Monday, July 18, 2016

Drumming up a fiction series.....

Dangerous Tidings, a Holt Medallion Award Winner

Hello, all. Dana Mentink here. Summer means "write like crazy" time for an elementary school teacher. I dash off into my garden here in Northern, CA and hammer out as many words as I can before the Mentink children find me. Having just finished the last in the four book Pacific Coast Investigations series, I'm at that scary time when I have to build a world, a fresh series idea that will hopefully please readers and editors alike. Sheesh! That's a tall order! This puts me in mind of a few questions I have to ask myself and I figured I'd pose them to you, too!

When writing a series....

1. Should it be a small town setting? Do we enjoy that type of story, dear readers? The little small town where strange and nefarious things occur? Usually this town has a quaint name, like Rose Villiage or Bear Mountain. It's got to be catchy, you know, not like 'Cuperinto' or something.

2. Should the stories focus on one family or on many unrelated characters? Do you like to follow the lives of those four brothers or sisters or do you find that tedious after a while? Hmmmm.

3.  What would a reader find unique about the series? Are the characters all scientists? Navy Seals? Dog trainers? Or maybe scientific Navy Seal dog trainers? What series have you found to be unique?


  1. Hey, Dana. I'm a teacher too so I know all about those precious summer writing days. Right now I'm trying to make sense (and a plot) out of all the writing sprints I did this spring.

    I'd love to see what readers have to at about their preferences.

    BTW, Bear Mountain is pretty near me here in NYC. My husband and I went hiking there with friends on one of our first dates (30+ years ago) ;)

  2. Coolio! I'm glad to know Bear Mountain is actually a real place! Enjoy your summer!

  3. I like small towns in neat environments. It could be a small town in Oregon, Montana, the Smkies or the coast of Maine. Brothers, sisters, cousins, fellow officers, or even teachers would be ok. I have read series that I have enjoyed especially in Love Inspired/Suspense.
    I am a retired teacher who is subbing now and dabbling in writing.

  4. Nice to hear from another fellow teacher, Mary!


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