Presumably typing "The End" for a new novel spells exhilaration for authors. Frankly, it's never done this for me (just as I've never thrilled to holding one of my books). Invariably, there are so many things left to do before the book goes in the mail. In my case, there a few loose ends to check, a historical note to write, a neat quote to find, a map to draw. None of these pleases me. They are chores. So I'm depressed.
I'm even more depressed by the thought that this book may never see life. It's number eight in the Akitada series which was cut off cruelly after number six. There are ways for protagonists to die without the author's intention.
Number six was an incredibly sad book, and number seven traces the ravages of grief in the protagonist's family, but this book, by God, ends with the poor man experiencing absolute and perfect happiness.
It probably won't last. Nothing perfect in life lasts, but I could wish that he might really have his moment in a real book.

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Comment by Donna Carrick on October 31, 2009 at 10:44am
I.J., based on my copy of Hell Screen, your writing skills are outstanding, and this dismal period for writers will surely pass. I can see why you feel so bonded to this character. Try to keep your eye on the next adventure. Haven't finished reading yet, but I have read enough to recognise quality.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on October 31, 2009 at 10:16am
So how is the hunt for a new publisher going? Any nibbles?
Comment by Jon Loomis on October 31, 2009 at 4:55am
I understand what that's like--I'm very fond of my characters, and happy in their company. I'd like to write two or three more with them, but if it doesn't happen I'm prepared to move on to the next project, which will also be a ton of fun.
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 31, 2009 at 3:38am
Thank you, Joe. You're very kind. And thanks, Dana. Jon, for me it was more about writing the guy's life. That was always more important than waiting for sales. My marketing skills were dismal in any case. I tried half-heartedly for three novels. I couldn't very well go without writing during that time. And it was (and is) this man's life that moves me to write. The mysteries he solves are incidental. I did pause for a few years and wrote other things in between, but his story still moves me. I want to see him grow old and perhaps wise.
Comment by Joe Barone on October 31, 2009 at 1:28am
I hope the books find a publisher somewhere. I have enjoyed the series so far.
Comment by Jon Loomis on October 31, 2009 at 12:40am
I know I'm not normal in some respects, but six in a series seems like a decent run to me; I'm not sure I could sustain my interest as a writer much beyond that (also I'd worry about repeating myself, and/or jumping the shark in a misguided attempt to keep things fresh). I can see myself doing five or six in my current series, but I have a hard time imagining I could keep it going much beyond that. Not that other writers can't, or don't--but I'm pretty sure I'd lose interest after a half-dozen or so. I would also never (ever) write two (!) books in an on-going series unless I was under contract to do so: call me a superstitious pessimist, but that seems the surest way to bring down the old kibosh on your series. That said, sorry this happened in a way that feels premature, IJ.
Comment by Dana King on October 31, 2009 at 12:28am
Keep the faith. Having your series whacked the way it was is an unfair blow, but there are other pblishers out there, and other avenues that may not be apparent yet. We've all heard stories of authors who have come back from setbacks; you'll be one more.

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