Author post - Eli Easton - Hurdles and Hormones: The Challenge of Writing a M/M Romance Series

Welcome to one of my favourite authors - Eli Easton

* * * * *

I’ve read romance for the past twenty years. Until two years ago, that romance was het (m /f). Like most romance readers, I liked stand-alone books, but I also loved a nice, juicy series. There’s just something about a beloved series, isn’t there?

With a series you already know what to expect, so it’s an easy purchase decision. It’s always fun to return to the same ‘universe’ and see couples you loved from past books. And, for me at least, there’s also a ‘collector mentality’ that says I have to have the whole set.

All of those things sound really promising for a writer contemplating whether to write series or stand alones. After all, we want people to buy our books, so writing endless series seems like the way to go. Unfortunately, there are some hitches too.

First off is the difficulty in carrying the same couple through multiple books. There have been some very successful series that have done that, but personally, I have a real jones for ‘first times’ and the UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension) that leads up to them. I’m unlikely to read a romance where the main couple is a couple I saw get together in a previous book. It’s like ‘What happened to Cinderella after she married the Prince’. The main tension of the story is gone for me.

The answer, of course, is to have each book in a series feature a new couple but take place in the ‘old’ setting. Mainstream romance authors have gotten this down to an art form. It might be “Estelle’s Home for Wayward Girls” where each girl gets a story, or a series about six sisters who all need to find their true love. It’s a bit trickier with m/m romance, though. It can quickly get unbelievable if everyone who works for the small sheriff’s department turns out to be gay! And series like “five brothers find their gay loves” are pretty much well out.

For my “Sex in Seattle” series, I deliberately tried to skate around this issue by having the series take place in a sex clinic called Expanded Horizons. They treat everything from frigidity and shyness to sex addiction.

 Hypothetically, the series could go on indefinitely with the patients who come in and out of the clinic. In reality though, it’s a bit of a challenge to come up with stories in which people with enough of a problem to require a sex clinic can be sexy MCs! I’ve managed it so far by having a story about the gay therapist, Dr. Jack Halloran (“The Trouble with Tony”), a patient who is coming to terms with realizing he’s gay in his 30’s (“The Enlightenment of Daniel”), and my latest novel featuring the clinic’s gay sex surrogate (“The Mating of Michael”).

The series has been a fascinating opportunity for me to think about sexuality in a new way and do some fun research. It’s the first series I’ve written and I must say it has been a treat to get to play around with past characters and a familiar setting.

Another challenge with writing a series is the phenomenon of decreasing sales. It’s unfortunately a thing that most sequels don’t do as well as the original, whether it’s film or books. You’ll inevitably lose some of the readers of the previous book just due to attrition—they’re doing something else with their lives and/or don’t hear about the new book. And it’s hard to pick up new readers because they may think they “can’t read book 3 if I haven’t read book 1 or 2”, whether or not that’s really the case. Writing about a new couple each time helps, but still there’s a tendency to dismiss a book that has a #3 or #4 if you aren’t already following the series.

To sum, series are not without their limitations and challenges. What do you think? Do you prefer series or stand alone books? Do you prefer series with an established couple or ones where each book has a different main couple? Let me know in the comments and you could win a copy of my “Sex in Seattle” series (books 1, 2 and 3).



Win a copy of my “Sex in Seattle” series (books 1, 2 and 3), or another of Eli's backlist or a future book if you have them all (!), by commenting here. Closing date: Monday 13:00 GMT.

Author Bio for Eli Easton

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

Her website is

You can email her at

Buy Links for Eli

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


RJ: See my review of Eli's books here


  1. I have enjoyed all of your books and practically devoured Michael's story!

  2. I love reading both standalones and series. If it's a series following one couple (or family) there obviously has to be a development / progression, some form of twist or drama. I love your Sex in Seattle series, as each story focus on a different couple with different challenges but still you see glimpses of them in the other books. I waited for Michael to find his match, and James was so heartbreakingly awesome, so well worth the wait! ☺

  3. I love series books it's really interesting to see the characters grow together and how they deal with outside problems and how there life changes.


  4. I have really enjoyed Eli's books and I always enjoy series. My only peeve about series is the wait time between books, I prefer instant gratification. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I haven't read any of the "Sex in Seattle" series yet, but I really enjoyed Superhero.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Let's start again...:) I really enjoy a good series - both the ones with established couples like Cut & Run and Six Degrees and the ones with new couples that are interconnected to other MC's from the series. I loved Tony & Jack and Daniel & Nick's books. Can't wait to read Michael's story.

  8. I just found your Sex in Seattle series and can't wait to get copies and read them. I find that I like standalone books and series with different couples for each book's focus more. That being said, some couples I can't wait to read over multiple volumes: Ty & Zane from the Cut & Run series and several of the characters that SE Jakes has going right now as well. The right characters I will read for many books in a series.

  9. I just finished The Mating Of Michael, and I also have The Trouble With Tony, but somehow missed the book about Daniel. Thanks for the chance to win. :-)

  10. Please count me in. Thanks.


  11. Whenever I finish a stand alone, I always wonder what happens after. Series give me a chance to find out - even if the initial characters only have a small appearance. My only problem with series is that I'm one of those people who likes to read them in order - even if they don't have to be read that way.

  12. I want to read more standalones but series keep reeling me back in. I like reading complete series so I can read them all in one go and not have to wait. I just hate when I think I am reading a standalone only to find out later it is a series!

  13. This is a tough question. The answer is most likely a common one. It depends on my mood and the overall concept of the stories. If I am reading a series I have to like the first two characters from the first book enough to try and read about the next set of characters. If I am reading a solo, the story must be compelling enough. I enjoy both and vary from time to time.

  14. First, I haven't read this series yet, but I'm really excited to since I've thoroughly enjoyed the other Eli Easton books I've read! As for standalone stories and series, I'm up for all of it. Series books, though, whether they're about one couple or different ones, hold a special place because I get to spend more time with characters I love and with whom I've become invested. When it's a really great series, it's always hard to say goodbye because these characters have become like friends. Thanks for this chance. peachescon(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. I adore series. Standalones are fine too, but I love going back and hanging out with old characters, and never having to leave a world that I've fallen in love with. Of course, this means that I also really like established couples series, but they are harder to find done right!


  16. I enjoy series. I like some with an established couple throughout. If it's done well, with the relationship growing, I really like it. I hate it, though, when the couple has trouble or breaks up constantly each book just to create tension. I like a HEA and I don't want that messed up! Probably why many of the series I like have different main characters in each book. I get to visit with characters that I fell in love with before while falling for a new couple too. Thanks for the chance to win! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot)com