Posted On March 15, 2018 by

An Accidental Series by Ann Warner

Please welcome back ANN WARNER – I was intrigued at the way her “dreams” books grew into a series. Have you ever had a series evolve unexpectedly? 

In general, novels with romantic story lines end when the two characters who have been dancing around each other for 200+ pages finally realize, like the reader has, that they are perfect for each other. Once they admit that to themselves and each other, we as readers and authors close the book with a sigh, leaving those characters frozen in that perfect moment.


But it’s possible that what comes next could be equally interesting, although I’ll admit, it didn’t occur to me to apply this thought to my books until one of my readers pushed me to think about it.


Up to that day, despite all the evidence that series are popular with readers and provide writers with built-in promotional opportunities, I never thought I would write one. I considered myself an author of single titles. Period.


Until I found myself writing my first series.


In Dreams for Stones, I had written a heart-breaking  story of a man consumed by grief after witnessing his wife’s death. Alan is gradually pushed and pulled back to life and the possibility of loving again by his best friend Charles and the woman who will become his second wife. Once I got Alan to commit to a future with Kathy, I thought I was done. Not so, according to one reader. She wanted to go beyond the happily ever after, to see if Alan would continue to progress, and what happened when he had inevitable setbacks.


The suggestion wormed its way into my psyche, which luckily was not distracted at the time by another idea, and I decided to give it a try. I not only found it remarkably satisfying to carry on with these characters, but I also enjoyed delving more deeply into the character of Alan’s best friend, Charles.  Charles, a man of mixed emotions and an uncertain future, added depth to Alan and Kathy’s story and helped provide a solid foundation on which a sequel could be written.


Dreams for Stones was published in 2007and the sequel, Persistence of Dreams, a year later, so imagine my surprise when a recent reader’s comment led me to revisit those two books and discover the possibility for a third book. This became Unexpected Dreams which was published early this year. This is neither a normal nor recommended approach for a series!


During the ten-year gap between Persistence of Dreams and Unexpected Dreams, I found myself writing a very different kind of book. A cozy mystery, in fact. And this time it didn’t take a nudge from a reader for me to recognize that I’d created an entourage of characters who could easily support more than one book. My Babbling Brook Naked Poker series now stands at three books.


Given these successes, it has crossed my mind to reconsider some of my other “standalone” novels in order to see if there are possibilities for continuing stories there. I suspect there may be.


At any rate, the reader nudge that led to my first series was one of the best happenstances to come along in my writing life.



So here is your nudge. Is there a series lurking in a book you thought was finished? If you’ve unexpectedly found yourself writing a series, how did that come about? 



Raised in an Air Force family, Ann grew up to become a clinical chemist, toxicologist, and university professor. Until her life took an unexpected turn in 2001, when she began writing fiction. Her debut novel, Dreams for Stones, was a finalist for the Indie Next Generation Book Award in 2007.

Ann’s novels about strong characters facing interesting challenges take advantage of the many unusual settings she’s traveled to or lived in including New Zealand, Australia, Peru, San Francisco, Alaska, Colorado, Boston, and Puerto Rico. As well, her experiences as a toxicologist have added fillips of intrigue to many of her stories.

In Ann’s novels, the consequence of choosing to love or not to love is an underlying theme, as characters face crises and complications that force them to dig deep within themselves to discover their own resilience.



Facebook: Ann Warner – Author of Emotionally Engaging Fiction


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The Dreams Trilogy

Dreams for Stones

A man holding fast to grief and a woman who lets go of love too easily. It will take all the magic of old diaries and a children’s story to heal these two. Available as a free download in multiple formats. (






Persistence of Dreams

Lost memories and surprising twists of mystery. Alan, Kathy, and Charles’s story continues.








Unexpected Dreams

Murder made to look like an accident, family secrets, interfering mothers, lovers in conflict, horses. All combine in a satisfying mix in this contemporary mystery.







The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club Series

The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book One

A morose parrot with a reputation for biting perches in a small cage  in the lobby of Brookside Retirement Community. For Josephine, a reluctant resident, he sums up the place which friend and handwriting expert, Lill, has dubbed Babbling Brook (in honor of the missing waterway and the more exasperating residents). However, Brookside turns out to be more interesting than Josephine expected, as it becomes the setting for art theft, other dodgy dealings, and…naked poker. Investigating the unusual events, Josephine and Lill befriend Devi Subramanian, a young woman Josephine tries to prevent from making the same mistakes she has made.

A painting worth millions, valuables gone missing, a game that is more than a game. And that’s only the beginning.

Book One is available as a free download in multiple formats. (


About This Book

Josephine, Devi, and Mac’s story continues. Devi and Mac are falling in love, but a complication comes along in the form of Mac’s pregnant ex-wife. As for Josephine, with the excitement of unmasking the Brookside thief and Devi’s being shot now over, she’s finding Brookside Retirement Community (aka Babbling Brook) as dull as she initially expected it to be. Until, that is, she gets involved with a man who suspects her of being a criminal mastermind. Finding love at this late date is something Josephine never expected, and it’s her Edward Hopper painting that plays matchmaker.

Appropriate for all readers.



About This Book

Josephine Bartlett is back, joined by her partner in mystery-solving, Lill Fitzel,  flamboyant ex-beauty queen, Myrtle Grabinowitz, former attorney/current novelist, Philippa Scott Williamson, Brookside’s thief, Edna Prisant, good friends Devi and Mac McElroy, and last, but not least, love-interest Norman Neumann.

When new resident, Lottie Watson, loses at Naked Poker, she tells a bizarre story about how years ago her husband disappeared in the LA airport. Josephine and Lill, intrigued enough to investigate, discover there may be more ominous goings-on than a simple disappearance…or are there? Meanwhile, Josephine ignores the mysteries of her own heart.

Appropriate for all readers.












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8 Responses to “An Accidental Series by Ann Warner”

  1. Ann – I can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished and all you’ve done since your last visit to RU. Tell us about some of your adventures! How much of your stories is inspired by events and/or people you know in real life?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | March 15, 2018, 11:06 pm
    • Becke, it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, but I see it was!

      In answer to your question, many of my novels have begun with something I’ve read about in the news that has left me wondering how the people involved will go forward in their lives.

      For example, the initiating event for Dreams for Stones was a story I came across during a visit to Alaska. A young woman became trapped on the tidal flats of Turnagain Arm, outside of Anchorage. Although her husband and rescuers tried desperately to free her before the tide came in, they were unsuccessful. What haunted me was the thought of how that husband was going to cope with the loss of his wife.

      Posted by Ann Warner | March 16, 2018, 8:33 am
      • Oh, Ann, no wonder you took that real life story and turned it into a book of your own! Such a tragedy, for both the young woman and her husband. I always want a happy ending, but that sames to be much more rare in real life than in fiction. 🙁

        Posted by Becke Martin Davis | March 16, 2018, 12:24 pm
  2. I like how indie publishing has changed what constitutes a series. Used to be using the same couple in each book was a no-no. Especially for a romance. Not so anymore.

    My first ghost book was a stand alone. Until I wrote an opening scene from a writing prompt and wondered how I could use it in a book. Then bam! it hit me. A sequel to my ghost book happened. And now (just now!) I can see a series happen based upon the people from those two books. Will I do it? I don’t know, but it’s a possibility. A strong possibility. Thanks for making me THINK that way!

    Posted by Stacy McKitrick | March 16, 2018, 8:45 am
  3. Ann – Thanks for hanging out with us today. You may find more comments here at a later date. A lot of comments seem to trickle in days or even weeks after a post initially appears.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | March 16, 2018, 10:34 pm

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