Wait! I thought this was a Break, not a Break-Up (kissing your favorite book series goodbye) Jessie Smith

Last month, I was in denial over the announcement that Charlaine Harris was ending her Sookie Stackhouse book series and I wrote the first part of this blog series. Apparently she was not aware that I thought we were in a race to see which Sookie version would last the longest.  Currently we are 13 books versus 6 HBO seasons and as someone who pitched their tent in the book fan camp, I could argue that I was living on the winning side. What happened? I thought things were going so well. (Famous last words used during all my break-ups).

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Sherrilyn Kenyon’s booth at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con: Most of this merchandise went home with me.

During this month, I have had time to analyze my bookshelves and reflect upon the fates of my other favorite series. First and foremost, I worship upon the computer keys in which Sherrilyn Kenyon types her Dark Hunter series. For 14 novels, readers created their own backstory for Ash, the poster boy for the tall, dark, and handsome mystery man. In book 15, readers were given a thousand pages to reveal his past and present him with his soul-mate. Hum. Seriously? That is not how I pictured his ending. Those were my final thoughts when I read the last page of the book. Readers had been filling in his character gaps so once his history was revealed, it didn’t always align with our imaginations. But the final mystery was solved and the series was concluded. Imagine my surprise when I saw a book 17 on the book shelves. It hadn’t dawned on me that the series had continued because I thought we were done.  It’s kind of like being at a party and realizing your friend got back with her ex. You know the one you nodded in agreement when she called him a jerk and now she is upset with you for not supporting their reunion. Awkward.

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Delilah Marvelle at local author booksigning

Well, there are also the limbo series, killed by publishers but resurrected by authors. I am a huge fan of Delilah Marvelle’s School of Gallantry series and I’m lucky enough to know her personally. Driving back from the Emerald City Conference I got to hear her plans for a five book historical series about a school for the wealthy to learn how to be better men in and out of the bedroom.  The five men were in the same class so the series would be written simultaneously from each of their perspectives. But after two books, her publisher pulled the plug. It’s one thing to have your series prematurely ended, it’s quite another thing to know tidbits of what was supposed to happen and not have the full stories.  Urgh! I couldn’t accept that the series was over, and apparently neither could the author. After 3 more years and I’m sure lots of red tape to get the book rights back (blah, blah, boring legal stuff), thanks to the new self-publishing territory Delilah has been able to continue her series. Book 3, Lady of Pleasure was self-published in March 2013. Once thought of as a rare victory, I hope the self-publishing option allows many writers to continue their sagas free from the bonds and pressures of publishers.

It certainly must be powerful to have control over your series. At a local author signing event, Gail Carriger informed her fans that she was ending her Soulless series after only five books. Try to imagine a room full of Steam Punk costume wearing, parasol packing fans all depressed while looking so darn pretty. Since her series was wildly popular, it seemed like bad business to shut down the franchise with a meager five books. Had she run out of creativity? Had she fallen out of love with Alexia Tarabotti? Nope. She explained that she was tired of experiencing authors dying before they finished their series. So she would finish this series on her terms. But she was business savvy and had plans to begin a new series on one of the minor characters in a new setting. She left enough breadcrumbs for readers to follow her as she pursued a new series.

Gail had a valid point. Nobody, I mean nobody, wants another Robert Jordan situation.  Fans were 17 years invested into his 11 books on the Wheel of Time series when he passed away in 2007 of terminal heart disease. Robert and his fans thought he had a few more years to end his series. We were woefully wrong. The only silver lining was that he left extensive notes about how the series should end in the final book and his family was able to hire the writer, Brandon Sanderson, to continue on the story. Nothing against Brandon but Robert could write descriptions about his descriptions for eternity. Even though Brandon stretched out the last book into three novels to make sure he covered all of Robert’s notes, fans will always wonder what the books could have been if Robert was at the helm.

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262838_236091159756493_7999065_n True Blood got creative with marketing at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con and decorated the walls of the hotel elevators with images from the show.

In the end, I should be grateful that Charlaine Harris knew what she wanted to see happen to end her series, worked towards it for eleven novels and wrote the conclusion on her terms.  I said I should be. This actually might be the final straw for me to give the television show around chance, once the withdrawal shakes start from missing the book series.  In the meantime, please share your detox programs and coping mechanisms on how you handled reading the final page of your beloved book series. This is, after all, a group literary therapy session. This issue crosses all genres and all are welcome.

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About Jessie Smith

Health Care Worker by Day, Aspiring Author by Night and 24/7 Staff for Riley (Corgie/Tibetan Spaniel Mix)

Posted on June 27, 2013, in Auth: Jessie Smith and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Jessie,

    Spin-off series are not only fun to read, they’re fun to write! It’s a blast to revisit characters at later stages in their romances, say married, with children.

    Can make for some funny moments as we see macho alpha heroes now caring for babies, and doting on their wives (or whatever type of partner).

    As an author, I’d rather end a series too soon than drag on too long. A sign of true greatness when you’ve read 13 books and still want more.

    Like

  2. “I should be grateful that Charlaine Harris knew what she wanted to see happen to end her series, worked towards it for eleven novels and wrote the conclusion on her terms.” Actually, CH didn’t seem to have a clue about where her series was going and ended up having to make huge leaps that seemed to have nothing to do with one choice in one book to another. And then really, Eric as a sex slave and Sookie with Sam? Really? Of course, I gave up on the series when Bill raped Sookie in the back of the trunk. Boo hiss.

    I loved Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and read that forever. I also like Christine Feehan’s Drake Sisters and Ghostwalker series.

    Like

    • Greetings Renee –

      I should have said, she claims she had a plan by book 2 for how she wanted to end the series. However, many fans thought she “jumped the shark” with many of her controversial storylines.

      Woo-Hoo! Nice to know you enjoyed the Wheel of Time series too. I haven’t read Christine’s series but it’s on my to-be-read pile (I mean bookcase) 🙂

      Thanks for posting,
      Jessie

      Like

  3. I loved the early books in Charlaine Harris’s series but lost interest around the time the fey showed up. It wasn’t anything against Niall. It just seemed like the series was growing when I felt it should be wrapping up. Or maybe I just had too many series going and I wanted some relief, LOL!

    I haven’t read anything after Dead in the Family, not because I didn’t like it but it just didn’t grab me enough to compete against other series I had going, like Thea Harrison’s series that starts with Dragon Bound and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series. So, yeah. I’ll read the rest some day, but I’m in no hurry;-)

    As for series ending, one of my favorite of all time is Karen Marie Moning’s UF Fever Series. It was 5 books. They fit together so well, it seemed to have been planned as a 5 book series from the start. I loved how it ended and love that a new series is spinning off on a minor character. I like when a series has an endgame and when stakes raise in every book. I get bored when the books just go on and on without raised stakes or some villain making progress a little bit in each installation.

    Thanks for this fun post.

    Like

    • Greetings Jessi,

      It’s nice to meet a fellow Dark Hunter Fan! I appreciate the recommendation for the Karen Marie Moning series, I have heard great things about it. It’s nice when things are compacted and organized for fans.

      I can see your point about the FEY. It did take the show in a new direction. At that point, I was still along for the ride.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us,
      Jessie

      Like

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