So, something is bothering me and I thought I’d share it with you all. The Vampires of Soldiers Cove has been out since March now, and has done pretty well. I mean not well by big name standards. That kind of success is like winning the lottery. It’s been pretty much well received and moreover, I’ve produced a book that I’m proud of. Is it perfect? Nothing is, so no. Do I love it? Hell yes, I do!
Like I said, I’ve received some lovely reviews, but I notice something that keeps popping up over and over again on the positive ones. They are happy it’s not a cliff hanger. Hey, I’m happy you’re happy. I’ve always believed the first book in a series should be able to stand alone, and this one does which I am proud of. I am afraid however, dear readers, that this is a series and like so many before it, I will have to leave you with a cliff hanger this time. The Vampires of Soldier Cove: One Crow Sorrow, has a lot of story and if I were to have written the entire thing out to its conclusion it would have been about 500 pages.
So what? I hear you saying. Lots of books are 500 pages, just make your book 500 pages!
If only it were that simple. There were many reasons I had to cut it off where I did, not the least of which is practicality. If eBooks were the only thing I had to worry about that may have been doable, but I sell a large number of paperbacks that I ship myself. The current book is just barely fitting through the mail slot to be sent as an oversize letter. Any more pages and I’d be pushing it. That’s a $4 difference in shipping and I can’t pay that or pass it on to my readers.
Also, creatively, the story just needed to end where it did. I needed a break and a chance to breathe, and so did Rachel and Gavin. When you read it you’ll see why. I would say about 95% of what happens in the book gets resolved by the end, but then another situation pops up and everything gets turned upside down. That’s the lead in for the next installment and the large turning point in Rachel’s journey that will carry the story through the final two books which span a 15 year timeline.
I’ll tell you a secret though. I’m scared to death. I’ve had so much positive feedback from NOT having a cliff hanger this time that I’m scared shitless that everyone will be upset with me next time. I’m not scared as in it will stop me from doing it or changing what happens in the book. Penelope decided what was to be written a while back and she’s standing in the corner, broken beer bottle in hand and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, prepared to chase me around the kitchen if I don’t do what I’m told. (Side note: If you’re wondering who Penelope is go a few blog posts down and meet her.)
People have a real hate on for cliff hangers these days it seems. I’m at a loss as to explain why. Before I released my book I thought of cliff hangers as something fun. I’m dating myself here, but I’m old enough to remember the whole, ‘Who Shot J.R” thing in the 80s and everyone loved it. My favorite TV show, Being Human, has ended the last two seasons on brilliant cliff hangers. I was overjoyed. It meant that the show was coming back, and not just that, there was a plan! They teased me like a coyote teases its prey, and I LOVED it! I hope they do it again. People, it seems, will actually rate a book one less star because of cliff hangers though. That to me is childish, especially if you KNOW you are reading a series. I might be aggravated that I don’t get to see what happens right now, but to me, rating the book one less star is like a toddler throwing a tantrum because they want their desert before they finish their dinner. It’s sad that people negate the book and the enjoyment they’ve received from it because they didn’t get gratified in the moment.
Perhaps it’s the overall attitude these days though. We want instant satisfaction and we want things a certain way…our way. I’m not sure what to make of that, and I don’t think I could figure it out if I sat here thinking about it for the next year. Plus that would prevent me from writing any more books. I’m excited about the next book, and whatever comes my way, I will bend over and take it. The cliff hanger stays!