Today, I welcome best-selling historical author Julianne MacLean back to the Romance Dish! I first discovered Julianne's books when I won an ARC of Surrender to a Scoundrel--one of her American Heiresses series books--back in 2006. It remains one of my all-time favorite books to this day. :) Since then, Julianne has gone on to write about the Sinclair family, some sexy Highlanders, and a trilogy centered around royalty. If you haven't read any of Julianne's books, I encourage you to do so! Right now, I'm reading her latest, Seduced at Sunset, and enjoying it immensely. Please welcome Julianne!
Series Conclusions…How Do We Say Goodbye?
By Julianne MacLean
Have you ever wanted to weep after finishing a series you have loved from the beginning? Did you feel as if you were grieving for a lost loved one because you were forced to say goodbye to characters who had become such an enjoyable part of your life?
Imagine the author, who has spent countless hours—and years—living in the story world she created. I assure you, it’s not always easy for an author to move on and start something new, to envision a whole new world with a different set of characters—characters she knows nothing about. She can’t help but wonder, will the new series have the same magic? And what about the secondary characters who were left behind without ever getting stories of their own?
I find myself in a strange state of mourning these days because I am bidding farewell to not one, but two separate series. Timing can be cruel sometimes.
On April 30, The Prince’s Bride will hit bookstores, and that is the last book in a trilogy I began with St. Martin’s Press. I am a passionate fan of The Tudors series on television, so I took great pleasure in creating a fictional European nation called Petersbourg, modeled after the Tudor Court but set in the Regency period. It became home to a family of charismatic young royals who were surrounded by romance and court intrigue, and each had to marry and produce heirs to continue their legacy.
I must also let go of another series revolving around an aristocratic family in England—the Sinclairs of Pembroke Palace. This was a series I began at Avon in 2007, but when I changed publishers, I was unable to finish it at that time. It was three years before I could finally return to Pembroke and give happy endings to the last two siblings, who had been left hanging since 2009. Seduced at Sunset is finally released, but I find myself wondering if there is a way to continue both of these series.
The heroine from the first book in my Royal Trilogy had some sisters…. Perhaps they could be presented at court in Petersbourg. And all the Sinclair siblings have happy, fruitful marriages. There is a palace full of grandchildren who will be entering the London marriage mart during the Edwardian period. Downton Abbey, anyone?
Alas, this is the sort of situation where an author needs to hear from readers. I read every letter I receive, and when I see the same request over and over for a certain character’s story, I do become inspired to write it—because I respect my readers’ opinions and I like to give you what you want.
So if you ever feel heartbroken that your favorite series has come to an end and would like to see it continue, know that authors are listening. Most of us are delighted to learn that you want more of something we have written. We can often be persuaded to find a way to bring a series back to life.
So what do you think? Have you ever written to an author to request the continuation of a series? What series have you mourned when it reached the end? Would you love it if the author returned to it, or can a series become stale if the author doesn’t know when to let it go?
All comments will be included in a random draw (open to everyone!) to win an autographed advance reading copy of The Prince’s Bride, my Royal Trilogy conclusion, which hits bookstores April 30. I will be reading everyone’s comments. Good luck!