Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's never really THE END

More than once this year, Lydia Dare’s Facebook status has read “My two favorite words in the English language are ‘The End’.” The update is usually followed by a heavy sigh, a super feeling of contentment, and brewing excitement about what’s coming next.

However, we’ve never actually typed “The End” at the end of any of our books. We think readers can tell the end has come for two very important reasons. (1) There are no more pages to turn, which is always a fabulous clue. (2) After finishing 400 pages, readers should be thoroughly satisfied that our hero and heroine will now live happily ever after. “The End” will never happen, because the story will go on and on and on, despite the fact that it’s officially over.

Besides, that’s what epilogues are for, right? The reader (and the writer) gets to take a quick peek into the future. It might be a few months or a few years later. It’s usually just enough for us to make certain there is still happiness in paradise. Ah, the epilogue – where we get to be our gushiest. (The Jodie ½ anyway, the Tammy ½ does NOT do gushy. But that’s why there are two of us.)

Yesterday, Robin’s post made us tear up. (Well, the Jodie ½ anyway. Gushy, you know.) We can’t imagine packing away all of our research and photos from one book in a box and saying good-bye to all of our characters. The very idea is so incredibly heartbreaking. Therefore, we’ve always taken the coward’s way out. We NEVER say goodbye. Never.

Why, you ask? How can we get away with never saying good-bye?

Well, because that’s the glory of a series!

Photo courtesy of Heather Boyd

Our characters can always come back to visit or cause conflict or maybe just be a shoulder to cry on. They all live in the same world, after all. Four Lydia Dare books hit the shelves in 2010. Three more are scheduled for 2011. And another three in 2012. In those 10 books (with the first seven completed) we have a few characters who always seem to turn up. The hero and heroine of Tall, Dark and Wolfish make an appearance in It Happened One Bite (coming in 2011), and the hero and heroine in The Taming of the Wolf are characters in In the Heat of the Bite (another book for 2011). Nothing could make us happier.

We’ve spent so much time with these characters, we want just as badly as readers to know what has happened to them after the pages have been read and the cover has been closed. They also make for some darn fine comedic relief and, since their trials and tribulations are over, they can cause quite a bit of mischief without changing their story at all. That’s always fun.

While “The End” may not be our actual favorite words, the concept behind the words is one of our favorites. Finishing one book means we’re starting the next, growing our world, telling new stories and meeting new characters who may just pop up in some future book somewhere down the road.

Originally posted at 12/8/2010

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