On the Heartbreak of an Unfinished Series

In addition to the Paradox series I read another book last month,  To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane. (I also finished More Usefully Employed by Brenda Moon, the Amelia B. Edwards biography. But that is not germain to this post.)

Finishing To Play the Lady was both a euphoric experience and utterly soul crushing. Particularly after the Paradox series, which was such beautifully tidy three book deliciousness.

Here's why.

You may think, I hated it. Or I loved it but it was so badly edited that my enjoyment was thwarted. That's not it at all.

Did I like it?
Yes! It was YA with a strong magical warrior heroine. Many of my favorite tropes were hit. It felt a bit like Tamora Pierce meets Sherwood Smith, how could I not love it? There were some flaws, mostly in length and editing, some repetition, some errors in overuse of cliche phrases, but 90% of the time my immersion in the story was unaffected. Trust me, that's really good.

Do I recommend you pick it up?
Yes but...

The book was released in 2011, it is a completed work but unmistakably the start of a series. It's self published. (I have nothing against self-published books but it does mean the author has only a self-imposed deadline. There are exceptions, but authors are notoriously ill-disciplined.) The most recent update from the author indicates a certain lack of optimism over a release timeline for Book 2.

Health, life, money, tragedy: there are many reasons an author stops writing. (See The Business Rusch: Why Writers Disappear) Being an author myself, I completely understand ~ projects derail. You saw it happen to me with Prudence. However, as a reader, I would rather have not read this book, then be left without knowing what happens next. Now I fear I never shall. It's too good and yet too sad. I reached out to Naoimi and she immediately emailed me back to say she was trying but couldn't make any promises. I'm hoping that she keeps her head high and fights the good fight and I wish her the best of luck. Selfishly, for my own sake.

This has happened to me before

My first experience was with Claudia J. Edwards. She began her Bastard Princess series with Eldrie the Healer in 1988 and I loved it. And then, nothing. She never wrote another book. I've no idea what happened to her or why she stopped writing. She died in 2010, having published nothing at all (under that name) for over 20 years.

I kind of want to sing a song: Whatever happened to Claudia J. Edwards?

My second experience was with Sharon Green. A prolific writer known, perhaps best, for her incredibly complicated world-building and fantastic nookie scenes. Her best magical system, if you ask me, was in The Far Side of Forever series. It was working up to feature a pretty fab romance too, and then... oh, and then... She left a romantic cliff hanger at the end of the second book in 1989. She went on to write hundreds of books but never finished that series. I must assume it did not sell well enough.

I was crushed and never read her again. Although, now, I see she has some stand-alones and I might try a few of those. Cautiously. Carefully. A burned child near open flame.

Confession time

As I write this, I am struck with the horror of realizing I have done this myself. To you, Gentle Reader. I think Crudrat stands alone but it certainly isn't a finished series. I too am a sinner. I am mortified. I can only apologize profoundly and make amends. And so, you read it here first. I will finish the second Tinkered Stars book, and I will make it as complete a story as possible, within the next five years. This I vow. I will carve out the time from my other series for those few who loved my little sci fi audio offering. I will NOT be that author. I will not give up because of life, like Claudia. I will not sacrifice a lesser loved series for a more popular run, like Sharon.

And I will write more stand alones. I promise. Because I love them, and their aren't enough out there.

Now, you tell me: Any lost or abandoned series that trouble you at night, Gentle Reader? 

{What is Gail's Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1860  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Purse Gold Coin Lilli

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Ten Algorithms That Dominate Our World

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Agenty Advice to a Hopeful Writer, From a Non-Agent

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.

The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar

Book News:
Reading in Winter says (after reading Soulless), “Gail Carriger, where have you been all my life?...This is a fast-paced book that will have you laughing and swooning — and maybe wanting to talk in a proper British accent for a while after finishing. There’s romance and vampires and werewolves and just so many things to keep readers interested.”

Quote of the Day:
“From thence we sallied forth to see the clean, quaint village of Stratford. It was built just to have Shakspeare born in.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Labels: , , ,