems like so long ago when you got just a single story. 

Err’body and their mama has a series:  Jack & Jill Ran up the Hill (The Hill Running Series: Volumes 1 through 10); Little Red Riding Hood and all her Hood Friends (Lil’ Red Series, Parts 1 of 5).  Ok, so I’m making a joke, but you’ve seen ‘em on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  You know what I mean.  OMG, GIVE IT A REST!  Let’s face it, I know why my colleagues are doing it—milking that cash cow for all its worth, and I am not hatin’ seriously!  But, I am sick and tired of it—oh yes indeed stick a damn fork in me, I’m so friggin’ done! 

In fact, you want to know just how done I am, I’ve stopped selecting some of my favorite authors work based on their series.  If I find out they have a series, I pass on it—regardless if I know the writing is strong and I may enjoy it—I just don’t do “series” anymore!   Let me just keep it one hundred—I can’t do another gat damn series!  Help me Lord and give me the strength!  This series thing is as bad as when everyone was into vampires, darkness, creatures from other words living among ours, etc.  I was so damn sick and tired of the “vampire” genre, I wanted to scream, and often times I found myself doing just that!

The problem with writers is they don’t always know when to quit.  Ummm, spoken like a truth artist.  I can say these things about my people, ‘cause I’m one of ‘em and I am guilty as charged.  We don’t know how to “edit” ourselves sometimes and that can become a huge problem, if we do not get it under control.  Money is one thing, but milking a storyline until you bleed the last drop of its words gets real, real old.  I’ve even gone as far as to ask some of my avid reading friends what they think, and I was shocked when they revealed they are so sick and tired of series too, and many of them have stopped reading them. 

When I receive my daily dose of books in my email from and, and immediately I see those damn parentheses, I feel a pulsating tick over my right eye, much like Inspector Clousseu’s boss in The Pink Panther, and the dreaded words “1 of 6 of the Twitchin’ Eye Series,” and hope goes out the window and I simply pass it by.  I just can’t do another friggin’ series!  OMG, I CANNOT DO ANOTHER SERIES!  OOOOOOH!

And you want to know the main reason why I can’t do another series?  It’s because I have several I’ve already read and I absolutely love!  I don’t want to learn about another detective, FBI agent or police chief.  I don’t want to fall in love with characters, only to have the author kill someone off, which that has happened in some of my series.  Or that dreaded Cliffhanger!  Ooooh, some of you are big time stinkers when it comes to your series—making the reader have to wait for the next installment.  I got news for ya—NOT gonna happen to me anymore, cause I don’t start the series to being with!  At the end of the day, seriously, I’m just plain sick and tired of series!  Just typing the word series makes me cringe.  Err’body is writing a friggin’ series and it needs to stop!  It’s like a serious illness has plagued my writer colleagues, and the cure is to add more books in their “series” and I’m like eventually, just like the vampire craze, this, too, shall pass, as my grandmother used to say.  We readers are getting tired!  At least I know this one is, and I’ve already told you, I have stopped selecting lots of good books based on the fact they are in a damn series!  If I do read one, I will read the first one and not continue.  The only way I can stomach a series now is if it’s a standalone.  If it isn’t, I’ll pass.  Obviously, readers must be as fed up as I am when I notice many authors put out disclaimers stating their series can be read as a standalone.   So, it’s not just me!

It’s gotten the point that whatever works for one author, the rest of us run out here and want to do the same exact thing.  What happened to originality?  Why not come up with new things to do and set yourself apart from the rest?  Whatever happened to sequels?  Does anyone remember writing those?  If you had to continue the story, a good author would give his readers the sequel and then that was that!  OMG whatever happened to the good old reading and writing days?  Can anyone tell me?  Can somebody help a sista out?  I mean what the hell is going on in the literary world anymore?  Have authors become so greedy that their bottom line is only dollars and cents?  Do any of us care about the literary art of writing?  Perhaps, I’m the only writer who is in it for the pure enjoyment.  I’m not saying I don’t want to be paid for my work, but money isn’t the reason I became an author.  It’s a gift and it’s one I love to share with anyone willing to lend a pair of eyes and an open heart.  All of this madness has truly turned me off from writing, which is why I haven’t put my latest novel out.  I just can’t put myself through all the bullshit!

Now, as I’m sure I’ve offended several of my author colleagues, it isn’t intentional—I’m just stating my feelings.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the writing world is a ruthless business.  It doesn’t apologize for anything nor is it forgiving.  There are millions of us out here doing our thing and doing it to death.  It’s truly a series-us thing.

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet

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