Lately I have thought a lot about authors, series and stand-alone novels. Series, or to be more exact trilogies, seem to be the big thing right now, especially if you look at the books in the YA section. I like reading trilogies when all three books are equally entertaining, fantastic and so on. But I also love reading amazing stand-alone novels that manage to start and finish a whole story in one book.
Some authors just have to write trilogies, they have the ability to create three equally interesting and great books. They have the ability to create complex worlds and stories over several books. But maybe they would have trouble to write a brilliant stand-alone novel because they wouldn't be able to make all their ideas work in just one novel.
And some authors can write fantastic stand-alone novels, they know how to create an interesting world in just one book, they know how to write a story that doesn't need three books to be told. They know how to create characters that enthrall you even though you only met them in one book.
Lately I have read some books by authors that made me wonder why they write trilogies. These authors have created fantastic stand-alone novels in the past (at least in my opinion), but the first books in their new series were just ok. And some writers can write great first books in a series but then have trouble to create equally good books #2 and #3. I think that sometimes it's best to stick with what you can do. Not all authors need to be able to create fantastic trilogies that contain three equally good books. If you can write amazing stand-alone novels, then please go on with doing so.
Of course there are some authors who can do both, they can create wonderful stand-alone novels and amazing series. And that's fantastic. But in my opinion it's not a bad thing if an author can't do both. As long as an author concentrates (and gets the chance to do so) on the type of things he/she can do in a great way, then everything is fine. So let's celebrate the authors who can write great stand-alones, and those who can write great series, and those who can do both. And let's hope that just because trilogies are the big thing right now, authors will still stick to the type of books they can write best.
Btw, on the picture you can see books, stand-alone novels and two books from the bride quartet, from Nora Roberts. She is one of the authors who IMO can write both amazing series and great stand-alone novels.