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Hitting the End of a Series




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?


4 Responses so far.

  1. Wendy, I know exactly where you are coming from. It took me 3 years before I finally watched the finale of ER that I had recorded (back in the days of the VCR). I still haven’t watched the the last half of the last season of Lost or Alias (I own them on DVD) because they were so good I didn’t want to see them end either. On the other hand I actually have read the last Harry Potter! (and it was really good). I finished the last book of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series (the last 3 books being written by Brandon Sanderson after Robert Jordan passed away but with his notes). That series was definitely difficult to leave after investing 20+ years in it, and I know that when Diana Gabaldon finally finishes writing the Outlander series I will feel the same (especially if she ends it with the death of Jamie or Claire or both, which I would think is likely). I like to think that there is always a chance that an author might revisit a series if they feel that there is a new story to tell (so I can always hope for that from you!).

    • I think the time investment affects how we feel about leaving a series. I can leave a short series of category romance with only a sigh that there aren’t anymore “sure things” in a series I liked, but when you get to a longer series that I’ve followed over many years, it’s much more difficult. I think having written this one equates to that. And there is always a chance an author will revisit…and I live in hope of that too in some of my favorite book series.

  2. It’s weird to WRITE a final book in a series, for sure, with so many more expectations from readers and hoping you satisfy everyone while staying true to your vision of the story, but I don’t think I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve really felt like I’ve said GOODBYE and stamped THE END NEVER TO RETURN AGAIN on the bottom of a series I’ve written — I always feel like I can go back if I want and tease out some new thread to play with if I’d like to, that it’s never over unless I’m ready for it to be over, if that makes sense.

    • Yeah, you’ll notice I said final “planned” book. I’m not quite ready to say it’s over and there will be no more either. On the other hand, I originally didn’t plan this third book and when it was suggested, I said there’d only be a third book if those who’d read the first two could pick out who the hero would be–they all could. I don’t have another character like that…someone who could be the hero or heroine of a fourth book. And I’ve closed up the story arcs that ran through the books. So, while it’s possible…it’s not likely…though I’ve noticed in several reviews people suggesting they expect the series to go on. Honestly, I’d love that. I like this world. I like the rules. I think I’d have to move on to a different pack though.

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