When is a series over?

check out my blog post on this subject over at Murderati.

And for my UK friends, who wonder what a Maine snowstorm looks like, here was the view at my house yesterday:

We lost power (along with about 130,000 other Maine households) and sat in a dark, cold house for about 12 hours. The worst part? We’re on a well, and with no power, we can’t pump water into the house. I’m so happy to be able to turn on a faucet again!

12 replies
  1. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    I totally agree. If you write what sells, stick with it. I associate Jane and Maura with Cagney and Lacey. Of course they have to be together. You won’t watch a play called Romeo and Amy. You won’t see a movie called Thelma and Henrietta. My point is continuing with a series character is what makes for a great read. What’s gonna happen next to Jane? Will she and Maura have a cat fight and bitch slap each other? (although that would be a great video on YouTube). A series is not over until the author says it’s over. There are alot of movies that also should have been over with the first installment. Three come to mind. Home Alone,
    Friday the 13th and Rocky. What do we have to look foward to? Rocky 15. Rocky Balboa beats up his home attendant for force feeding him Jello. Send Freddy Kruger to find Bin Laden, and after the first Home Alone movie, why do the parents STILL leave Kevin home alone?
    Tess, continue with Jane and Maura. They are mainstays of your books, and very loveable albeit intriguing characters.
    Abe

  2. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi again, Tess,

    I saw the news this morning about the storm and power outages in Maine and thought of you right away. Don’t you wish we can box up the snow and send it to the UK? Be well and be safe.

    Abe

  3. Jude Hardin
    Jude Hardin says:

    The snow is actually very beautiful, but I guess I’ll take my sixty degree afternoon here in Florida.

    Glad your power’s back! I’m on a well, too, and it’s always a concern during tropical storm season.

  4. mchastain
    mchastain says:

    It’s my birthday!! 😀 Thank you for a new blog post!!

    The snow is gorgeous. I miss living in the north. I’m glad you have power and water again! After Hurricane Ike I now appreciate both more than ever. I actually think not being able to use the toilet was worse than anything else. I was 7 months pregnant at the time!!

    Don’t you dare stop writing the Jane/Maura series!! Every book gets better and better. I’m always emailing you about about what happens next. And even though Jane is married and has a baby, she can still have struggles. I don’t think she’s done developing. She has her parents marriage collapse, the ordeal from Warren Hoyt still haunts her, being a working mother, etc. I am so glad you didn’t kill her off.

    That’s what I love about your books. They are so hard to put down. Even though I have read them so many times I still have the hardest time putting them down at night to go to sleep. I’m always telling myself just one more chapter!! Yeah that usually turns into at least 3 chapters!! I think it may be worse because I know what’s going to happen and can’t wait to get there. I can’t wait for the next one!!!

  5. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    Doesn’t snow make everything look so pretty?

    Glad your power’s back – I know various people in the US who are on wells (we are all fishkeepers, so water quality is important) but I had assumed they were using a rope and bucket, or similar! I suppose my idea of a well is rather outdated. Pumps. That would do it. Doh.

  6. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    Oh, and I love Jane and Maura. I quite like the fact that Jane’s more settled now; I don’t think that’s a problem.

    That said – my favourite book is Gravity, by some way.

  7. therese
    therese says:

    Great information about series stories. I love the way you can explain things with such clarity and purpose. I have plans for a trilogy so this was very timely for me.

    I laughed at the “inhabited” post by Flash and then Toni explaining how writers are often surprised that others don’t have characters in their head.

    Lovely snow pictures, I don’t miss the NorthEast. We would lose power to our well often when we lived there. Here in the NorthWest we’re still on a well, but have a nice spa on the deck so if we lose water, we haul buckets of water out of the spa and can flush. 🙂

  8. drosdelnoch
    drosdelnoch says:

    Hey Tess,
    Might be worth getting a generator in for yourself if this is a common occurance, that way you’ll be OK when everyone else is in the dark.

    Hopefully the donkeys are ok and not letting it phase them.

    Gareth

  9. bob k
    bob k says:

    Tess,

    I have always thought one of the hallmarks of a truly good series is that there is a clear “ending” to the current story, but enough continuity from one story to the next to allow someone who loved the previous book to very quickly recapture that feeling as they start into the new one.

    Ideally, the ongoing story lines are not so central to the story that a new reader could not enjoy the story if their first exposure to the series was not the first book in the series. Each book needs to bring enough by itself to capture new readers…but you,as the author, are much further ahead if it doesn’t take the continuing reader very long to think “Ahhh, yeah…that’s why I love these books!”

    On another note – my parents – who live in northern Maine – sent me today a very, very close up picture of a Great Snowy Owl. You don’t see them often in Maine – I personally have only ever seen one two or three different winters and never outside of Aroostook County – but they are beautiful!!

  10. McIntosh
    McIntosh says:

    Tess,
    Used to be Oklahoman’s just worried about tornadoes but for the past five years, it’s been ice storms. Last year, we lost power for three days and two nights. I pity your 12 hours in Maine. We did have water, but that was it…..and ‘that’ was enough. Fireplace kept us warm, batteries kept us in touch and the grill kept us fed, but nothing replaces a flush toilet! Love your work. Please leave Jane and Maura together, it’s a treat I look forward to each year.
    Joe

  11. Mary Duncan
    Mary Duncan says:

    When I ended my Eyes of Garnet series, I felt my characters had outlived themselves in my head. There’s only so much trouble a character can get into and out of and still be believable.

    But then one of my secondary characters began speaking to me, and I’ve now begun a series on him. It’s great to be able to carry the story along that way, yet use a different perspective.

    My first two books also ended as cliffhangers, which tends to piss people off. But as a newbie writer, it was a sure fire way to get those first readers to buy the second book, and now the last book, being released in April.

    I say as long as Jane and Maura are happy to be on the page, let them reign!

    Mary

    ps-I was one of the few lucky ones who didn’t lose power during the storm the other day. It’s pretty and all, but I’m ready for spring. I even have very brave daffodils poking their vivid yellow-green spikes out of the ground beside the foundation of my house. They’re in for a long wait, I’m afraid.

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