Saying Goodbye To Characters As New Readers Discover Them
I haven't done a guest blog in so long, I honestly have no idea what I'm doing.
I started writing a series eight years ago and decided that I didn't need no stinkin' publisher, and I was going to publish it myself. (This was before doing that became remotely cool.)
It didn't start out as a series. I wrote the second book first. Then I put it on a shelf. Then I wrote a novella that didn't seem related. But eventually these disparate threads came together to create a world and characters that I've loved now for nearly a decade.
And also I can't believe that Anthony (if you've read the series, you know him), has ended up being the sort of de facto main character of the back story. He's in all but one book, usually driving the plot in a villainous way. ;)
I woke up about a week ago and realized... holy crap, this is the last book. I mean, I knew it was the last book, but since my next project (a dark paranormal serial) occurs kind of in the same world, I thought if characters made the occasional cameo appearance or got mentioned that it would be the same.
But it wouldn't be the whole gang getting together like they had before. And I realized that it was like all my friends were moving away. (Cue the tiny violins.)
Completing a series is both very sad and elating. It's a goodbye, but it's also the accomplishment of completing a very long journey and proving to yourself that once you start something, you can and will finish it. It's also a trust-building exercise with readers. I've heard from a lot of readers that they won't start reading a series until at least three or four books are out. This was disheartening when I started, but I understand now. (Also, I want to say... "Hey guys? Done now. You can start reading!")
It's hard to fall in love with characters and a series only to see it abandoned by the author or publisher or both. But completion let's readers know they can trust you, and I hope that those who have traveled much of this journey with me consider me to have earned their trust.
As the series developed, the theme began to emerge: "Everyone is the hero of his own story (and the villain of somebody else's)"
A hero in one book often is a villain in another because they all have disparate goals and interests in a paranormal world unsettled by power struggles and the threat of the humans.
Technically, the books can be read in any order since they focus on different couples, so if you're knew to me, you can jump in with the new book, since it's on sale.
I've looked forward to writing Unleash The Moon for a long time. It's the son and daughter of two other couples in the series and occurs 26 years in the future. Actually, let me just do the big book description thing... because I'll just ramble if I try to explain it on the fly...
Unleash the Moon
... Can two souls trapped in separate cages ever find each other?
Twenty-six years have passed since the link between heaven and earth was severed and all hell broke loose. The fighting raged until the human magic users took over the cities, driving most of the preternaturals into hiding.
This is the world Sydney Burgess has grown up in, locked inside her father's compound. As the daughter of a human mother and a vampire king, she has all the weaknesses of a vampire but none of their strengths. Anthony keeps her on a tight leash, ever-vigilant against the constant imagined threats to her safety. But all she wants is to break free and start a real life.
Noah Riley has lived in captivity for the past twenty years, so long he barely knows how to be a werewolf anymore. Even with a photographic memory, most of his past before the facility feels fuzzy at best. His strongest memories are of the little girl he protected during his childhood: Sydney. When he reaches his full power on his twenty-eighth birth moon, he'll have a chance to break free to find her and finally reunite with his family.
But vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies. Even if Sydney is Noah's true mate, the vampire king would kill him before he ever let a filthy werewolf near her, especially one of questionable sanity.
Unleash The Moon is now available on pre-order. http://zoewintersbooks.com/2014/10/16/unleash-the-moon-now-available-for-pre-order-intro-pre-order-price-2-99/
The regular retail price for my novel-length work is $4.95, but now through release day (November 5th), the book will be $2.99. If it looks interesting to you, you might want to lock it in at the sale price!
If you are interested in learning about the rest of the series, reading order, as well as retailers for my work, can be found here: http://zoewintersbooks.com/books-in-the-preternaturals-series/
And now that I've been all blah blah blah me me me buy my book... I would like to do a giveaway. Two giveaways, actually, to commenters in the comment section:
First, I'd like to give a signed print copy of Unleash The Moon to a fan of my series. (To be determined by any question in the comments that makes it clear you've read the books. Please put SPOILERS if your question contains any spoilers and I will put SPOILERS ahead of any answer.)
Then I'd also like to give a signed print copy of Blood Lust (the first book in the series) to someone who is new to me. You can make any comment in the comments section to indicate interest in that.
Thank you for reading and supporting my work!
Here are some places you can find me online: http://zoewintersbooks.com/about-the-author-2/