I recently read the last installment in a favorite series - The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix. I had waited months for this book to come out. The previous book ended in a cliffhanger and I agonized over the fate of the hero until I could get that final volume in my hands.
I wanted - needed - to find out how the story ended. But when I did get to that final chapter, it was difficult to turn the pages, knowing that when the story ended I’d be saying good-bye to my friends in that story world forever.
And that was nothing compared to saying good-bye to the characters I created.
I told myself it was for the best, that I’d be free to explore new story ideas.
But first I had to write just one more story for Orchard Hill - Susan’s 4th of July Fireworks. Susan was the “villain” of Entertaining Angel. A friend complained that she was “just too mean” and so I felt I owed Susan a chance for understanding and redemption. (Yeah, I felt indebted to a fictional person. That’s what happens when you write a series and spend months and months with the same characters.)
Okay. I got that out of my system and then I wrote a story for White Rose Publishing’s new Christian Gothic line, Snow Blind. It is not my usual style at all, but it was fun to try something new.
Then Valentine’s Day was coming up and it’s my favorite holiday and...I just had to take another trip back to Orchard Hill for Vanessa’s Valentine. But that was definitely it.
Okay, it’s not. I admit I’ve grown extremely fond of Orchard Hill. I’ve been slowed down by some health issues, so I’m not sure when the new set of stories will be finished, never mind published, but I’m working on it. Here’s a taste:
There’s a new matchmaker in town. She’s tired of being the only girl in a family that includes herself, her father and two bachelor uncles. She needs a couple of aunts and maybe even a mom. This clever little girl has heard all about Pansy and Misty and their matchmaking glory. So she’s writing a letter to them, hoping for a few pointers.
I opened this set of posts by stating that a series demands a certain commitment of readers and writers. I’ll close with a warning. Sometimes the series won’t let go, even when the commitment should be fulfilled for the writer and the reader. The abundance of fan fiction sites attest to that! So choose what you read - or write - with care. ; )
Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for hosting me on the blog this week. Thank you to all the readers who’ve followed these posts. I hope you’ll stop for a visit in Orchard Hill.