Tying It All Together: Wrapping Up a Series of Beloved Characters

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, writing 13 Comments

By Kimberley Woodhouse

As I was pondering what I’d like to write about in this blog, my email blinged several times. Inspiration hit immediately. Several new email had come in through my website from readers. Under the Midnight Sun just released this month (January 1) from Bethany House and the letters have been pouring in. My favorites are in a stack on my desk that state the only thing they disliked was that the series had come to an end. It’s been amazing to see how the book has touched people’s lives, but also fun to see the questions readers pose to us. Here’s a few:

“How hard was it to say goodbye to these characters that we love so much?”

“Was it hard to tie it all together at the end?”

“Why can’t it go on? There’s enough characters for us to enjoy for years to come?”

“How did you keep track of all the details when there were so many people throughout the series?”

So naturally, these questions urged me to talk a little bit about writing a series and wrapping it all up.

If I were to answer that first reader question it would be a resounding yes. Very hard to say goodbye. Tracie Peterson and I have invested three years of our lives to this series. The characters are like family. It also has special meaning because we lovingly call the Heart of Alaska Series the “Cassidy series”—after Cassidy Hale, a fifteen-year-old in our church who was killed when she was hit by a truck. The first heroine in In the Shadow of Denali is named in her honor and memory in addition to a special dedication at the end of the series.

To answer the second question, I would have to say—no… and yes. We loved the characters so much that we wanted everyone to have their story. But it was hard in the sense that we had to keep track of everything in all the stories of all the different characters. This is where keeping copious notes was extremely helpful. Because we wrote a lot of characters. Not only was there a hero and heroine for each story, but lots of secondary characters were involved. The cast of characters grew as the series went on. And of course, we can’t forget the villains.

I have to say: I love writing series. I love the plethora of characters and the depths we get with each one because of the time spent with them. It’s hard to say goodbye and see it end.

But who says it has to be the end?

Hmmm… Perhaps we may return to the Curry Hotel in Alaska. You never know. Maybe one day.

That’s the beauty of being an author. There’s always another story to tell.

Enjoy the Journey.

Saying Goodbye is Hard—Wrapping Up a Series of Beloved Characters @kimwoodhouse #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #characters #pubtip Click To Tweet

Kimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling author of more than fifteen books who loves the JOY of story. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate. She lives and writes in Montana. Visit her at https://kimberleywoodhouse.com .



Comments 13

  1. I haven’t had the opportunity to read this series yet but I can’t wait . I can only imagine how difficult it is to keep all the characters straight.

  2. Congratulations on your new book. I enjoyed your blog post, it’s impressive that you both are able to keep up with all the characters. What a compassionate way to memorialize the young lady from your church as well.

  3. Congratulations on your new book. What a compassionate memorial to the young lady from your church. I often wonder how authors with many characters and series keep everything straight. I enjoyed your post thoroughly.

  4. I can imagine three years working together on a series and have it come to an end, the must be a sense of loss. I haven’t had a chance to read any in this series. But it sounds very good. It has to be good with you both authoring it.

  5. Congratulations on the release of such a wonderful story! I haven’t had a chance to read any of the series yet, but I’m excited at the prospect of reading them!

  6. Your book sounds really great ? Thanks for Sharing your book with us ???
    It is very hard to say goodbye to characters we fall in love with it is probably doubly hard for authors

  7. One of the things I truly enjoyed is the idea of the locations and the times zones of where the stores with the characters. I loved your histories to the stories too.
    Thanks for continuing your books. Your books are a true blessing to read every new book that comes out. I love it.

  8. Congratulations on the new release. I have’t had the chance to read this series. Might need to add it to my TBR list 😉

    I’m excited for that chance, someday!

    This post makes my heart happy ?? These characters mean so much to me ?? Thank you for writing these beautiful stories and characters ??

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