What Do You Do When You Finish a Series?

We’ve all been there as readers, writers and viewers. We spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over worlds created by other humans and then suddenly the series is over.

It’s over and you’ve lost your best friends. A wave of sadness envelops you as you walk the dog. You realize it’s because you’ve finished that damned series.

Talk of possibly more books or a revival on Netflix give you only momentary relief because you just know the new stuff just won’t be the same …

I seriously hate endings no matter how happy. It’s especially true when it’s YOUR own characters you have to say farewell to.

I suppose all creators feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of things — but with such a mix of sadness too!

I’m happy to release the final book of THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES so readers get to see how Buck, William, Thankful and Lucy finally work things out, but forgive me the tiny bit of depression I feel at leaving them all behind.

Empty nest syndrome for writers is kind of awful (yet a weird privilege).

So … how do you deal with getting to the end of a series? Let me know in the comments!

And remember to check out THE GRAND UNION today!

Here’s a sample.

(Buck has foolishly taken his new wife to Saratoga Springs, New York for a honeymoon/business trip):

“We keep having to worry about everyone’s opinions, but why, Buck? We have each other.”

“Everything is so simple for you. But I have to make sure everyone’s boats stay afloat.”

“Boats float on water, not on you,” Lucy said with a little laugh.

He didn’t laugh, though her smile was so damned cute. “The water boy Corny or whatever his name is—he looks to be about your age—about my brother Nathan’s age. Thankful said you should have married Nathan. Did you like him better? I’d understand. He can be amusing at times.”

“Can he? I never noticed,” she said. “I don’t know why I ever thought you were mature, Buck, because you’re worse than the boys when I was ten.”

“How many were there?”

“Buck!”

He could never sit still for long, his nervous energy prompting him to stand and sit and then feel uncomfortable sitting on the steps. “All day today Preston let his eyes wander,” he said, waiting for her reaction. “I don’t believe in wandering eyes, Lucy … at least I mean that once I’m set on someone—I mean you—well, this isn’t the same thing as Alma, whom I never liked—or loved. You do understand that she was more of an insurance, just in case.”

Lucy stared in astonishment at the way Buck’s mind worked.

“I’m no romantic, but I liked to picture Preston and Lottie and you and me successfully working and recreating together,” Buck said with his usual stiffness.

Lucy laughed. “You don’t know how to recreate!”

He laughed a little too.

“So where is Preston, tonight?”

He stood again, running his hand along the banister. “With a poet girl—an awful feathery, flighty socialite who forces everyone to endure her poems about acorns,” he said. “The Trasks seem sincere about everything. I don’t trust that. They’re far too fond of beauty for beauty’s sake and symbolism and—emotional in their affections for everyone. It makes my skin crawl a little, but I guess all of that flattery and the lovey-dovey manner they have with each other—I guess it’s nice in a way. It’s better than how I’ve been treating you.”

Lucy looked into his guarded eyes. “What do you want me to say?”

He looked away. His little confession of admiration for things lovey-dovey embarrassed him.

Lucy played with the torn lace on her skirt. “But I’ll say this for myself. I don’t believe in divorce.”

Buck turned back to face her with the eagerness of his younger brother Nathan. “Never, under any circumstances?”

“Except if you ever keep a girl for insurance again, or even make eyes with a girl. If you aren’t interested in just me, then we can quietly divorce, and I’ll move to New London.”

Buck regretted giving her so much time to think of moving to New London and was surprised at her strength. “I’m interested in you. Very much so. And you really mean to stay even through the worst mishaps?”

“Buck, if I ever find that you speak to this Alma or befriend another girl or lady … I won’t have it.”

Buck sat close now and took Lucy’s hand in his. “Lucy, I’ve been such a fool. I’ve spoiled our time. I promise not even once did Alma hold a flame compared to you.”

“I should like it if we never mention her name again.”

“Yes, yes, I understand, and from now on I won’t even talk to another lady unless it’s my mother or one of my sisters.”

“This must include Lottie—who you’ve apparently told all of your secrets to.”

Buck looked off again, much like a young colt bristling a little after a long bit of training. “Yes, I did do that. She made me feel like one of them, and I’m not much of a drinker—I don’t know—she easily got things out of me.”

Lucy smiled, shaking her head. “You may be embarrassed of me being so young and all, but Buck, I want to be the one who takes care to know every detail about you. I never want to find out things through another.”

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

 

BUY THE SERIES TODAY!

What’s Your Mission in Life?

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How do you start with a tiny spark of inspiration and end with a six book series?

I’ve just released THE ONE MY HEART LOVES, the fifth book in THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES so I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane.

My writing mission that I didn’t know I had at the start:

To write deep characters with real flaws who, despite it all, find love and redemption. I didn’t know what grace was until I gave it to John Weldon in THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD.

THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD: Looking back it would have been impossible to write compassionately about morphine-addicted Civil War veteran John Weldon if I hadn’t fallen in love with a handsome boy in high school who was addicted to drugs. We dated on and off through college. He even looked me up after I was unhappily married with children and he was sober. I hope he still is — though the last time I looked he’d disappeared.

WEARY OF RUNNING: An addict’s road to redemption takes its toll on others. I was curious how John Weldon’s son William would handle adulthood with the hurts he carries. The saddest scene is when William takes his first drink. All of his secret yearnings for Thankful Crenshaw slip into far off second place.  Thankful’s brother, Buck Crenshaw carries secret hurts of his own — how else could he be so easily tempted to take out revenge on one of the first black cadets attending West Point?

THE DEW THAT GOES EARLY AWAY is a reference to fleeting love. Buck takes center stage as he wrestles with disillusionment as a new Christian and runs off to a utopian society that promises a fast track to God (and worldly delights). He hardly has time to notice his sister Thankful, still reeling from the loss of her unfaithful fiance, and rushing headlong into another mistake. William’s cousin Lucy takes him to task over his drunken lifestyle but will he change? (You’ll have to read the book to find out :))

FORGET ME NOT is SAD. It just is. I do love how it ends and that’s all I’ll say.

THE ONE MY HEART LOVES: All of my favorite characters are paired off and making a hash of things. Buck is a wreck over his engagement. Thankful is a wreck because she’s jealous. Seeing how Lucy McCullough and William Weldon navigate the Crenshaw minefield satisfies something deep within me and sets us up for the final installment.

THE GRAND UNION starts off in Saratoga Springs, New York at The Grand Union Hotel. Will Buck’s marriage be a grand union? Will he screw up even this? What happens when his wife really gets to know him? I love this couple and want only happiness for them but new troubles await (with Thankful leading the charge) when they arrive back in Englewood to start a family. (Preorder TODAY!)

I love big books about families. How about you? Do you have a favorite literary family? I’m obviously biased.

And more importantly, what’s your mission? I’d love to know in the comments below!

 

 

The One My Heart Loves

A SNEAK PEEK: Second Thoughts …

Buck coughed. “Father, I don’t think—well—I believe Lucy wants no part of me any longer, and really … it’s so soon after Meg to be parading a girl on my arm.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s for the best. Everyone says so. Lucy wouldn’t fit in.” Buck cast his eyes down.

“Fit in?” Graham asked, incredulously. “With whom? Lucy fits in with me just fine.”

“Do you think so?” Buck asked, eager for approval. “I thought so too. I thought it might be nice to have someone to take care of and fuss over.”

Graham laughed. “Lucy’s not a doll, son.”

“Of course, Father. Why is it that everyone believes I’ve no sense about girls?”

Graham smiled but said nothing. The doctor sifted through gone-off oranges left in a bowl by the new housekeeper but grabbed a few Christmas cookies instead and sat at the cook’s tall stool.

Buck leaned with elbows on the counter. “Here’s what concerns me: What if Lucy doesn’t like my friends? I’m a good banker, but there’s a social element and …”

Graham stopped mid-cookie. “Are you saying you want to see other young ladies?”

“My friends have been trying to force a certain girl upon me.”

Graham shook his head.

“Father, I haven’t done a thing. I would never hurt Lucy that way, but this girl is much sought after and her father has friends in banking and government, and for some reason she has taken to me—though I haven’t given her any reason to assume I might care for her in any way other than as a friend.”

Graham shook his head with more emphasis now, dropping the cookie to his plate. “No. You’re going off on the wrong road—again. It’s impossible to have female friends. And I strongly advise you not to marry for banking. Don’t sell your soul for appearances.”

Buck adjusted his prosthetic as he spoke. “The thing is, I don’t really care for this girl in the city.”

“I don’t understand you, son.”

Buck rolled an orange under his hand on the counter. “I wondered if it might be easier.”

“For whom?”

“For me, of course,” Buck said. “I don’t have a good track record—at anything. If things go sour for Lucy and me … the idea of it seems very hard.”

Graham laughed again. “Dear boy, you give me hope yet that one of my sons has a heart. That’s exactly the feeling you should have about Lucy. What would be the point if you didn’t fear losing her?”

PRE-ORDER:

THE ONE MY HEART LOVES & THE GRAND UNION

About The Tenafly Road Series:

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her books down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”