Publishing News, Writing

I’ll Miss You, Maxwell

A square in Savannah, Georgia.

On Tuesday I finished the manuscript for Ghost of a Hope, the fourth and final book in my Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter Series. I knew I was close to the end, and I was so inspired to finally see how things would wrap up that I banged out almost as many words as I typically write in an entire week.

And it left me feeling utterly exhausted and sad.

One one hand, it felt good to see those final words on the page. I already knew what the epilogue would be a year ago, but I wasn’t sure exactly how my characters would get up to that point. The journey, as it turns out, made me cry. Twice. I didn’t even know that authors could make themselves cry. I felt silly: they are characters out of my own imagination, and I’ve known their eventual fate for ages. Why was I getting so emotional?

Because, I realized, it was The End. I’ve happily lived in Betty’s world of ghosts, demons, friendship and, yes, even zombies for three years, and I’m sad about leaving it. It’s time to go, though: Betty’s story has been told, and whatever adventures she has following the events of my series is up to each reader to imagine.

I can now understand why Stephen King said that he wrote his forthcoming Dark Tower novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, because he simply missed being in the fictional Mid-World. Maybe, in the future, I can go back and read the series, though I’m afraid I’d wind up critiquing it as I read. It’s hard to turn off the writer/editor part of my brain.

In the meantime, I can look forward to editing and revising Ghost of a Hope. Its publication will mark the end of my creative process in Betty’s world: every word will be final.

I just hope that readers have loved getting to know Betty, Maxwell, and the others as much as I have. As for Maxwell…boy, am I going to miss him! His character, inspired by a trip to Disney World’s now-defunct Pleasure Island, was the catalyst for finally getting this series off the ground. Who knew a demon could be a muse?

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