Random Inspirations

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Reflections on Finishing a Series

on February 3, 2014

Woohoo! I just finished writing Book 4 of the Amish Hearts series, Amish Valentine, and am currently immersed in final edits.

I couldn’t be more excited about this dramatic, satisfying end to the series, but at the same time, I have a feeling of emptiness. My brain, which has been caught up for months in the lives and loves of the Amish twins Rebekah and Mercy, is fairly reeling with questions like, “Is this it? But where do I go from here?”

It’s the “losing your best friend” feeling for sure.

Finishing writing a series often brings questions like, "Where do I go from here?"

Finishing writing a series often brings questions like, “Where do I go from here?”

Like many authors who have been sucked into writing a series, I started Amish Hearts with the idea of it being just one book. But by the time I’d written a few chapters of Book 1 (Rumspringa Break), I knew there was much more to tell. As I wrote Books 2, 3, and 4, the characters developed, secondary characters took on lives of their own, plot twists spun and wove their ways into the stories, and everything combined into a rich tapestry of Amish society. The books felt like life itself: I never would’ve imagined how the circumstances of the storyline would unfold when I was writing page 1 of Book 1, but looking back, I’m happy everything turned out the way it did–and the beauty was in the journey.

Now, I feel like I  know the characters as well as my family or friends. We writers really bond with our characters–and we have to, in order to make them multi-dimensional. Now, the only question is, “How do I immerse myself in other characters? And do I want to?”

The answer is, or course, yes. Writers have to constantly evolve. So, I’ve decided that my next project will be to write the teen fiction novel I’ve been psyched out of my mind about ever since the idea came to me last year. It will be called Starstruck, and it will center around Quentyn, Aubree’s best friend from my teen eBook Winnerwhich I released in December 2013. After the Amish fixation, it will be ah-mazing to immerse myself in contemporary culture once again!

But I loved writing my Amish novellas so much, and Amish Fiction is such an awesome niche genre. So naturally, even though Amish Hearts is finished, my work in the genre itself is not. I’ve decided to write a spinoff of Amish Hearts; familiar characters will be thrown into unfamiliar situations and new characters will have the opportunity to take center stage. I anticipate the first book of the spinoff will be out this spring…and knowing that my beloved characters will be able to come out once again kind of eases the pain of finishing the first series.

Authors, how do you feel once you finish that long-awaited series? I would love to hear your reflections!

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