No, this isn't a commercial for a dating service. The connections I'm talking about are connected books.
When I wrote FORBIDDEN TERRITORY (on sale now online and at a store near you! Buy early, buy often!), I deliberately gave my heroine two sisters with the idea that I might also write connected books for those sisters. As a reader, I have always loved connected books, like our own Gayle Wilson's Men of Mystery/Phoenix Brotherhood series, or Deb Webb's Colby Agency series. So I wanted to create the opportunity to build not just one but three stories out of the characters in my book.
And you know what? A good 90% of the fan mail I've received about FORBIDDEN TERRITORY since it came out has asked whether or when I would be writing stories for my heroine's sisters. Readers like connected stories, too. In fact, I'd say that when you create three of anything in a book—three sisters, three brothers, three friends, three firemen, three cops, etc.—your readers will automatically think "series."
Can this be a drawback? Certainly. When I sold FORBIDDEN TERRITORY, I had only a germ of an idea for the second sister's book, and no idea at all for the third sister's book. At the same time, the pressure to connect these three stories chronologically, without a book in between, has led me to focus on creating stories for the other two sisters, a focus that has enabled me to stretch my writing and plotting skills in a way I might not have had I not put that pressure on myself to come up with the connected stories.
Do you like connected books as a reader? What about as a writer? Tell us your story of connections.