Please welcome my RITA-winning guest today, Avon author Caroline Linden!
Every reader knows the joy in finishing a good book is tempered by a bit of sadness: that book was so good, I wanted it to be longer! It’s even stronger when the book is also the end of a series. As satisfying as it was to finish the Harry Potter books, there was a serious sense of loss afterward. As my son said, “what am I going to look forward to now?”
It’s similar for authors. Writing a series is a big undertaking, even a short-ish series of only three or four books. At the beginning, when you open the blank page to start Book #1, it seems like the end is virtually an eternity away, a looming Everest of characters to meet, plots to unwind, research to be done, notes to be kept so you don’t discover halfway through Book #2 that you can’t remember what you meant to do with that little mystery you planted in Book #1. And really, the end IS far away: a couple of years at least, if you allow six to eight months per book. For longer series, an author could spend decades in that world.
But eventually, you get there. Finally you type “The End” on the last page of the last book, and with that you say good bye to those characters who’ve been your best friends for so long, even the ones who were so difficult to figure out. There is a large sense of relief at finishing any book, but it can also be a let-down.
THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART is the last in my Truth About the Duke series. It’s not a terribly long series (three novels plus a novella) but it’s been my life for the last two years. When I started it, I really hardly knew what to do with Charlie, the eldest son of the late Duke of Durham. After a lifetime of being just a handsome, charming scoundrel, heir to a dukedom but estranged from his father, I only knew that Charlie would have to be the one who sorted out the mystery surrounding his father’s long-ago clandestine marriage, and either proved himself the rightful next duke…or faced up to losing his heritage. And all through the first book of the series (ONE NIGHT IN LONDON) and even into the second (BLAME IT ON BATH) I wasn’t quite sure which way he would come out.
And now, I miss Charlie. After refusing to show himself (even to me!) for so long, he finally became a real person—in my mind anyway—in this book. He was born under enormous expectations and held to impossibly high standards. He more or less ran away from home to escape the pressure, only to find himself stuck in a rather idle life. He made mistakes, acted unwisely, and generally concealed his true self from the world…until he ran afoul of a woman who refused to let him get away with any of that. I love couples who can give each other a kick in the pants when it’s needed, and Tessa did that to Charlie, forcing him to grow up, confront his actions, and make something out of himself at last (which is an odd thing to say about someone who was born to be a duke, but there it is).
So I’m going to miss them, but I’m very excited that Charlie and Tessa are finally stepping off my screen and into readers’ hands. I hope other people come to love them the way I did
What books, whether part of a series or not, were you most sorry to see end, because you just wanted the story to go on and on?
I’ll give away a (print) copy of my novella, I LOVE THE EARL, which is the prequel to the Truth About the Duke series to one poster.
Find Caroline on the web! www.carolinelinden.com
The Way to a Duke’s Heart available at: