In 2006, I discovered two Christian legal suspense authors who had four or five books out each.
The first I read was Randy Singer's debut novel, Directed Verdict, which included praise on the back cover from fellow attorney Jay Sekulow. It started out with a single, unsaved, male attorney successfully defending a person charged for blocking access to an abortion clinic. That client then referred a friend, and that case became the major emphasis of the plot.
Immediately after that, I read Craig Parshall's debut novel, The Resurrection File, which included praise on the back cover from fellow attorney Jay Sekulow. It started out with a single, unsaved, male attorney successfully defending a person charged for blocking access to an abortion clinic. That client then referred a friend, and that case became the major emphasis of the plot.
Two things to point out.
- The two novels went completely different directions after that point and had little similarity to each other. In fact, I enjoyed one much more than the other.
- I wouldn't be surprised if the authors' mutual friend Jay Sekulow suggested the above opening and see how different authors do completely different things with the same starting point.
Years later, in an ACFW class on point of view, a Romantic Suspense writer told of a novel that used four Point of View characters. After reading that novel, I picked up another novel by a different author - this one being pure suspense. Out of curiosity I checked out the number of POV characters. Yes, it was once again four. Not only that, but the female leads had different spellings of the same name (one with a C and the other with a K), and they both ended up shooting the villain, but not fatally in either case.
A few years later, I read a cozy mystery about a female character who had a struggle with her mother about career choices and had a phobia of clowns. Next novel I read was a romantic suspense by a different author. In this one, the female character had a struggle with her mother about career choices and had nightmares of being chased by a clown.
Okay, again there was nothing else in common. The daughters had completely different careers. The reason for their fear of clowns were both from childhood but for completely different reasons. Still, the similarities amused me.
Of course, there's only so much you can do in a genre. Except for fantasy. In these worlds, you will find each novel has a completely unique world and situations. Right?
I read in a short span four different fantasy series (one being a Sci-fi Stars Warsish fantasy) where one of the minor characters was in love with the female lead but knew her heart was with the male lead, so he decided not to create a triangle and let the other guy win. The funny thing? I haven't seen that work that way in any other genre I read!
Then, there's the king that marries someone that scandalizes the country - I saw several of those. Then, there's when either the male or female lead dies but doesn't stay that way.
The most recent case? Two novels I read close together (in this case, I read one in between the two) happened to have the same last name for the villain. Pure coincidence. Villain #1 was introduced in the first chapter, and you realized he was the villain in the first chapter. Villain #2 was introduced later in the book and you didn't know he was the bad guy until the climax.
Any chance they were brothers? Maybe, and if so, Villain #2 would have been scared by Villain #1. Or it would seem that way. You see, villain #2 already has planned how he's going to kill his brother.
Have you read novels close together that had coincidental similarities?