In October, I made an ambitious production schedule for 2016. The schedule includes the first book in a new paranormal suspense series, two short stories to be included in Holidays with Jane collections, a Southern Fraud short story, and–of course–Sunset Clause. After the completion of the Southern Fraud series, I planned to write Tripp Carver’s story.
But I’m already considering changes to the grand plan.
Originally, I intended to publish Sunset Clause (SF 6) in the second half of the year and write a (non-sequential) Southern Fraud short story called “The Marriage Fraud” for Valentine’s Day. The problem is that the “short” story keeps getting longer and more complicated as I outline. In other words, I keep trying to write a seventh novel.
So I started wondering why I don’t just do that.
From the beginning of the Southern Fraud series, I planned to write 6 books. I chose to announce the number in advance because as a reader, I dislike it when a beloved series starts to drag on with no end in sight. I never wanted anyone to think that I was going to milk my characters and my world until there was nothing interesting left to read about. And no conclusion on the horizon. Just book after book that leads to nowhere.
On the other hand, I don’t want to stop the Southern Fraud series short either. After all, I’ve devoured book after book in a much longer series and been eager for the next every time.
For me, the difference in a series that leaves me eager for the next book and one that drags is that the former moves forward and the latter doesn’t. It stagnates, and nothing–I mean nothing!–is ever resolved so that characters can move on.
I’m all about moving forward. I want to know what happens next with so many characters. What will happen with Mark and Julia? What will become of Tripp, and is he really over Jules? What about Tricia? Will she ever truly move beyond her past traumas? Not to mention Helena. And Mercer in general…. There will be so much fallout after Sunset Clause.
Anyway, I’m going to stop trying to write the short story. It may just turn into SF 7.
But for you Tripp fans out there, don’t worry. His story will be told.
Instead of the short story, I’ll be working on Sunset Clause (SF 6). There’s a good chance that it won’t be the end of the series.