Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Once You've Gone, I'm Alone

Upon finishing a novel, or any work where considerable time is spent with one character like a series, there's a grieving period that takes place. It happens to me every time. After months of a character's voice living with you, as a kind of ghost speaking through you, it suddenly goes silent.

I've always looked at characters as these kind of ghosts that the writer helps into existence. Once your task is complete and they've gone, you're left with a bit of an empty feeling. You miss them. Not in an overly depressing way, more like leaving a perfect visit with a good friend that you know you won't see for some time and somewhere in the back of your mind, you know the next time you meet, you might not be as close as you were.

This is the same feeling that drives readers to yearn for sequels, or when a reader really doesn't want a book to end and tries to turn the pages as slowly as possible. As the writer, the creator of these fictions, that feeling can be much more intense as you can imagine. For me, this is why it always means so much when readers say how much a book or character meant to them. It lets you know that didn't let go for nothing - that your character is off making new friends, living within more people, becoming more real with each one.


  1. Hello! You commented on my blog recently and your name set off a little bell in my bookseller's brain, so I clicked over to your blog. I am definitely familiar with CatKid and Pirate School and I remember being intrigued by The Heights and Zombie Blondes when they his the shelves. I am pretty immersed in reading kid's books and wish I had more time to read and review teen books but I will bump yours to the top of my teen list, which my 16 year old daughter usually co-opts. I'll make sure to keep your books on the shelves at the B&N where I work, too.

  2. Thanks! Hope you enjoy them. I warn you that ZB is by far my most polarizing book. It seems like people either love it or hate it. The Heights is more typical of my YA books