I love series…and I hate series. A great series has characters and settings to fall in love with and get to know. There’s edge-of-your-seat anxiety as the plot heats up and unfolds, and you can’t wait for that oh-so-satisfying conclusion. Here’s what sets my teeth on edge: a great series has a completely satisfying conclusion to EACH book in the series that still manages to leave the reader wanting more. A less-than-great series does not satisfy; it teases. “Oh? You thought I was going to wrap up this story-line by the final page? Nope! You gotta wait a few years for the next book.” Say what? I’m all for authors capitalizing their careers with series. But expecting your reader to wait several years for the plot you started in this book to wrap up? Seriously? I paid my $20 for a solid story and a solid story has a satisfying ending.
The pic is of me with Daniel Radcliffe a few years back at the Warner Bros. studio just outside of London. Confession: I LOVE the Harry Potter series. Why? Because every book in the series is a complete hero’s journey for a particular school year in Harry’s life that wraps up within the individual book, plus the entire series is Harry’s full hero’s journey from childhood to young man. Stellar! After every book, you want more. After every book, the question that JK Rowling posed at the beginning (Who is the Half-blood Prince? What’s in the Chamber of Secrets?) has been answered…not left hanging. Note to series authors: Don’t leave your reader hanging. If you do, they might just hang up on you. Prime example: Patrick Rothfuss. Dude! Your Kingkiller Chronicles are breathtaking! But leaving your readers to wait a DECADE for the final book? Some of your fans have died by now.