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One of the questions I get most frequently is “How many books are in the Lakeshore Chronicles series? In what order should I read them?”

Brrr!

Today’s plan: Stay inside where it’s warm and curl up with a good book.

You can read the books in any order because each book is a complete novel unto itself, but if you want to go chronologically (and if you’re a fan of the Daisy Bellamy storyline, I recommend this), it’s

1. Summer at Willow Lake
       (a) “Homecoming Season” (a novella in the anthology MORE THAN WORDS: STORIES OF COURAGE)
2. The Winter Lodge
3. Dockside
4. Snowfall at Willow Lake
5. Fireside 
6. Lakeshore Christmas
7. The Summer Hideaway 
8. Marrying Daisy Bellamy 
9. Return to Willow Lake
10. Candlelight Christmas
11. Starlight on Willow Lake

How many Lakeshore books will there be? Well, here’s a hint:

Wheelchairs on Willow Lake cartoon

(This glimpse into the future comes to you courtesy of the multitalented Suzanne Selfors.)

So Deborah asked, “When a series is finished, how do you pull yourself away from the set of characters? Is it difficult?”

work work work

work work work

SW:

It’s not hard to turn away from a series of characters provided I have a new story on the horizon. I do still think about past characters, though, thanks to my readers. It’s the readers who remind me about intriguing secondary characters in past books. “What about Rory and Belinda in the Calhoun Chronicles?” they ask. “And Phoebe Palmer of the Chicago Fire series?” A lot of people want a sequel to The You I Never Knew or Home Before Dark.

I think my most-requested sequel might be a followup for my last three hardcovers–Just Breathe, The Ocean Between Us or Table for Five. This makes sense, since these are mainstream books with a sizeable cast of secondary characters and storylines. Readers tend to get involved and invested in the story, and it seems natural for them to want to see things play out. I love that about readers. Now I’ve wandered away from the question. Sorry.

I’m trying to think of a series of books I loved that had a great photo-finish and left me completely satisfied. Hmmm. Anyone?

neverending story

neverending story

From the Deborah Bouziden interview: How is writing a series different from writing a single title? Which do you prefer and why?

SW: I love both, and continue to do both. The actual everyday work of writing the books is not so different. I live deeply inside the story, whether or not it’s part of a series. However, with the series books, I’m very aware that every character is fair game. A walk-on in one book might become the protagonist in another. In writing the Lakeshore Chronicles books–an open-ended series about a small town in the Catskills–I never planned to write a book about Daisy, the troubled teen. But she has inspired a record amount of reader mail, and she is so multilayered, that she’ll get her book one day.

What do readers prefer? Books in a series, or single titles?

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