Connected Books — Your Thoughts?

I know we discussed this a while back, but as I think about ideas for the book I’ll write after my current work-in-progress, I’m toying with the concept again. How do you feel about connected books? By that I mean:

  • a trilogy or continuation of the story with the same characters (as in the KEEPER OF THE LIGHT trilogy)
  • related books (books all set in the same setting but the focus is on different characters, although the original characters are still around — think Jan Karon’s MITFORD series)

I welcome your thoughts!


  1. Margo on February 14, 2007 at 11:20 am


  2. Margo on February 14, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I LOVEEEEEEEEE THIS IDEA!…for some reason I tried commenting a bit ago and the blog cut me off after the word love (maybe because it’s Valentine’s Day and the word love was enough? (LOL)…strange…anyway, I really think sequals or trilogys are wonderful, especially with your books Diane. Whenever I finish 1 of your novels I actually go thru withdrawl because I miss the characters so much…with a continuing book, the friendships, lives and suspense carries on. Plus, we get to know more of the background characters as the story unfolds into another novel. I was thrilled beyond words when 10 years after KEEPER OF THE LIGHT was written, a sequal emerged and then a 3rd novel making it an incredible trilogy. I loved the people and it was wonderful learning more about secondary characters in books 2 & 3. I will embrace a sequal or trilogy to any of your books anytime you decide to write them!

  3. Krysia on February 14, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I agree with Margo, although I read Keeper after I had already read the other 2. I love sequals to books better than movies, I rarely watch the sequals to movies, I always read the sequal of a book.

  4. Brenda on February 14, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I love the idea. I have the Mitford books-keepers…
    I enjoy reading about the same character…James Patterson’s detective (although those books I send on their way–I have too many books-just donated 8 boxes to library). The first set of mysteries I choose are those type-same character.
    I think one of the first (other than Agatha Christie) who used the same characters would have to be the Harlequin series-loved those in the 70’s and 80’s… However, I do think the sequels should be within a ten year time period…I am funny that way-I do not know why.
    We are home today because of ice-my son is stuck in the Cleveland weather where he lives and works-bet this will move him out of there–my daughter is in Indy-same there.
    Stay warm.

  5. Margo on February 14, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Krysia, Diane’s KEEPER OF THE LIGHT is actually my favorite novel of all time and when the book ended I actually mourned for those haunting characters. I always hoped they would return in a future novel so when Diane decided to write KISS RIVER and later HER MOTHER’S SHADOW I was literally ecstatic! I’ve talked to people who read book 2 & 3 when they came out not knowing there was a book 1 so you aren’t alone…they also went back and read the 1st one. Brenda, you must be getting what we had Mon…the weather was SO bad here that my husband drove me to work in his 4 wheel drive truck because of the ice and snow on the roads…it was close to being a blizzard here. We have lots of snow and bitter temps of below zero wind chill…I’m staying warm with 2 turtlenecks on and lots of hot Starbucks coffee!

  6. Brenda on February 14, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I know there are others that should have PART II but REFLECTIONS would be great but so would CEE CEE

  7. Brenda on February 14, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    What about Laura in Breaking the Silence??????? I’d like to know what happened to her…
    Or a new story and a new character…

  8. Diane Chamberlain on February 14, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks for all this great input! I’ve got my thinking cap on.

  9. Brenda on February 14, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    It is killing me just typing my columns for my project-how do you do it?
    I have been going to the Y too much-did 5 days last week (l hour each)…will cut that down.
    Last night my Yoga and Steps Class (2 hours) too much…will try not to be so enthusiastic.
    However, I love it and am doing great–the arthritis is just bad now because of the weather-ha ha…I always say that…
    Diane-I admire you…I work all day…I go to grad school…I am a picky housekeeper, wife, mom, and Nana…I write that column…but just typing so many hours a day on my project is killing me and I am a good typist–your work is hard….
    Worth it
    But hard

  10. Krysia on February 14, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Margo- I knew there was a first, it had mentioned it on the inside of Kiss River, but our library didn’t have the book. (I mentioned that they should get it since it’s the beginning of a trilogy). I wound up finding it at a 2nd hand shop around the time the inter-library loan came.
    We got only 4 inches of snow but a lot of the roads were drifted shut, atleast the side streets I take to work. They were plowing sort of when I went though which was nice. Although picking up Summer’s Child from the library nearly killed me though, but I was glad the roads were plowed and I have good reflexes, I nearly became a hood ornament for a H3.

  11. Diane Chamberlain on February 15, 2007 at 12:38 am

    “I nearly became a hood ornament for a H3.”
    Yikes! Well I’m touched by the lengths you’ll go to for one of my books. hope you enjoy it.

  12. Diane Chamberlain on February 15, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Brenda, you do FAR more than i do, believe me. just reading your posts exhausts me. if you’re really having trouble typing, you might need to invest in voice recognition. what do you think?

  13. Beth Joyce on February 15, 2007 at 2:51 am

    I love your trilogy. You definitely should consider doing more of them. Everytime I come to the end of one of your books I wish you would continue with more. The characters become friends you would like to know more about. You always have so much more in the book that I would love to explore. I agree with all the comments, especially about expanding Reflection, being that that is my favorite. You could easily expand all your books into trilogies. That could keep you busy for years, and me too.

  14. Diane Chamberlain on February 15, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Beth, it’s an interesting thought to expand the older books into trilogies as I did with KEEPER. I’d love it, of course, but I doubt my publisher would buy the idea. I’ll have to get famous enough first to call my own shots. LOL.

  15. Cheryl on February 15, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    I love trilogies or any sequal book and always read the sequal if I enjoyed the first book. I love your trilogy and I would love a sequal to the Bay at Midnight.

  16. Diane Chamberlain on February 16, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for your input, Cheryl! It would be fun to extend Lucy’s story in BAY, i think. But i have no plans to do it at this time.

  17. Brenda on February 16, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Girls-I can’t tell you how excited I am this weekend-my daughter is braving the snow and driving 6 hours (hopefully before it snows again) to bring the three little girls for the weekend…
    On the down note, I am at my wits end-finally reached the breaking point with the university I attend-each week there is something different thrown at me about finishing…now it is lacking a class-and I have it. I don’t know if May will be my graduation or not-we’ll see.
    Take care-thanks for thinking of me-encouragement.

  18. Krysia on February 16, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Brenda-The University I attended changed the curriculum for my degree 3 times in 3 years before I graduated, I wound up taking 6 classes I didn’t need, one I attended 3 times and 1 I should have had transfer. Don’t let it get ya down though.

  19. Diane Chamberlain on February 16, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    That is so not fair, K and B. Brenda, I hope you can work it out.

  20. brenda on February 20, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know how much more I can take-met with my advisor today. NOt sure about grad date now–they should have told me in January…we’ll see what happens…I am trying…Thanks for good thoughts…
    Now with the project, the other two classes, and now this…give me a break.
    It is horrible.
    On the good side-the girls were here and they are darling…
    Take care.

  21. Nancy K. Hartley on March 14, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Sequels & trilogies (even better) are by far my favorite groups to read after the first book was so interesting. Even using the same character in several books and introducing different plots are fun to read. You get to feel like you are looking over a friend’s shoulder enjoying another one of their adventures.
    You are just a wonderful author to read & a terrific person to boot. What a bonus for us readers!

  22. Diane Chamberlain on March 14, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Nancy, what a lovely post! Thanks for your input on sequels and trilogies. I hope to do more of them sometime in the future.

  23. Laurey on March 19, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I’m not really a big fan of trilogies. I did like the trilogy you did but in general, I find that there ends up being too much redudancy or too much difficulty trying to keep stories connected that the plot ends up suffering. While I echo the other readers ideas that there are some characters that you don’t want to let go of and want to know more about, sometimes I think it is best to let them go and use your imagination to find out more about them. I like it better when the authors move on to new characters.

  24. Diane Chamberlain on March 19, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Laurey, I really appreciate you sharing your point of view. In my own reading material, I tend to agree with you, although I sometimes enjoy an extended story. I’ll be posting about my decision with regard to my work-in-progress tonight or tomorrow.

  25. Betty C. Sims on April 22, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I would LOVE to see an extension of Cypress Point. I had a hard time putting tht book down. I recently was in California for the first time ever and so many of the places were familiar. It was like going there again!! Please consider another novel in that setting.

  26. Diane Chamberlain on April 22, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks for piping in here, Betty. I’m glad you enjoyed CYPRESS POINT. I’d love to write about that area again, but seemed to be hooked on North Carolina at the moment. . . We’ll see what the future holds.

  27. Heather on August 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    I have read Keeper of the light, kiss river and her mothers shadow. I am what my husband calls obsessed with the characters. I was reading them and then passing them to my mother and then on to my sister. I cannot believe I am done reading about the lighthouse and the characters. I am so sad. Please write another. Please write about Lacey and Bobby. Pull out more secrets about Annie. I have to say I am very disappointed they are over.

  28. Diane Chamberlain on August 28, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Heather! I’m sorry you’re disappointed, but glad I could give you so much entertainment. Thanks for passing the books along to your mother and sister. Right now, I have no plans to continue writing about the O’Neill family, but I know how you feel–I miss them too. I hope you’ll continue to lose yourself in my stories.

Leave a Comment