With the final planned book on my Taming the Pack series out, it’s somewhat bittersweet to be in this moment where you walk out of the world and move on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt this before when reading books. I’m going to share something with you that I’ve never told another living soul… (Okay, that’s a lie. My husband and family know this, but no one else. I think.) I never finished the last Harry Potter book. I couldn’t handle seeing it end. It drove my husband nuts because he wanted someone to talk about it with when it first came out, but I couldn’t do it. All these years later, I’ve watched the movie and I’ve read spoilers and read excerpts, but I feel like if I don’t read the whole thing straight through…it hasn’t ended. It can’t end! It can’t be over. I need the magic too much to let it end.
I know. Obviously, I have issues, but you knew that.
With most other books I don’t read a series until the books are all out…it creates less of an emotional investment for me. I still get to the final page of the final book and feel bereft. “There’s no more? Why is there no more?” It’s like the final day of a vacation when you know you have to go back to your “real world” and you don’t want to. Books exist in a place out of time for me and when I read an entire series, I’ve been on that vacation for a while. Going back to reality is the harsh equivalent of unpacking the suitcases to do laundry. “WHY? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THE WORLD WHY?”
So, getting to the end of my own series has been complicated to deal with emotionally. I tend to think that most authors are a bit mental and live in their own worlds, but I really dive in. When I’m in the middle of writing or an intense revision, I actually blur the lines between reality and fiction. I’ll start to tell someone a story or quote someone and realize it’s from my book. I go in deep and I struggle to get out. The characters have become my friends. We’ve shared something…an adventure. I’ve been in that world right along side them. I’ve cried when they’ve cried. (Like literally…even in revisions.) I’ve smiled when they’ve smiled. I’ve laughed at my own jokes. (Hey! I never claimed to be mentally healthy!)
It’s difficult to accept that there’s no more. No more adventures. No more stories. I’m not rooting for their happy ending still. It’s over. Done. Fini. Time to walk away.
I should be happy, but that’s not how I roll. I’m still left asking, “How can there be no more?”
How about you? How do you feel when you reach the end of a series–either reading or writing?