I've been asked before if my books are stand-alone reads or if there is an entire series? First, yes - they can all be read on their own without having to read any of the others....at least, so far they are. I do have a series later in the pipeline that will need to be read in the series to get to the finale. There is a fine line to balance on making the wait worth it and dragging things out too long - something I never hope to do.
Granted, I could write a bunch of single books and not worry about finishing a series before I start something new, but that isn't how it seems to happen for me. Even if one single idea comes to mind, before it is all over, there will undoubtedly be more stories to come from it. One strong thought quickly turns into sprinkles, eventually the thunder rolls and lightning flashes as another thought joins in, until the clouds open up and it's a torrential rainstorm in my brain. No matter how I try to stop it or bring out the buckets to catch it, the rain doesn't give way until every last drop has fallen from my mind, streamed down my arms and fingers, and pooled onto the paper or keys of the laptop.
And why try to stop it anyway...I've never thought about even attempting that. For me, everyone in a book has their own story, my job as a writer is to make their voices heard. I've never written a character that was just 'filler', I can tell you the restaurant owner that was mentioned in Finding Home will one day get his own book as part of an entirely different series - Fuego. And the friendly staff member at Myra's gym in Taking Chances, will kick off my Kentucky Rain series when the time is right.
Characters in books are very much like people we pass on the street - we all have stories we can tell, lessons to share, and dreams to inspire.