Saturday, October 31, 2009

Use of Exisiting Characters in an Anthology

Rosemary Laurey, Carole Nelson Douglas and Jaye Wells have stories in MBVR2 that use characters from previously released novels. Into The Mist For Ever(Laurey) features the story of how Gwyltha and Justin first meet and Vampsploitation(Wells) is a prequel to Red-Headed Stepchild and also provides backstory to Mage in Black. Butterfly Kiss(Douglas) has the well known characters Midnight Louie and Delilah Street. While these stories provide prologue/backstory information/existing characters, neither requires you to have read the previous titles. Does this inspire you to find and read more from the authors and to further explore their worlds? Or do you find the use of existing characters/story confusing and skip ahead? Or do you read more from the author and then go back to the short story from the anthology?

6 comments:

Carole Nelson Douglas said...

This is an excellent quesstion! I'll be interested in seeing the answers, as I use series characters in short fiction a lot.

Cyd said...

I read all the stories in order, and except for Jaye, I didn’t know that so-and-so was prologue or back-story. I had no problem with the use of existing char/story; I generally just go with the stories flow.

Anna Dougherty said...

I don't mind existing characters or world so long as it's explained. If it feels like I'm missing something then I can get frustrated. I never would have guessed these stories had other books attached. And because I liked the writing...well, let's just say that I'm asking for books for my birthday and Christmas:)

Michele Hauf said...

I knew Midnight Louie had been in other books but had never read them, so was delighted to read this story and get to know him. Now I will for sure seek out more CND in the bookstores.

I think anthologies are a great way for an author to introduce their world to readers and make them curious to go check out their other books. As long as you don't have to read the previous stories to 'get' the short story!

Barbara E. said...

I think anthologies like this give me a chance to learn about a lot of new authors and give me some idea of what their characters are like. It makes me want to read their other work.

Carole Nelson Douglas said...

I'm glad to see "slices" of series worlds work for readers as an introduction, if they are accessible. I'm careful to make the stories stand alone, but the more complex the world-building background the more you have to balance giving its flavor with the plot and characters at hand.

That's more critical with urban fantasy worlds than more mundane mystery or romance settings. The mystery and fantasy genres have always tended toward series, and they're also a great blend, along with romance! And everything is blending now.