Carolyn Keene (and all the authors writing under this pseudonym) never had to let go of Nancy Drew. They just kept her going, mystery after mystery. But that was a different time and a different era. For me, I just know when it’s time to move on. Or at least I think I do. I mean, I knew it was time to leave upstate New York and move to Arizona when I found myself flinging a snow shovel across the driveway screaming at my husband, “ I can’t take this *#$*@^* snow anymore!!!”
Writing a series is not very different. At some point, it’s time to let go of the protagonists who have taken such a wide space in your brain that they almost seem real. Such is the case with my “Light Riders” series. With the second novel due for release in a few weeks and the third one well under way (if you consider a midway point to a first draft “well underway”), I know it’s time to bid Ryn and Aeden farewell. Yet, why am I finding it so difficult?
Maybe it’s because I watched them grow-up. Aeden was only 12 when she got lost in time in 1930 Arizona and had to fend for herself. That was the first novel. In the second, Ryn was 15 and had to put up with a snarly, bossy, moody 14 year old sister. By the time they were really young adults at 15 and 16, they had matured and had better coping mechanisms to deal with all the obstacles and tribulations that time travelers face.
The truth is, they’ve been with me a while and I’ve really grown to like them. I can hear their banter in my mind as I try to fall asleep at night and I find myself looking at situations and wondering what they would do. Then, I start to write their dialogue. But before I wind up on some analyst’s couch trying to link my psyche with that of my characters, it’s time to move on!
There are other terrific protagonists out there. I just need to discover them and uncover them. Let them grow and evolve. But for the meantime, I’m still penning the third and final novel in this series. So, I’ll have Ryn and Aeden with me for a little while longer and that feels pretty good.