Monday, May 16, 2011

Today's Special -- An Interview with Stefanie Sloane

As you all know, we here at The Romance Dish love debut authors. Well, do we have a special treat for you today! Not only does historical author Stefanie Sloane's debut book come out next week (I've read it and loved it!), but she has back-to-back-to-back releases! How's that for starting out with a bang?! This English major from Seattle has always loved to read and credits her parents for that. That degree helped her land a job with Amazon's editorial department before she decided to write her own stories of happily-ever-afters. Please help me welcome Stefanie to the blog!


Andrea: Hi, Stefanie! We are thrilled to have you visiting with us today at the Romance Dish. :) Thanks so much for being here.

Stefanie: Thanks so much for inviting me to join you. I have to say, one of the best parts of my job so far has been meeting all of the wonderful bloggers and reviewers out there in Romancelandia. You’re such a fun bunch!

Andrea: Aww, thanks! Huge congratulations on your debut book, The Devil in Disguise, which comes out next Tuesday! (Folks, I’ve read it and you don’t want to miss it!) What is the story about?

Stefanie: William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a wicked rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for the prim and proper Lady Lucinda Gray. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot and to do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must get close to Lucinda, and convince her that he’s a man worthy of her attention. It is a simple enough task to use his devilish charm to seduce her, but William never would have guessed that he’d become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or that he’d lose his own heart in the bargain.

Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. His rugged features, sinfully sensuous mouth, and piercing eyes are as alluring as the champion thoroughbred he tantalizingly offers in exchange for the honor of courting her, and she finds it hard to resist either temptation. The feelings he stirs in her both excite and arouse, urging her on despite the very real danger he represents. But when the truth is revealed, will Lucinda risk her heart and her life for a chance at everlasting love?

Andrea: Ah, I simply adored Iron Will and can see why Lucinda did, too. *g* The Devil in Disguise is the start of a series called The Regency Rogues. How are these books connected? And how many will there be?

Stefanie: All of the delicious heroes in the Regency Rogues books are members of the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization that serves king and country with complete and utter devotion. Think James Bond in breeches! As for how many books there will be in the series, I’m contracted to write books four, five, and six. After that, well, if the readers love the first six, hopefully there will be more!

Andrea: Congrats on four, five, and six! I’m sure this series will sell well. Okay, back to The Devil in Disguise. Before Will and Lucinda meet, both are dead set against courtship or marriage. Yet, after they meet and get to know one another, they actually begin to consider it. Why is that? Specifically, what is it about each that makes the other finally contemplate it?

Stefanie: I think it’s that indescribable yet totally consuming quality that love possesses. The quality that opens your eyes and forces you to realize that, despite everything you thought to the contrary, there really is someone on earth who not only understands you, but loves you completely and without judgment.

Andrea: Very well said, Stefanie. I totally felt that love between them. And speaking of love, Lucinda’s love of horses is a key point of the story. Do you share her love of horses? How much research did you have to do?

Stefanie: I absolutely do share Lucinda’s love of horses. I owned a beautiful Egyptian Arabian when I was a girl and have long admired the equine for its stamina, grace, nobility, and intelligence. I volunteered for quite some time with a horse rescue organization and interacted on a daily basis with these amazing animals, so my research was all hands-on experience—the best kind!

Andrea: Oh, wow! That's definitely the best kind of research. In addition to horses, Lucinda also dearly loves her aunts, the “Furies”, and I adored them, too! They are fiercely loyal and funny to boot. Are they based on anyone you know?

Stefanie: No one that I know, but many characters played by Maggie Smith fit the bill. Well, any of Maggie Smith’s characters blown out of proportion then enlarged personality-wise by a factor of ten.

Andrea: Maggie Smith is a great choice! I love her. Okay, since The Devil in Disguise is your debut, and we all love a good call story, can you tell us about the day you received “the call”?

Stefanie: I’ll warn you: it’s a rather unglamorous story. I was scouring my kitchen sink when my agent called. Then one of my dogs started barking, then I emailed my mom with the news—while still on the phone with my agent. Then the second dog started barking, I instant messaged my husband, and somewhere in there I began to cry. Loud, unglamorous, but it’s all mine.

Andrea: That’s plenty glamorous! Any time that you can get out of doing housework is glamorous. *wink* So, have you always liked to write? What prompted you to pick up the pen?

Stefanie: I entered college with plans of becoming a museum curator. When I slept my way through one of my core art classes, I thought it would be prudent to investigate other career paths. So I looked around for a major that would allow me to do what I loved to do best: reading. Thankfully, I didn’t fall asleep in any of my writing classes, and in fact, finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

Andrea: And here you are—a published author! Another thing we like to talk about here at the Romance Dish is comfort reads. We all have them. What are some of yours?

Stefanie: There are too many to list, but a few favorites are Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels, Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I, and any of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.

Andrea: Julia Quinn is a popular comfort read author as her The Viscount Who Loved Me is tops on my list. *g* On your website it states that you are a working mom to two active girls. How do you balance writing and family? What is a typical writing day like for you?

Stefanie: You know the performer in the circus who balances spinning plates with her nose, balls with her feet, and small animals with her hands? That’s kind of what my typical day looks like. My girls come first, so I do most of my writing during the day when they’re at school. And if I get behind—which, um, I am right now—I wait until after they go to bed to pick up the pen. My family always comes first and thankfully, I have a job that allows for this.

Andrea: LOL! I can so picture that as I have two kids, too, and they and my husband always come first. :) Since you write historical romance, if you could go back in time to when your characters lived, what one item would you insist on taking with you?

Stefanie: It’s silly and hardly the one and only thing someone in such a situation should think about, but a toothbrush—you know, a real one. Not a twig or some woody apparatus. I’m pretty sure that my dentist is smiling right about now.

Andrea: I am so with you on the toothbrush. If you hosted a small dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted (real or fictional, past or present), who would you invite and why?

Stefanie: As I’m still thinking about the recent royal wedding, I would like to put together a rather English grouping, including:

Colin Firth. I think the “why” is obvious.

Queen Victoria. A fascinating woman who lived during one of the most interesting periods in English history.

The Clash. They are one of my all-time favorite bands and sorely missed. Perhaps, if I begged, they’d play “London Calling” during dessert.

Alan Rickman. An amazing actor whose voice would soothe the situation should a fight break out between The Clash and Queen Victoria—which I’m fairly sure it would.

Will and Kate, because they’re just so cute.

Andrea: What great dinner conversation you would have! Since we’re on the subject of food, I see on your website that you love Mexican food (but don’t like to cook it). Me, too! To both, LOL! What your favorite Mexican dish?

Stefanie: Well, I love a good tamale. And then there’s guacamole—this doesn’t count as a dish, right? It’s more of a sauce or garnish, so I can have both, yes?

Andrea: Absolutely you can have both! Personally, I love spinach which my family looks at me funny. LOL! Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s up next for you?

Stefanie: In June The Angel in My Arms will be published:

Injured in the line of duty, Young Corinthian agent Marcus Maxwell, the Earl of Weston, travels to his country estate to recover—or so he believes. His superior’s request that he investigate a smuggling ring run by Napoleon sympathizers seems ridiculous at first, but then becomes all-too threatening as pieces of a treacherous puzzle begin to fall into place. And the most troubling piece of all is Miss Sarah Tisdale, an unconventional beauty whose lust for life is rivaled only by her ability to drive Marcus to distraction. When her family comes under suspicion, Marcus must watch her very, very closely...even if her touch ignites the deep, fiery desire burning just beneath his cool fa├žade.

When it comes to suitors, Sarah’s lush curves and perfectly kissable lips aren’t enough to compensate for her outspoken and willful nature. Sarah’s tasted disappointment before, and she long ago decided that she’s better off without an overbearing husband. Still, flirting with the sinfully handsome Marcus is a pastime worth savoring—even when it leads to wicked pleasures. But when Sarah’s life is in jeopardy, Marcus discovers that the fire between them can no longer be denied—and that he’ll do anything to keep her in his arms.

Andrea: I cannot wait for this one! Quick Six time!

Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds, though chocolate would trump.
Soup or salad? Salad if it’s warm outside, soup if it’s cold. Strange, but true.
Alpha or beta? Oh, I’m an alpha girl. All the way.
Mountains or beach? Since the view from my house is of the Olympic Mountain range, I’ll go with mountains.
Plotter or pantster? Plotter with a capital “P.”
Chocolate or vanilla? See question #1.

Andrea: Thanks so much for answering all of my many questions, Stefanie. Now it’s your turn—is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?

Stefanie: Thanks again for having me! Such fun questions to answer. Now, dear readers, I’d like to ask you a question: If you are a person who enjoys series, how long do you prefer your series to be? Six books? Thirty books? Is there typically a point at which you’d like to see something new from the author?

Answer my question in the comment thread and you’ll automatically be entered to win a signed copy of my debut book, The Devil in Disguise.

Thank you, Stefanie!


  1. I always feel three is the perfect number. A trilogy has time to sort everything out & still remain fresh.

  2. Ladies fantastic interview and I love the sound of these books Stefanie I so love books that are part of a series and spys as well whoo hoo.

    For me as long as all the charcters and of course the heroes and heroines and the story lines are still pulling me in I don't mind how long they go for, it is like visiting family when each new book is released LOL.

    Congrats on the release Stefanie and thank you so much Andrea I so love hearing about debut authors

    Have Fun

  3. Looking forward to reading your new series, Stefanie! :)

    I agree with Helen. As long as the books continue to grab my attention, the length of a series does not matter to me.

  4. I don't think of a set number. If the Author engages me with however many books I'm all for it. Think Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters, Gena Showalter's LOTU and JR Ward's BDB. Love them.
    Look forward to reading your new series and Congrats on your Debut The Devil In Disguise.
    Carol L

  5. I agree with most, as long as the story lines and the characters have something good to say, keep them going. I've got one to add to Carol L.s list. Christine Feehan.. her Dark series has what, like 27 books or something so far?? LOVE IT! Congratulations on your very first book! I can't wait to read it!

  6. If you are a person who enjoys series, how long do you prefer your series to be? Six books? Thirty books? Is there typically a point at which you’d like to see something new from the author?

    I do love series, I am almost never ready for a set of books to end, there are exceptions of course but sometimes even three is not enough. It also depends on the secondary characters, sometimes there are secondary characters that deserve their own story and never get it because the series isn't long enough. As a norm I think 3-4 is good.

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  8. Good morning, all, and welcome, Stefanie! We're so glad to have you with us today. Congrats on your debut!!

    I'm with the majority--as long as the stories are still interesting and engage me, then I'm all for it!

  9. marybelle, I love a good trilogy, too!

  10. Thanks, Helen! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Stefanie is a hoot!

  11. Trisha, I can't wait for you to read The Devil in Disguise!

  12. Carol, can you believe that I've never read any of those authors?! I know, I'm hiding under a rock or something... lol

  13. Jennifer, I've never read Christine Feehan either. I really need to catch up!

  14. You are absolutely right, Dianna. I'm sad when a beloved secondary character doesn't get their HEA.

  15. Jo's Daughter said: Or the kids of the previous characters are now adults... So all very loosley connected.

    Good point! Books that might not be a "set part" of a particular series, but still slightly connected is good, too. Sometimes we just don't want to let go. :)

  16. One of my favorite series that is longer than the typical 3 or 4 books, is JQ's Bridgertons. What a family!

  17. First I want to say Congratulations to Stefanie on her upcoming releases. The covers are simply wonderful!

    I love series books and as long as the author continues to write good stories - I'll continue to buy them- case in point- J.D. Robb is still on my must buy list as are Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series and LKH's Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry books. Thanks for the contest!

  18. Hi Stephanie!!! I cannot believe that you have been teasing me for months with the debut of books 1,2 and 3 with the May, June, and July publications and now you are going to re-tease me with books 4,5 and 6?

    I do love series, but my favorite is the Bridgertons - JQ can write 100 books and I will be there buying each and every one of them - and - I have great hopes that your new series will be just as wonderful!

  19. I'm a series addict! Like most of the other commenters, I don't think there is a perfect length. Some trilogies seem quite complete, but I still love Jo Beverley's Rogues World after 14 books, published over 16 years, and her Mallorens and their connections after 13 books spread over 18 years. One of the many reasons I'm eager for JQ's Just Like Heaven is the Bridgerton connection, and I adore all six of Eloisa James's Desperate Duchesses books. On the contemporary side, I haven't missed one of Robyn Carr's fifteen Virgin River books, and I still reread Nora Roberts's eleven-book, multi-generation MacGregor series and mourn that readers will never have the stories of Adria, Matthew, and Amelia.

  20. Depends on how many starting characters there are. Say if you have only 4 Corinthians then 4 books. Heck I just love to read, just wish they weren't so far apart that you sometimes forget the starting book.

    Congratulations on you writing.

  21. I love a trilogy or a quartet. However, I remember Stephanie Lauren's Cynster series was (still is?) very long, and I enjoyed it very much. It all depends on the story and the author!
    Thanks for the interview & the chance to win your contest!

  22. Hello Stephanie! You asked a very good question. You cannot say a series will be so many books. Look at Harry Potter or Clan of the Cave Bear. I think a series should end and answer all those danglers. Nothing worse than reading a book, come to the end, and there is a dangler at the end with no chance of another book to answer all those questions.

    Most people forget prequels can make a story... so if you feel the need to add to a story you can always make its prequel! (Like Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies)

    Congrats on the success and thanks for letting me put my 2 pence/cents worth!

  23. Congrats on your debut, Stefanie! It's great to have here at TRD. I'm looking forward to checking out The Devil in Disguise.

    To me, I don't have a preference for how long a series should be, as long as I'm invested in the stories and characters. Like Janga, I LOVE the MacGregor's, and wish we could get Amelia, Adria, and Matthew's stories. Along those lines, I also really loved the Bride Quartet, and while I understand and respect Nora's vision for the series, and why she ended it the way she did, I can't help but wish we got to see Emma, Laurel, and Parker's weddings too!

    I also loved JQ's Bridgerton series, and Eloisa's (who, imo, is the queen of writing series) Desperate Duchesses books. I also loved the first few books in Johanna Lindsey's Malory series, but haven't read the last few yet.

    But I think the award for the mother of all series would have to be Jude Devereaux, with her Montgomery/Taggert series which spans I don't know how many generations and books, lol.

  24. James Bond in breeches...sounds great!

    As to your question--I don't have a specific number in mind. I do enjoy a lot of series books and keep up with them as long as the characters are compelling and the plots are fresh. Sometimes, a series will drag on too long or become repetitive, and I will drop it.

  25. And agghh! I can't believe I forgot Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower and Hathaway series, and her Texas trilogy too! As I said before, if all Texas men were like Gage, Hardy, and Jack, I may seriously reconsider relocating to the Lone Star State!

  26. 3 is a good number, but as long as the people and plots continue to be fresh & interesting, I'll read them.

  27. Maria--more authors I've yet to read! I've heard lots of good buzz about the In Death series!

  28. Yay, Dtchycat! Another Bridgerton fan! I heart that series. :)

  29. Janga, that is exactly why I'm looking forward to JQ's new series--the connection to the Bridgertons. That and the fact that it's JQ!!

  30. Alice Faye said: ...just wish they weren't so far apart that you sometimes forget the starting book.

    Exactly! That's why we love back-to-back series! *g*

  31. Thanks for stopping by, DottieI48! I love Laurens's Cynster series, too. :)

  32. Thank you for the wonderful interview! I like series as long as each book is stand alone. A series is only as good as it's plots, characters and writer. If the stories are good it doesn't matter how long the series is. Like the old saying,"If it's not broken why fix it?"

  33. Good point, EternalsBlissy. As long as the loose ends are tied up in the last book, then it's all good. Harry Potter is a terrific series!

  34. Lisa said: I also really loved the Bride Quartet, and while I understand and respect Nora's vision for the series, and why she ended it the way she did, I can't help but wish we got to see Emma, Laurel, and Parker's weddings too!

    I know this is going to shock you, Lisa (NOT!), but me, too!! I would love to see their weddings. *g*

  35. LSUReader said: James Bond in breeches...sounds great!

    Doesn't it, LSUReader?! I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it!

  36. You're in the majority, Winnie! :)

  37. Candy G said: If the stories are good it doesn't matter how long the series is. Like the old saying,"If it's not broken why fix it?"

    I use this saying on a daily basis, Candy! :)

  38. Loved the interview--thanks! Congratulations, Stefanie, on your new release! The books sound good and I look forward to reading them.

    I LOVE series books. Six is a nice number, but if an author wants to write 30, that would be great! I love catching up with previous heroes and heroines.

  39. I love a trilogy! I get a little bored with series that have too many siblings. I love JQ's Bridgerton series (I've read them all), but it is so refreshing to have a spin off series like her upcoming Smythe-Smith series.

  40. I think 6 to 9 books is the perfect number for a series. If the author has more stories to tell they can always spin off a new series from the original one.

  41. Great interview. I absolutely can't wait to read these books. I've had them on my wishlist for months now and I adore the covers. So pretty.

    I love series books. They are my favorite. I love being able to follow up with past characters and see what they have been up to. I don't really care how long a series is as long as the author is able to keep it fresh and new.

  42. I like long or short seiris, but if a series is good, and there are enough characters or plot ideas to keep it going, I will keep reading a series for as long as it lasts. Done right, it never needs to end. Thanks for a great interview and for the chance to win :)

  43. As long as the stories and the characters continue to be interesting, I will continue reading series. I still follow Hannah Howell's Murray family and Lynsay Sands vampire series and both are getting close to 20 books now.

  44. Hi all,
    Wow, it's so lovely to see you here! It sounds like we all agree that, for the most part, if an author can continue to write books in the series that are fresh, we'll read them.

    I too adore the "In Death" and Bridgerton series--and think that they are perfect examples of what I've just described. And I'm so happy that mine are releasing so close together as, when I find a series that I love, I want to read them all NOW!:)

  45. Myself I think three is about right. It seems to me if it goes much more I get a little bored with it, but maybe that's just me. Sometimes it hard to keep up with all the books and finding them can be a problem.

  46. Thanks, Deb! I like it even if a previous hero and heroine are only mentioned, just so we get an update on them. :)

  47. I totally agree with you both, ajd626 and Stacie--spin-offs are great, too!

  48. Thanks for stopping by, Danielle, Betty, and June! Sounds like you all are in the majority. ;-)

  49. Virginia, you just hit on the worst part about series (if there really is a worst part-lol), if you can't find them all! I like to read series in order and if I can't find the first, then I am forced to wait.

  50. Hello Stefanie and congratulations!
    I enjoyed reading your interview.

    I like my series to be pretty short when it comes to historicals. The maximum number would be eight or ten because often times the older ones are out of print or just very hard to find and I generally like reading them in order.

    When it comes to paranormals, strangely, I don't have any issues reading long series because there's the whole wordbuilding/ongoing conflict going on and that needs time to resolve.

  51. Congrats on your upcoming debut release, Stefanie. I really enjoy series and most of the ones I read are 3-6 books. Sometimes series that go on longer than 6 books become a little stale.

  52. I think every series is different. Some of them seem fresh even thought there are many books in the series. Also, some series have stories that are more stand alone than others so if I miss one then it is not a problem.

  53. Congrats on the debut, Stefanie!

    Series length, all depends on how fresh and interesting the author can make it. Repeating the same type of storyline and character traits in a longer series can get a bit boring. Loved Quinn's Bridgertons and Kleypas's Wallflowers with characters with varied personalities. Love Nalini Singh's Psy series, the characters and romance, but also because she' got such an intriguing world and ongoing plot that keeps up the interest. CS Harris has her Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, where you get the mystery in each book that is resolved, but also ongoing family/relation dynamics with the central main character that keeps up series interest.

    All comes down to how the author engages us in the characters in each, and/or any key plot.

  54. Hey Stephanie! Welcome to The Romance Dish and congrats on your debut!!! We absolutely LOVE debut authors here. And man, how great for you to have contracted for 6 books!!!!

    Personally, I'm all about the series. Love them! Especially when I get to see glimpses of past couples. It's always nice to revisit them.

    I'm looking forward to reading your debut and following it up with the rest of the series ;-)

  55. Loved the interview, and 5 is a good number for a series, once they hit 10 I start to get confused.

  56. This book looks great and would love to win. Thanks for the giveaway and keep on writing the great books.

  57. Really important point re: finding the books, especially when they need to be read in order. My first three do not need to be, though it's probably best to do so. But the next three? You have to read them in order because the same mystery progresses through all three. I didn't really think about this until after I'd sold and now I'm working on the fourth one and being really careful to plant the right info and clues. Tricky!

    And I love it when characters from past books in a series show up in the following books too. There's mention of past characters in the first three, though no appearances. But in the next three, you'll see characters from book 1 in book 2, from book 2 in book three, and even the hero from book 2 in book 1. Ok, that's kind of confusing, but trust me, it works!:)

    And I just wanted to say thank you to all for the kind words about my books and well wishes for my career. I've said it before and I'll say it again: romance readers are the best readers in the world!

  58. If it's a great series, I'll keep reading as long as there are books in the series to read. I haven't run into a series yet that I've gotten tired of, and there have been a few that I've been disappointed that there aren't more to come in the series. So I guess as long as an author can continue to write interesting stories, there isn't a limit.
    Congrats on your debut, I look forward to reading it.

  59. Hi Stefanie! Congratulations on being a published author! Can't wait to pick up a copy of The Devil in Disguise. It sounds wonderful!

    It only takes a glance at my bookcases to know I'm a fan of series. The shelves are filled with Malorys, Bridgertons, MacGregors and more. As for how long those series should be; for me, if the characters are engaging and the plots fresh and entertaining, I'm happy for them to go on forever. I've dropped some series when plots started to repeat themselves and the writing felt stale but there are category series out there that include more than 10 books and span first, second and third generations yet I still love reading them because the writing remains fresh.

  60. Wow, 60 posts, people! What a great group of readers here at The Romance Dish. I've had such a lovely time here and am very appreciative to all of you for the insight into what you think about series.

    And special thanks to Andrea for allowing me to come on over and chat!

  61. Sorry I'm so late! Great interview, Stefanie and Andrea!

    Stefanie, I can't wait to read your books. Back to back releases are the best! *g*

  62. Wow, your books sound great, I can't wait to see what the characters in the four books after that are like! 30 may be too many for a series, but a dozen or more would be good!

  63. It really depends on the type of series it is. If it is a series of closely related stories with an overall story arc, then 3 or 4 is a good length. In the case of family sagas or otherwise connected individuals like Stephanie Laurens, Catherine Coulter and Debra Webb (Colby Agency) write, then it can stretch out for many more. In essence, it sometimes turns into a series of connected sub-series.

    Thank you for an interesting interview. Best of luck with your books, Stephanie. I like the premise. These sound like stories I will enjoy.

  64. Hi! It really depends on the series. If there is a story arc running through the books, then 4 or 5 at most. Sure, I don't mind reading series books with way more than that (one of my faves is Terry Pratchett's Discworld series), but if the one-armed man is never caught, so to speak, at some point I will cease to care.

  65. I enjoy series of many different sizes; anything from 2 to six works for me as long as the plots are different enough to keep it interesting. However, I also agree with librarypat about the family saga that generates its own separate mini series' like TV spin-offs.

    Congratulations, Stephanie!

  66. Congrats on the book debut!
    I'm a girl who loves series because I always like hearing more about other characters in the world created by an author. It's hard to put a number on which I'd feel like the series should max out but typically I find myself happy around the 6 or 7 books mark. After that things can seem just too drawn out. Though I'm still gonna pick up the next Sookie book so I guess there are exceptions lol

  67. Thanks SO much to everyone for their lovely comments!! It sounds as if most of us would read a series at any length as long as the stories stay fresh. We love series!! :)

  68. Stefanie, thanks so much for answering all my questions. I wish you much success with your debut and this series. I can't wait to read the next book!!

  69. I think that the ideal number is definitely three! After that, I feel it would become a bit boring for the author as well as the reader.

  70. I think 4 books in a series keeps the author from getting stale.