by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
Earlier this week, I got a note from a reader of my Booktown Mysteries. She wrote: "I can't bring myself to read on. In every good series there are twists and turns, good & bad,,but killing off (SPOILER) has broken my heart."
A writer never wants to hear that a reader has given up on her work. (Yeah, ouch!) But despite losing this reader, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud.
I'm sorry she feels that way ... but you know, the fact that I was able to make her care so much about that character means I succeeded as a writer. I brought life to that character. He meant something to her, something that will stay with her for a while. But that also means that she cared more for him than she does for Tricia, Angelica and the rest of the Booktown characters, and that makes me sad.
I'm also sad to know how she isn't interested in how the characters will survive this turn of events.
I'd hate for her to miss the next book in the series. I wrote that book while my mother was in hospice dying. It kept me going when I felt like I'd lost everything. How I ever wrote such a fun book during that terrible time still amazes me.
Of course, there're more hard times ahead for Tricia and the other Booktown characters because that's what storytelling is all about: conflict. When there's no conflict, there's no story.
I thanked her for reading the first x-number of Booktown Mysteries, and I invited her to check out the other six series I write under my real names. I'm pretty sure she won't give them a chance, but that's her decision. When I write a book, the most important thing I consider is characterization, even over plot. Apparently, that's what keeps readers coming back for more.
Have you ever given up on a series in the middle? If so, why?