Tag Archives: Series Books

Series World Wonders – Holiday HeadsUp for You

Series World Wonders. If there is a single gift of value I can add to your holiday season, this is it. Series World is a fabulous realm for a reader to step into for a while and borrow as a home for her imagination. Series World is also a place of professional and personal potential, where a writer may explore and discover rewarding story material. I’m talking about an immersive experience all around, and that immersion can be the source of Series World Wonders for anyone who cares to give it a try.

Reader fascination with Series World Wonders has a contemporary aspect that didn’t exist until a few years ago, though stories in a series have been with us for a very long time. My first adventure among Series World Wonders was all about Nancy Drew, who was also my first real foray into popular fiction. I fell in love with Nancy. I wanted to be Nancy, or at least slip in among her friend posse and follow along toward excitement I wasn’t likely to encounter on East Avenue in Watertown, New York.

Alice Orr Books Danger in Disguise Nancy DrewAfter I had read one story, I couldn’t wait to leap into another and another and another. Nancy Drew had hooked me on her Series World Wonders, so much so that I published a Nancy story myself, ghostwritten under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. I already had my own author career as Alice Orr by then, but I couldn’t resist the lure of fulfilling a youthful dream, to become Nancy in the only way I could practically manage, by creating a story with her at the center and living with her in my head for a while. I will never forget Danger in Disguise.

Now, let’s get back to the reader, and how her attraction to Series World Wonders has taken on a fresh wrinkle these days. I not only love writing series, I also love reading series. This love affair may have begun with Nancy Drew books, but it didn’t end there. I galloped through the Black Stallion series, wandered and pondered with Anne of Green Gables, and eventually graduated to more adult thrills with the likes of Kinsey Millhone and Michael Haller. Which made me, and millions like me, ripe to become enthusiastic fans of Series World Wonders on the small screen.

Remember the phenomenon of the Downton Abbey series? The breathless excitement that accompanied anticipation of every new season? Some of us were so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end, we would binge-watch the whole thing again, one episode after another for hours at a time. And when Downton alas deserted us altogether, we searched out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we could remain in the delicious Brit landscape of “Blimey” and “Egad” a while longer.

We had been captured by Series World Wonders. We had been seduced by their charms and immersed among the twists and turns of their stories. We had lived, via our imaginations and television’s vivid images, in that delightful, though obviously idealized milieu for what felt almost like a period of our own lives. We hungered to immerse ourselves in other Series World Wonders again very soon. Services like Netflix and Amazon  Prime recognized our whetted binge-watching appetites and indulged them, and we’ve been a happy mix ever since.

Which brings me from readers and watchers to writers. And especially to what the binge-television contagion, with its Series World Wonders, means for us. Has watching binge television conditioned our entertainment-eager culture to be ripe for binge book reading too? As in series, series, and more series? It absolutely has. This is great news for both writers and readers. When artfully invented, the Series World Wonders we conjure up can set a reader’s teeth into a story that carries her along lickety-split, absorbed by our absorbing characters, and puts her in a foul mood when she is forced to read “THE END.” She yearns to be carried along and absorbed some more. She yearns for us to expand this book into a series. My holiday heads-up to writers is for you to consider satisfying that yearning, if you have not done so already.

Why Is the world of a series a great place for a writer to live? In purely practical and professional terms, a trip to Series World can be an adventure on the road to success for an author. An adventure we share with our readers, as we build that world detail by detail, and they revel in it scene by scene. I am currently traveling through my first series world as a writer, and I love it there. My goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To captivate them with my Series World Wonders.

Riverton Road Suspense Tree logoThe Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series takes place in and around Riverton, New York in what is known as the North Country. Stories of danger and romance feature the Kalli and Miller families and the Women of West Main Street, to be introduced in Book 6. The setting is a town in remote northern New York State, where I happened to grow up. No real-life town called Riverton exists there, but who cares? If I perform my storytelling job as I should, readers will believe in Riverton Road so deeply that they will miss it when they have to leave and will, you guessed it, yearn to return.

A bonus benefit to me as a writer, one I had not expected before I began this so far five-story excursion, is that I have myself been lured into a love affair with my own Series World Wonders. I have become at least as deeply immersed in my Riverton world as I hope for my readers to be. From that deep place I bring my stories to real life, because in that deep place they have real life for me. Frankly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had as a writer. Which is the true holiday gift I share with you. My experience of diving into the flowing ocean of my story world and discovering how much I do not want to leave. I invite you to dive along with me, and find out what Series World Wonders might lie ahead for you.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

– R|R –

A Time of Fear & LovingAlice’s new novel, filled with Series World Wonders, is A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE.

What readers are saying about A Time of Fear & Loving. “Alice Orr is the queen of ramped-up stakes and page-turning suspense.” “Warning. Don’t read before bed. You won’t want to sleep.” “The tension in this novel was through the roof.”
“A budding romance that sizzles in the background until it ignites with passion.”
“I never want an Alice Orr book to end.”
“The best one yet, Alice!”


TAGS: Storytelling, Series Novels, Riverton Road Series, Romantic Suspense

How to Create a Relatable World – Ask Alice Saturday

Hope's Prelude cover image Question: How do I create a fantasy world that works?

Answer: You create a world that real-life readers can relate to.

First of all write a series. Creating an entire alternate world is too much work to undertake for a one-off novel. Besides a series is the road to success for an author in today’s marketplace. A series is also an adventure through that alternate world. Your goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To do this you must create a world that has reality and resonance – a world that is relatable.

Then you must immerse your reader in that world. You must immerse her so completely in your story world that she’s wants – even needs – to remain there until you release her at The End. So completely she will miss that world when she’s forced to leave it and be eager to return asap. Achieve that and you’ve set a powerful narrative hook for the story and for the series as well. But how do you manage such immersion?

I found an answer to that is in a book by L.G O’Connor. Hope’s Prelude – The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles – Book 2.5 is part of a very big story world. The biggest as a matter of fact because O’Connor’s macro story world encompasses nothing less than the struggle between good and evil to determine the fate of the universe. I love big stories and good versus evil but most authors have difficulty managing the scope of that canvas. Specifically they have difficulty making the story believable and relatable.

O’Connor manages the vast scope of her story and the series by anchoring us in credible human territory. The landscape may be vast but the situation is intimate because at its heart is a love story and we relate to love stories. This is the powerful narrative hook we all carry in our romance genre kit bags. We can use it to make a potentially overwhelming story canvas personal. We immerse the reader in the world of the lovers and that is our open sesame to immersing the reader in the alternate world of the story.

But we must do so as deftly as O’Connor does. At the center of an apocalyptic struggle scenario she grounds us in a tender love story that humanizes all of the rest and gives it an up-close-and-personal scale which touches our hearts. I was fascinated by her faceoff between the forces of good – the Angelorum – and the forces of evil – the Dark Ones. But I was truly captured by the love between Hope in her worldly guise as Dr. Sandra Wilson scientist – and her guardian and mate Isa whom she calls Ishmael.

Their passion is both human and otherworldly and Isa is one of the most sexy-powerful yet gentle lovers I’ve ever read. As romance storytellers intent upon creating conflict we are often forced to situate that struggle between our lovers or lovers-to-be. The alternate world framework allows us to situate the struggle outside of the love relationship in the complex universe beyond. O’Connor takes beautiful advantage of that opportunity by creating a hero who openly adores the heroine. I found that refreshing and endearing from the start.

However engulfed I may have been by the multi-layered world of the series – what really grabbed me was Hope/Sandra and Isa/Ishmael and how much they are besotted with each other and devoted to each other. Theirs is the kind of relationship we all long to find in our real-world lives and that longing is the ultimate reader involvement. We not only want to read about this couple – we want to be part of a couple just like them.

What deeper hook can a writer set? How much more relatable can a story be? Does O’Connor’s fantasy world work? You betcha it does. Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XKID2UE and be inspired.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.


A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3. All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.


Binge Watching and Binge Reading – Riverton Road Monday

Alice's Nancy Drew TitleI not only love writing series. I also love reading series. This love affair began in my childhood Nancy Drew Books days. Of course reading under the covers with a flashlight. What better way could there be to experience The Secret of the Old Clock?

Did you know I wrote a Nancy Drew once just for the thrill of being Carolyn Keene for a month or two? It went to #2 on the kids’ bestseller list. Talk about fulfilling a childhood dream. I loved doing it. But I only wrote one. I don’t know why since I enjoyed being a teen again.

The title by the way was Danger in Disguise – and I’m flabbergasted to find it still available. D in D is even an eBook though I wrote it long before that format existed. If you don’t believe me – check this out. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HB62LKI.

I digress. Because what I’ve really been thinking about is how binge television-watching may be conditioning all of us to be ripe for binge book reading too. As in series – series – and more series. This is great news for writers. But it’s great news for readers also.

When I get my teeth into a story that carries me along lickety-split and absorbs me with its absorbing characters – it puts me in a foul mood to read THE END. I want to stick with this story. Most of all I want to stick with this experience. I want to be carried along and absorbed some more.

We’re all getting a succulent taste of this these days via television series. Look at the excitement accompanying anticipation of every new Downton Abbey season. In fact some of us have been so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end that we binge the whole thing again.

We not only binge that preceding season – we often return to previous seasons and binge those too. Some of us even search out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we can remain in that delicious Brit place of “Blimey” and “Egad.”

We have been captured. We have been seduced. We have been immersed. We have lived in that delightful though obviously idealized milieu for episode after episode and we can’t stand to leave it. That milieu is what I’ve written about in previous posts as “the world of the series.”

We not only want to spend a bit of watcher time there. If the truth were told – many of us would love to live there and fantasize doing so. I’ve heard there are Downton Abbey parties where people dress in pre- or post-World War I posh and affect lock-jawed nasal accents.

My granny was British and tried to make me British as well so I’m all for this. She and I would have tea at four with little sandwiches and cookies – or biscuits as she called them. She taught me conversation. First I’d talk then she’d talk while I listened instead of itching to talk again myself. Those were the rules.

I digress yet again because what I’m really all for is the long game of story-loving and storytelling. This is the antidote to the here-this-nanosecond-gone-the-next attention span. Or maybe it debunks the myth of that phenomenon. Maybe the internet and the screened device haven’t rendered us all incapable of long-haul commitment after all.

My vote goes with debunking the short-span myth and hanging on to my devices too. What glass-half-empty person said we can’t have it all anyway? I’m definitely down with the have-it-all faction – for my stories if nothing else. I say old chap. Might you jolly well feel the same?

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.


A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.