Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sending our Children out into the World

We have another wonderful guest in the convertible today. Please join me in welcoming the amazing Carly Phillips! Carly is generously offering up a copy of HOT PROPERTY as a prize to one lucky blogger. How cool is that??

Recently, without going into details, my oldest teenage daughter had a harrowing experience. Thank goodness she is OK. We are very grateful and hope lessons were learned. I’ve blogged on this theme before and forgive me if you’ve heard it, but it seems so relevant now, in part because we, as a family, are still dealing with the fallout of teenage experiences. Children are constantly learning and growing, as are parents.

This all led me to think about how children don’t come with instruction manuals and as a parent, all any of us can do is our very best. The same can be said of my other children – my books.

Unlike my real children, who I hopefully can continue to teach and grow and mold into healthy safe and happy adults, there reaches a point in the birth of a book, when we must send them out into the world with no further say in who they are and what they become. We put them out to there and expose them to the world, virtues, vices and all. Just like our kids, only they never change.

HOT PROPERTY is my current book out now. It’s the last book in the Hot Zone Series of books (Hot Stuff, Hot Number, Hot Item and now Hot Property) and it forces me to say goodbye to this set of children and begin the process of raising/creating new ones.

Unlike some authors, I am able to move on to a new book fairly easily because I get a rush of excitement each time I start something new. That is, until the hard part of actually developing the characters begins!

And as a reader, when my favorite author finishes a series or a book, I’m sad – but I’m already excited for the next one – regardless of what they’re writing. (Unless it’s a complete genre switch but that’s for another blog!)

So I’m wondering …

Authors out there – do you move from ending one book or series easily and jump into the next? Or do you angst?

And Readers (the people we, as authors, count on) – as much as you know you will miss the end of a series of books, do you get excited by the start of a new one by your favorite author? Or do you need to read it and see if it will strike you before the excitement kicks in?


Toni said...

I don't have a problem moving to another series (like you, it's a rush to have a new world to play in). The only real issue is making sure that one voice for one series doesn't bleed over too much into the other one.

As a reader, I'll follow a favorite author into another series in a heartbeat, across genres or formats--doesn't matter. If I've enjoyed someone's work to the point of buying more than one book from them, then I trust them and it would take a couple of real huge clunkers for me to give up.

Great topic, Carly!

Jane said...

I'm pretty much excited without having to read it first. This is especially true with familiar authors which you're already a fan of.

Anonymous said...

I normally will follow an author I love ... but if they switch genres, I have to be a fan of the genre too. I'm such a Romance fan, it's hard if the books are too far off the mark!

Debra Dixon said...

Carly-- Welcome to the convertible!

I've never written in connected or a "series" books except for the continuing character I do in the MOSSY CREEK books.

I think I almost find it easier to begin fresh. Like you said there is a excitement about the new characters and situations. I'll have to think about this.

Liza said...

I'm excited to try a new series by authors I love. I'll miss the old ones, but can always go back and re-read them at anytime.

If it's an auto-buy author, I don't have to read the series first to be excited. If it's a new to me author, I'll give the first book a shot to see what I think. I've found many series that I love by giving new authors a shot. I prefer romance books, but will read another genre by an author I love.

Cheri2628 said...

I can relate to your challenges raising kids. My boys are out of their teens now, and I must say they have turned out pretty well. Of course, they will always be my kids no matter how old they get. I will still be attempting to "raise" them until the day I die. ;)

As for series reading...I love to read a good series, and it can be sad to say good-bye to favorite characters and settings. I like to read other books by the same author as long as she doesn't change genres on me.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi again, Carly.
This is a great question and yes, I do miss ending a series because I've grown to know these people so well in the course of writing about them. It's hard to leave them. ON the flip side, it's such a joy to meet and get to know the new characters.
We're so thrilled to have you riding with us today!!

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, Carly, welcome to the convertible!

I love ending a book and starting a new one. In fact, I'm always starting new stuff just because when a new character pops into my head, I like to go with the excitement and get some of that down on the page. I'm never sad to see a character go, though sometimes I will wonder, years later, what they're up to.

As a reader, I do mourn the end of a series that features characters I've come to love.

Anonymous said...

Glad everything turned out fine for your daughter.

I hate to see a favorite series end but always look forward to a new one starting.

Karen T.

Carrie said...

I always look forward to a new series. I have to rush out and buy it as soon as it comes out! I do mourn a little when a favorite series ends.

Karen B said...

New series by favorite authors are great!

catslady said...

I'm always sad to have a good book end but I'm also always excited to start a new book!

lois greiman said...

Hi Carly. Thanks for joining us.

I myself always goes through kind of a slump when I end a book...kind of like the postpartum blues...which, by the way, I never experienced. But it's hard for me to be done, to leave them behind. However, there's always a honeymoon period with a new book.

Ann M. said...

I am sad when a series ends. I get so invested in characters. Why it was wonderful to know that Carly revisited her Hot Zone characters.

I love finding a new author and series is gold. I love it. Although I have too many authors to keep track of and try not to find another one. :)

Ellen said...

I get excited by the start of a new series by a favorite author and I don't need to read it before the excitement kicks in.

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Carly! Sorry, I'm chiming in late here, but welcome!

As a writer, I need a little bit of down time between books. As little as a long weekend will work, but I'll have had to do some serious recharging to start up a new book on Monday.

I'm a newbie, so this probably happens all the time, but I was 1/2 way through a book when I had to stop and write a different one for the publisher's schedule. Then, after finishing the 2nd, had to go back to the other one. I think that was harder than starting a brand new book.

That's my 2 cents.

Estella said...

I will follow a favorite author to a new series, even across genres, before I have read one of the books.

Anonymous said...

One of my posts got lost in Blogspace ... sorry! You guys were a lot of fun today! Thanks for letting me hang out here :)

Can I announce news? HOT PROPERTY hit NYT # 18! Thanks for letting me share, and for inviting me. :)

Helen Brenna said...

Yay, Carly on the NYT! Congrats!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Carly - YEA!!!!!! on the NYT.
How wonderful! thanks for taking the time to share with us today. It was a lot of fun!!

kimmyl said...

I do hate it when a series ends but am just as excited when another begins. I love reading series books.

Lori T said...

I am a bit sad when a series ends, but I know that I can always go back and "revisit" whenever I want.

I love to start a new series and if it is a favorite author...I really look forward to getting into another one of their series. Just knowing that a book is a part of a series is a big selling point for me.

Cindy Gerard said...

Estella! You're the winner of Carly's HOT PROPERTY. You're profile doesn't list an e-mail addy so would you contact me at and let me know you've picked up this message?