Is There an Echo in Here?


By Josh Lanyon, author of FAIR PLAY

I have a confession. Originally I intended Fair Game to be a standalone novel. As both a reader and a writer, I actually prefer standalone to series. With a standalone there are no loose threads, no need to hold back anything for the next book. The stories are always more intense, not least because there are no guarantees. You can’t count on anyone surviving to the next book because there isn’t going to be a next book.

Except…when there is.

The idea for a sequel occurred to me before Fair Game was complete. I loved the juxtaposition of an FBI agent saddled with a 60’s radical father, and Roland was such a strong character in his own right that I could hardly help noticing that there was a lot of story potential there. Especially with Roland writing those potentially explosive memoirs of his. Even so, I resisted temptation. And I kept resisting when readers began asking for more of Elliot and Tucker, though I became less and less sure why. In fact, I’m not exactly positive when I officially changed my mind — it might have been listening to the audio book.

I’m glad I did relent because I’ve loved writing Fair Play, the second book in the All’s Fair trilogy. (Er, yes. Trilogy.) The mystery is a fun one, but what I really enjoyed was having the luxury to explore the relationship between Elliot and Tucker. And also the relationship between Elliot and his father. This is definitely a book about connection; the ties that bind. And it’s a book about family. The families we are born into and the families we choose.

So what about you? Do you prefer standalone or series? Why? Answer below and I’ll pick two random names for an audio download of Fair Game.

CARINA_1114_9781426898976_FairPlayFair Play by Josh Lanyon

Fifty years ago, Roland Mills belonged to a violent activist group. Now, someone is willing to kill to prevent him from publishing his memoirs.

When ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills is called out to examine the charred ruins of his childhood home, he quickly identifies the fire for what it is—arson. A knee injury may have forced Elliot out of the Bureau, but it’s not going to stop him from bringing the man who wants his father dead to justice.

Agent Tucker Lance is still working to find the serial killer who’s obsessed with Elliot and can’t bear the thought of his lover putting himself in additional danger. Straightlaced Tucker has never agreed with radical Roland on much—“opposing political viewpoints” is an understatement—but they’re united on this: Elliot needs to leave the case alone. Now.

Tucker would do nearly anything for the man he loves, but he won’t be used to gain Elliot access to the FBI’s resources. When the past comes back to play and everything both men had known to be true is questioned, their fragile relationship is left hanging in the balance.

Buy at Carina Press.

About Josh Lanyon

A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Find out more about Josh at


8 thoughts on “Is There an Echo in Here?”

  1. Susana says:

    I enjoy both standalone and series. What I do not like is certain series which go on forever, and having exhausted the posibilities of the first main characters, decide to introduce more and more characters, developing the secondary stories to a point where the original ones are almost forgotten. At the end, they are boring.
    BTW, I loved Fair Game and I’m loving Fair Play. I’m really happy to know there is going to be a third book. Thanks, Josh!

  2. Ashley E says:

    I love series. I especially love series that follow the same characters rather than moving on to a new couple or character or whatever. I have a hard time ending a book, putting it down and getting the characters out of my mind. I never want to leave their world. So series are definitely the way to my heart. That said, I certainly don’t mind standalones, but I’m more likely to pick up a new book or author, if I see it’s the first in a series. :)

  3. Sylvia says:

    I enjoy both as long as you write them :D I loved Fair Play, maybe even more than Fair Game and that’s saying a lot! I already have Fair game Audible so don’t mind me.

    I love series if the individual stories have a complete story arc and where the characters or their relationships develop over the course of the series. I also like series with individual stories in the same setting/world, like spin offs (like L.B. Gregg’s Men of Smithfield or Marie Sexton’s Coda series).

    Ofcourse I also love stand alone books because reasons :p

  4. Tiffany says:

    I like both, but when I really enjoy the characters, I prefer the series format. It’s nice to spend more time with a couple and see how they are settling into the relationship. When there is one book, all we (usually) see is the set up for the relationship; I prefer to delve more deeply and explore how they work, why they work, and the efforts they expend in order to make the relationship work. That is so enjoyable for me.

  5. Barbra says:

    I’ve loved your books so much that I’ve probably wished they could all be a series, or at least have a sequel (The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks or Cards On The Table hint, hint). Seriously, I really, really like a well written series, but standalones are great too (TGWYS, COTT). :-)

  6. libby says:

    I love books that bring you up to date with characters as they carry on with life after their own story – but I have to qualify that statement in as much as they have to be books by a favorite author, then I buy before even reading the jacket because I know I will enjoy the journey. this was the case with Fair Play – I loved Fair Game & the minute I twigged it was the same characters I was eager to re-visit them. Plus I have to say you write a mean murder mystery! By the way – not nice to admit to a trilogy but no hint as to the third book!

  7. Cheryl says:

    While I like both stand alone and series, I prefer series. I’m particularly fond of trilogies. I think the reason I like them is that you get to know the characters more in depth. Also, you generally a series covers a longer period of time so you get to know the characters for a longer period of time. I’m also satisfied by the drawn out resolution of some point of the story.

  8. HJ says:

    It depends. I know that’s a cop out, but while I do love series I don’t like them when they become tired. I can honestly say that yours have never felt like that!

    I do love stand-alone books, but when they’re very good sometimes one longs to meet the characters again even when the book was perfectly conceived and complete. So I’m glad that you changed your mind and revived Tucker and Elliot for us.

    Yet another benefit of audiobooks has been discovered!! Talking of which, I already own all of yours so am not entering the draw — unless Carina does do Fair Play and I can have that instead!!

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