Um, maybe never. I loved those characters as much as my readers do, but their stories are finished in my mind. I can’t make myself write a book simply because somebody wants me to.
Plenty of my author friends are on Book #14 or #23, and that’s great. Their fans seem eager to read that next installment, and if the fans will pay, why not write another one? For me, the answer to that question comes down to why I write, and my reasons are a little (maybe a lot) selfish. I write because I want to find out how the story goes.
I began my mystery career with historicals that follow the life of Elizabeth Tudor. They were well-received by critics and readers, but the publisher closed its mystery segment after going through bankruptcy. That was okay, because I’d already started the Dead Detective Series with another publisher. I was fascinated with Seamus, who is dead but not quite ready to leave the world behind. It took five novels for him to let go of Life, but once he did, I saw no reason to continue the series. Yes, there could be stories about a different dead detective, but it’s like Doctor Who. Your favorite will always be the first one you connected with, and others pale by comparison.
The Loser Mysteries took an even shorter arc. Three books was what it took to present Loser, the homeless woman who solves one crime, then another, and finally the one that brought about her homelessness. After that, Loser is no longer a loser. She’s well on her way to re-joining society, and further books would result in a P.I. series too much like those already out there. That doesn’t interest me enough to spend a year of my life making it happen.
Maybe I’m too easily bored. Maybe I should buckle down and extend one or more of my more popular series. I often tell myself that I can (and will) when (and if) a worthwhile story line for one of those characters forms in my head. But there’s always a new idea I want to try, a new protagonist with unique problems and a different outlook. Since there’s only so much time to write, authors need to justify expending their energies in a certain area. For me, writing another episode with the same characters, setting, and scenario simply because fans will buy it isn’t as rewarding as trying something new and hoping they will.
I’ll admit that sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.
My new offering, KIDNAP.org, is less mystery and more caper novel. Robin Parsons represents those of us who are sick to death of criminal fat cats who take what they want and defy us to do something about it. We complain. We wish. We write letters to the editor. They keep stealing from us, pushing us around, and snickering up their sleeves because we can’t stop them.
Robin decides she will stop them—well, she stops one, but it’s like eating popcorn. One handful isn’t enough. Successfully halting the shenanigans of a criminal politician leads her to believe she can stop others who flaunt the law and hide behind their money and power. She’s joined by an odd group of misfits who’ve also suffered injustices and don’t have much to lose.
They’re funny. They’ve lovable. They’re surprisingly effective. They’re the kind of group we wish really existed, Robin Hood types who face down bad guys and use their own evil against them.
KIDNAP.org is unlike anything else I’ve written, and it was a whole lot of fun. I’m pretty sure it will be fun for readers too.
Peg Herring reads, writes, and loves mysteries. As an educator she once set the school stage on fire. As a driver she’s been so lost that she passed through the same town in Pennsylvania three times in one day. Family and friends have lost count of how many times she’s locked herself out of her house. It’s much safer if she sits in her office and writes, either as herself or as her younger, hipper alter ego, Maggie Pill.
Link to KIDNAP.org on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/KIDNAP-org-Peg-Herring-ebook/dp/B01NC3F8NV
Peg’s website: http://www.pegherring.com
Maggie’s website: http://maggiepill.com
Visit Peg on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pegs-News-108697482481217/
Contact Peg on Twitter: https://twitter.com/@authorpherring