So far in my writing career, I’ve never stared into the blood-shot eyes of being finished something. Complete. Sure, I’ve finished short stories and released them into the world, never to think about their characters again, but the time and emotional investment in a short story is minimal compared to writing a novel. To date, I’ve published four novels and still haven’t had that feeling of being done because, while each book itself was undoubtedly complete, they were all part of on-going stories.
I’ve published two books in my Icarus Fell urban fantasy series and have plans for at least three more, so it won’t be complete any time soon. Icarus and I will be hanging out together, for better or for worse, for some time to come.
But Sunday marks the release of Heart of the King, the third book in my Khirro’s Journey epic fantasy trilogy (From dictionary.com: tril-o-gy: 1. a series or group of three plays, novels, operas, etc., that, although individually complete, are closely related in theme, sequence, or the like. 2. (in ancient Greek drama) a series of three complete and usually related tragedies performed at the festival of Dionysus and forming a tetralogy with the satyr play. 3. a group of three related things).
See the theme? Three. Only three. No more after numero tres. I stand on the precipice of the trilogy being complete.
One of the goals of a writer is to leave the reader wishing for more. I don’t mean having them feel the book was incomplete–that’s just plain bad writing–but simply leaving them with the desire to continue hanging out with the characters, seeing what they get up to, following them around some more. When they were reading, they couldn’t wait to get back to them, and now that they’re finished, they miss them.
Well, it turns out that the same thing can be true for the author.
The good news is, there is a cure for both of us–the reader and the author.
For you, my dear readers, it’s as easy as picking up a new book and losing yourself to a new group of friends (if you need any help finding them, let me know). Don’t worry, the ones you left behind won’t be jealous, nor will they make fun of your choice of new friends. I think I’m qualified to speak for Khirro, and I’m sure he would be delighted to know that you moved on after you were done with him.
For me, I get the joy of creating something new, something unfamiliar again that I can discover as the story and the characters unfold under the tip-tap of my fingers. The difference is, though, that
sometimes Khirro will call to me, attempting to beckon me back to his world. Maybe one day I’ll go back and check on him and all the others, but not now. First I have a book set 200,000 years ago to write, and I have to pay attention to poor, neglected Icarus.
Happy reading, everyone, and good luck with your new friends.