Loving the Old, but Bring on the New!

Every vampire has heard rumor of the mythical place where their kind can daywalk. But what no vampire knows is that this City of Eternal Night actually exists.

And its name is New Orleans.

For centuries, the fae have protected the city from vampire infestation. But when the bloodsuckers return, the fragile peace in New Orleans begins to crumble.

Carefree playboy Augustine, and Harlow, a woman searching for answers about her absent father, are dragged into the war.  The fate of the city rests on them — and their fae blood that can no longer be denied.

There is nothing as heart wrenching for readers and authors alike as concluding a series and leaving a whole world behind.  But just as all good things must come to an end, new and fabulous things begin!  Kristen Painter, author of the beloved House of Comarré novels, knows this process well as she heads into her second series — Crescent City.  Book one, House of the Rising Sun, debuts next week, and in preparation, Kristen stopped by to talk about the transition process from an author point of view:

Top Five Reasons Ending an Existing Series is Hard

  1. Worldbuilding – Building worlds is tons of fun. But when you pour extensive amounts of gray matter into a world that’s spanned five novels and one novella, you’re pretty stuck in. You know the place intimately and you can navigate better than Google Maps. Ending the series means you don’t get to play there anymore.
  2. Characters – After a series run, your characters can feel like an extended part of your family. In some cases, you may have spent more time with them than your actual family. Throughout the books, your characters have grown and changed and those that have survived may have even become better people because of things they overcame along the way. You know them like you know yourself. When the series ends, there’s not a lot of chance to see them again.
  3. Readers – Readers get even more invested in a series than the author does sometimes, so for me, I’m always thinking about them when I write. My goal with every book is to entertain, so leaving a series makes me cringe. What if the readers aren’t happy with the ending? What if they still want more? What if the readers don’t like the new books? What if they hate the new hero/heroine?
  4. The New Book – All of a sudden you realize you have to come up with a new series – new worldbuilding, new characters, new conflicts, new plots. That can be daunting when you feel like you put everything you had into the series you just finished.
  5. The Final Book – The last book in a series carries a lot of weight. Writing it means shouldering the burdens of every unanswered thread you’ve created thus far. And some authors *coughmyselfcough* tend to create a lot of threads. All of them have to be wrapped up neatly and you’ve still got to have a conclusion that leaves the reader feeling satisfied. Oh, the pressure! It’s enough to make a writer drink. Or binge eat Swedish fish.

Top Five Reasons Starting a New Series is Fun

  1. Worldbuilding – What’s more exciting than creating a brand new world where anything goes? The sky can be pink, time can run backwards, people can fly – the blank pages hold endless possibilities.
  2. Characters – My characters come to life as I write, that’s how I get to know them, so with new characters in a new series, every day is a discovery. That’s the kind of fun that keeps me coming back to the work in progress day after day.
  3. Readers – With a new series, you get the chance to play off the most popular elements of your last series, while fixing all the stuff that readers didn’t love and really aiming for the kind of book you know your readers respond to.
  4. The First Book – The first book in a new series is a license to do anything. To get as crazy as you want, to make people laugh, cry and gasp, to add twists and turns and let your imagination run wild because there are no constraints. Nothing’s been set in stone yet, so you’re free to create situations it’ll take you five or fifteen more books to resolve.
  5. Research – A new series means new research. I’m one of those writers who loves research and can easily get happily lost in it. A day’s worth of research will sometimes result in a brand new idea that sparks another book in the series and when you’re just starting a new series, that’s heady stuff. Research is often the spark that lights the creative fire.

Be sure to look out for House of the Rising Sun, book one in the Crescent City series, out Tuesday, May 13!

Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning urban fantasy for Orbit Books. The former college English teacher can often be found on twitter @Kristen_Painter, Facebook, where she loves to interact with her readers and on her blog.