This morning while I was trying to work toward the end of If You Can’t Stand The Heat… I remembered a conversation I had with a friend right after I finished Romeo, Romeo. We went to see a romantic comedy and after the movie, as the credits rolled, we dissected it. My friend thought the movie should have ended well before it did. He said that dragging out the ending was a fault he found in many books and movies, and then asked me, as a writer, why I thought that happened.
I knew exactly why writers have a hard time ending their stories. We don’t want to lose the characters we’ve created, nurtured, and loved. Our characters become a huge part of a writer’s life. If we were to keep a relationship with our characters after the book was finished, we’d be considered insane. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
I’m closing in on the end of If You Can’t Stand The Heat… and I’m getting that familiar sense of loss that I get every time I end a book. I’ve spent the last six months in my characters’ lives and heads. I know their life stories. I’ve laughed with them and cried with them, heck, I’ve even gotten drunk with them, and soon, I’m going to have to say goodbye.
When I received the galley proofs for Romeo, Romeo last month, I knew I had a one-week turnaround. I jumped back into Romeo, Romeo with both feet, and I was happy to be hanging with Nick and Rosalie again. I’d missed them terribly. I read Romeo, Romeo three times that week and when I turned in my final edits, I was finished. That was the last time I would be with those characters. I gathered up all of my Romeo, Romeo files and put them in a box, and I swear I felt as if I was at a funeral.
Writers care about their characters--when I finish writing my book, the relationship with my characters ends. I always feel I’ve lost a dear friend, and saying goodbye doesn’t get any easier.
As I prepare myself to say goodbye to Mike and Annabelle, the only bright side I see is that when I start my next book in the Domestic God series, I might have them drop by for a little visit. Maybe Nick and Rosalie too.