Saying goodbye is never easy. And for writers, saying goodbye to beloved characters isn't any easier. I know I'm gonna sound nuttier than a fruitcake for saying this, but we grow attached to our characters. We even **gulp** think of them as our friends.
My main characters, Lovita and Sue Jan in the "Until The Fat Ladies Sing" cozy mystery series are like that for me. Both ladies are an extension of my imagination, my joy, my angst, and my real-life friends. They've given me a way, an outlet, to express what was in my heart. I wish these ladies were real, because they would be close friends of mine, for sure.
The first two books in the mystery series (Misfortune Cookies and A Tisket, A Casket), were contracted by my editor, Susan Downs when she was at Barbour Publishing. This is how I got started as an author. I still remember the day Susan got in touch with me. I was working as a writing tutor at a community college. It was a busy day, lots of students to tutor-completely hectic. On top of that, it was raining like crazy all day and when I left work I realized I'd forgotten my umbrella. I got home soaking wet, but did a quick check on my phone and realized that Susan had been trying to get in touch with me multiple times. Dare I hope? Well, I got the news I'd dream of. My first contract.
When the series was abruptly discontinued, I got my rights back and the books were later published through MacGregor Literary for a while. After that, I published my books independently.
Now to the saying goodbye part...
I'm writing the final book in the series. It's called "Custard's Last Stand." Here's a peek at the cover.
I'm trying hard to tie up all the loose ends and make sure to say goodbye to a variety of secondary characters as well. It's a tough job to incorporate all the elements I need to AND keep a tight mystery going. I've put off writing this last book for a long time because I dreaded it. But here I am, at the cusp of Custard's Last Stand.
I've been writing devotionals since last summer for DaySpring, and love it. I don't call myself a fiction writer or a nonfiction writer. I'm a writer, that's all. And that's everything.
What's your opinion? Do you get as involved with characters as I do? I have literally cried when I reached the end of reading a marvelous book. Do you? I know when I type "The End" on this book, I'm going to have a good cry.
And then I'll move on to my next series. I have it planned out and it's going to be fun. A different kind of fun, but fun all the same.
Linda Kozar, is an author of over 28 traditional and indie-published books, podcast host ofChat Noir Mystery & Suspense and Network Coordinator for the Along Came A Writer Network on BlogTalk Radio and iTunes. Recipient of ACFW’s Mentor of the Year award 2007, she founded The Woodlands Texas chapter of ACFW, is currently on the board of the Christian Authors Network and is a member of Chi Libris, ACFW, RWA, AWSA. Linda and her husband of 29 years, Michael live in The Woodlands, Texas and enjoy spending time with their two grown daughters, wonderful son-in-law and their rascally Jack Russell Terrier, Gypsy.