As I’ve posted before, I have finished the final draft of the final book in the Hot Dog Detective series, book 27, The Absent Ally. Finishing a book gives a writer a great sense of accomplishment; finishing a series is like achieving a lifetime goal.
It is easy to allow two emotions to set in:
The first emotion is not so bad – it is the feeling that now you can relax and bask in the glory of your accomplishment. This usually lasts, at least for me, for about a day or two. Then the next story starts to nag at me, if it hasn’t already been disturbing my dreams for the previous couple of weeks.
The second emotion is a little more serious. It’s a feeling of depression, a feeling that something you’ve been intimately involved with is gone, done, and finished. The characters, who by this time have become as real to you as your own friends and relatives, are now a part of history, not a part of your presence. The problems those characters had to face are all resolved, now distant memories. The places your characters frequented are relegated to the realm of fond memories.
This feeling can really bring a writer down. There is only one real solution to this type of depression.
A writer has to move on to a new series. It might be the same location, but I find that a change of venue is the most effective way of snapping out of the depths of depression.
So, to accomplish that, I have moved from the glorious, spectacular, and beloved mountains of Colorado to the rocky, wild coast of Northern California. In a mythical town called Crystal Cove, my new main character is a fifty-something widow names Sally O’Brian.
This series will be more cozy than the Hot Dog Detective series, but with the added feature of a paranormal element. Sally can see the ghost of her deceased husband.
Starting a new series turns out to be a bit more complicated. With Denver, I had an easy cheat. The city actually exists. With Crystal Cove, I have to create every street, building, or physical feature. Of course, creating the characters that populate the town and the stories that will be part of the series is basically the same. The difference is that I spent years thinking about the Hot Dog Detective series, but my timeframe for Crystal Cove is considerably shorter.
But the new series is taking shape in my mind, and I am making substantial progress on the first book in the series, The Ghost on the Stairs.
The Ghost on the Stairs will be available this fall.