OK, readers and writers alike, I need your help.
I have finally started writing Button Box mystery #3 (tentatively titled Panic Button) and as usual when I begin a book, I’m walking a crazy tightrope. What to tell. What not to tell. How much background to give away. How much to tell about the books that have come before.
Back when I was writing romance, this was never a problem. Each book was a stand-alone and while some characters might recur from book to book (I did a series of books like this for Harlequin American), each story and each romance was independent.
Not so with mysteries.
So far, I’ve written five books in the Cooking Class series, nine in the Pepper Martin series and like I said, this is the third for the button series.
And each time, I find myself asking the same question. How do I get into the book, provide the background I need and at the same time, hook new readers but not make the ones who’ve already read the other books roll their eyes?
That’s why I’m asking for your help.
When you read series books, what do you like to see? Do you like fairly detailed recaps of the stories that have gone before, or just hints? Do you need a refresher about who’s who and what’s what in characters lives, or would you rather learn all that stuff new in each book?
There’s a fine line between background and boring. I need your help to figure out where it is.