I’ve checked the proofs of my new novel. The stack of pages is ready to bundle up and send back to my editor. I’ve had my last opportunity to make corrections, and I’ve made my final farewell to the characters – THE CALLER is the third and final book in the SHADOWFELL series. Seems like time for a celebratory glass of champagne, yes? But I don’t feel elated, I feel sad. Why is it so hard to say goodbye?
After seventeen novels, I should understand the perils of getting too attached to the characters of a book or series. Twice in the past, the vagaries of the publishing world have forced me to end a series earlier than I originally intended, a painful experience for both writer and readers.
What makes the key players in this particular series – the quietly strong Neryn, the intense, morally conflicted Flint, the driven rebel Tali, not to speak of their supporting cast of uncanny folk – so special?
I’ve seen these characters through exhilarating highs and desperate lows. Triumph and disaster; hope and heartbreak. I’ve put hours of thought, hard work and dedication into creating them. I’ve walked a very long way in their shoes. But, of course, it’s not just these characters, it’s the cast of every book I write. Every time, it’s hard to let go. Chances are all of you who write fiction feel exactly the same when you complete a project.
What can we do to ease the pain of parting?