Yes, I'm pretty sure I am.
I love stand-alone novels.
(Oh dear, what have I said?? I'm probably going to need to qualify this because almost all of my blogger friends are in the middle of writing some fantastic series, which I am reading! - Kyra Lennon, Elizabeth Seckman, M Pax, Alex et al, please forgive me.)
When I finish a book, I always spend a little time imagining what happens to those characters next. I enjoy that. My imagination runs wild. I think about where the author is going with the story and where I would go. And I want people to do that with my work. I purposely leave questions. The ending of Cat and The Dreamer has been interpreted in several ways, and I am not going to tell you what I think happens. And that's the fun of it for me, knowing that people may have a different plan for my characters. If I wrote a sequel, I think it would spoil the impact.
Looking at my bookshelves, there are no novels I'd want to have a sequel. (I've been tempted by Pride and Prejudice sequels, and learnt the hard way that I should not read them!) I love each of them for being what they are, and if I find I'm missing the characters then I simply read the book again.
It's not just books either. I'm a one series woman when it comes to major US TV programmes - Fringe, The 4400, some others I can't quite remember now, were really good for the first series and were complete stories that satisfied me. I just wasn't interested in the subsequent series. I was happy with what I'd seen. I love the way some British dramas tend to be short and only maybe two or three series long, six episodes each.
From a writing/professional point of view, I can completely understand the motivation to write a series. You're building your readership, taking them on the journey along with your characters, developing these two-dimensional jottings into rounded people that readers identify with. You're allowing the characters to grow. I get all that, I really do.
But one of the greatest pleasures I have is being enveloped by a story, getting to the end of the book and sighing happily that everything is right with the world. I hold the book in my hands, think over what I've just read, then search out something new and different. I have very few books by the same author - there are five authors who have the honour of being featured on my shelves more than once. I like new voices, new ways of looking at the world, new styles of writing.
The reason this post is defending stand-alone novels is because they seem to be a dying breed. I'm not saying that series are bad or wrong, just that they seem to be on the ascendence.
What do you think? Have I written something highly controversial, or do you agree with me?