Have you ever reached the end of a favorite novel and felt that slight pang of sadness for having to say goodbye to the characters? Did you ever close the book and wonder, even for a moment, what happened to those characters after that last page?
I have. Countless times. In fact, I even did it when I finished writing my first novel. I had thought about my characters for so long – imagining everything from their greatest joys and inner struggles, to simple things, like how they take their coffee and what makes them laugh.
Once I submitted my finished manuscript to my agent, I thought – that’s it! Sure, there will be edits and revisions, but the story was complete and I was happy with its ending.
Imagine my delight, a short time later, when my publisher asked me to do that one thing that I’ve wanted to do with other books – not only imagine what happened next, but make it happen. Write Book Two. What an incredible opportunity!
But here’s the kicker. Imagining what happened to those characters is one thing. Writing about it is another. I had decisions to make. Should I put my characters on an easy path? Or should I turn their lives upside-down – again.
Since life is fraught with unexpected twists and turns, I chose the latter. So this summer, with kids jumping on the trampoline, carpools and activities in high drive, weeds in the garden, brats on the grill, and an October writing deadline looming… I get to imagine what happened to Ryan Chambers and Shelby Meyers after the last page of FAMILY TREES. And when I reach the ending, I’ll have to say goodbye once again.