A key thing that has come out of my writing conferences this summer is that publishers prefer series to standalone novels in the Mystery genre. This leads me to a couple of questions:

1. Do you prefer to read about the same characters over and over, like Harry Bosch or Dave Robicheaux, or do you like the odd standalone, i.e. T Jefferson Parker or Elmore Leonard?

2. Does the setting of the book matter to you? Is it Cabot Cove or New York City that floats your boat?

3. Do you prefer reading a first person or third person mystery?

I started out with a NYC novel as part of the 9/11 healing process. My intention was to write a novel set in Columbus, Ohio next, but I've scrapped that one to write a sequel. My first book, unReQuiTeD, is a first person/second person, mixed POV. The next one, Patron Saint is straight first person. I find it very difficult to write in the 3rd.

My thought now is to work in trilogies.

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1. I have a large number of series that I follow, but I do like quite a few authors that write standalones as well. When it comes to making a decision of one over the other, it just depends on what I've been looking forward to the most.

2. Setting really doesn't matter one way or the other, as long the author makes it easy for me to understand where the characters are, and if they're moving around the directions are simple.

3. I know there's a lot of debate about whether first person or third person is better, but honestly as long as the book is well written, I'm open to either.
1. I prefer series.

2. I like reading books set in somewhat off-the-beaten path places myself. New York, LA, Chicago and London have been done to death; of course since a lot of people live in those places, a lot of people can "relate" to the setting more, perhaps.

3. I'm not partial to one or the other. Some of my favorite books/series are done in each type.
I like both. It's refreshing for me to follow an author of a series and then have the occasional surprise of something completely different. I also think it gives the author a chance to stretch and not become trapped. Val McDermid is outstanding doing both. Carol O'Connell's Judas Child may have been better than all of her Mallory books, which are amazing themselves. Variety is the spice of life.

Settings are important. I love books about Baltimore, D.C., Virginia, Denver and Tennessee, all of which are places I either grew up or visited at points in my life.

First or third doesn't matter. The only thing I don't like is first person, present tense. Annoys the hell out of me for some reason.


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