DEBORAH CROMBIE: On Monday night at 9 p.m. I got to type the sweetest words in a writer's language--THE END. I know I've been promising this for I-don't-know-how-many-months, but I did finally get there!!! Hooray, hoorah!!! I'd have danced--if I could have moved after writing fifteen pages in that last day...
GARDEN OF LAMENTATIONS, Kincaid/James #17, came in at 130,000 words, and exactly (weirdly) 600 pages in manuscript. (I write in Courier, so that's a big pile of paper.) It was the next to longest book I've written, and I certainly didn't start out intending that. If I'd foreseen it, I'd have stuck my head in the sand in terror at the very beginning... But it was a complicated story, and all the parts had to be played out or everyone--especially me--would have felt cheated.
And...as thrilled as I was to get to the end (not to mention the off-the-scale thrilled-ness of my agent and editor), in a way I hated to let the book go. I've spent two years (eek) with this story and these characters. I loved the story, and I love my characters even more. I know I'll see at least some of them in the next book (and hopefully in many more) and I know I'll be doing revisions, and copy edits, and page proofs, so I'll be spending lots more time in this story.
BUT IT'S NEVER THE SAME. Once you type that last page, you walk out a door, and your characters go on without you.
I guess that answers the "How many books in a series?" question for me. If I ever stop feeling this way, maybe it will be time to move on to something else. But I'm definitely not there yet, and I'm already thinking about what Duncan and Gemma are going to get up to next.
REDS and readers, do you feel a bit of postpartum blues when you finish writing--or reading--a book that you love?
P.S. I almost forgot the most important part! GARDEN OF LAMENTATIONS will be out February 7th, 2017!!!!