Writing a Series

By: Brent Abell

Sometimes a series will pop up and beat you upside the head with a baseball bat. I’ll be finishing a book and minding my own business when the last chapter screams at me and assaults me with a bat. It says it doesn’t want to end and there’s more to the story. After it stops, I think about it and agree. Sure, my head hurts from the beating, but the story is usually right. Never doubt the voice of the story, it knows what it wants and needs.

My novel, Southern Devils, began as a short story. It was accepted by two different presses before they each folded and never saw print. I had tossed the idea around about expanding it to a novel. Once the second anthology it was slated to appear in fell through, I went for it. During the process of expanding it to a novel, something happened: It grew beyond a single book and is even now set to move beyond a trilogy and become something larger.

The Calling has become a part of something bigger as well. When I decided to move beyond short stories, I wanted to write a novella and then move to a novel. In Memoriam was the novella I wrote to kick off the move to longer works. Well, by the time I finished it, I had a series planned out for White Creek. The Calling is the second book in the series and takes place in 1994, about twenty years before In Memoriam.

Writing a series does come with its own set of challenges. What happens in one book or a connected short story has an impact on the narrative as a whole. The biggest thing I’ve run into so far is that Frank Hill isn’t in the In Memoriam novella. He was created later and considering his role in The Calling, I have to figure out a way to explain his absence.

I’m sure having a plan is a great way to write a series. You plan it out and can compare the books to the map you have laid out when you need a helping hand. I have a loose path drawn out for the White Creek series and how the short stories I’ve written tie into the up-coming books.

So, there is a plan for the White Creek series and it springs forth from the evil bound to the land by the original settlers. To save themselves, they played with forces they shouldn’t have and had to damn themselves even more to stop the evil they unknowingly unleashed.

The White Creek series is underway, won’t you visit and stay a while?


The CallingBrent Abell

Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard.  As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.

Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.

White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.

As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!

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Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.


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