Why killing one of my characters isn’t an option for me

I write fun fiction with characters I love. Sometimes I write those characters into seemingly impossible situations and even I don’t know how to get them out…like now. Dr. Arienne Cerasola has been in a basement for five days now and I have no idea how to get her out, or even what she’s supposed to do in that basement.

I’m tired of being stuck there. In my mind, Arienne and I are staring at each other expectantly, each one of us waiting for the other to make a move. I have options – like take her out of the basement, or never put her in there to begin with – but I really like the basement…but it’s getting a little old. In order to jump start this novel again, I went hunting for plot twists and came across the idea to “kill one of my main characters”.

I will never, ever do that. Ever.

I know, they’re fictional, and I know I could easily kill one of them off…but I feel like that would be betraying my readers. You see, I write FUN fiction. I want to give readers a wild and fun ride, but I want them to always trust that I will bring them back home in the end without a scratch. Killing someone they like would betray that. I’ve felt betrayed every time it was done to me.

There are a few characters that other authors have killed on me, and I don’t think I’ve really forgiven them. I remember being young and reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH…and nearly having a breakdown when the book ended and that was only because the author HINTED at something.

I’ve had the same reaction every time an author kills a character that I love. I keep reading the book because I hope they’re really not dead, but I am generally disappointed. (I’d like you all to note how carefully I’m avoiding naming the characters so I don’t have to put a spoiler alert on this post…but you probably have your own list). My relationship with an author who kills a character I love is forever changed because I don’t really trust them after that.

There’s one author in particular whom I usually love, but I started her latest book and she brought up the character I still haven’t forgiven her for killing several books ago. I have to admit, I read one page after she mentioned the death of the character I loved and I haven’t gone back to the book because honestly, I’m still a little mad about that. Just the mention of his name reminds me that she betrayed me…because I know she didn’t have to kill him. The decision seemed lazy and disloyal.

Even with the betrayal issue aside, I also know life is hard enough. I’ve lost people; we have all have lost people. In this pandemic, we stand to lose more. I won’t add to to body count by killing one of my fictional friends.

I’m not saying that killing a character is always a bad thing, I’m just not the author that does that. I’ve seen the death of a character move the story forward (J.K. Rowling, for instance, but note I said THE DEATH, I do not enjoy a complete massacre and I’m a little mad at her for a few of them). More often killing a character seems like a gratuitous death – like the author saying “see, there’s bad in the world…nobody’s safe.” Real life has taught me that well enough, thank you.

So I will continue to figure out how to get Arienne out of the basement – without offing one of her friends. I will continue to keep my stories light and fun. I like an emotional ride, but I’d much rather write books that make you laugh than cry.

So be warned…things may look dire at times, but I promise I will not kill our darlings.

Life’s hard enough.

Kindle Countdown Deal

Right after publishing The Last 6 Weeks of Summer I started to feel guilty. The last time I saw Arienne Cerasola, Evan, and Coyote they had just returned to the summer residence of the Queen of the Southern Tier Fae. I’ve left them standing on the door step of that house long enough, so I’m now writing Legendary Magic – the fourth book in the Relic Hunter series.

So if you need to catch up, you can pick up the first two in the series for 99 cents today. Just click on the images below and you’ll go to Amazon.com.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007NO85J4

I just reread all of the books in the series (because I needed a refresher on some of the finer points) and I’ll post what that experience was like in a few days. Writing in a series is fun, because I get to go back and visit old friends. I have loved spending time with Arienne again, and I’m sending her on a new adventure with a whole new outlook. I really hope you’ll join me.

I write fun fiction with smart dialogue. I like those awkward moments in life when you’re sure everything is going to be so awesome and you’re super confident and then you trip over your own two feet and have to carry on anyway. I’ve missed looking at life that way.

I know it’s not always easy to pick yourself back up and just carry on. Those little demons that whisper that you’re not really as good as you think you are can get really pushy sometimes and it’s nice when you realize you really ARE that good – that the demons just talk smack because they can. That’s their JOB. YOUR job is to get up, pick the pine needles out of your teeth and move on doing exactly what you were meant to do.

How I spent my Summer Vacation

I’ve really been busy during the pandemic. Honest. But I took a week off to go to a vacation spot I’ve been thinking about for a few years now. It’s a tiny coastal village in Massachusetts called Mulligan’s Cove. The people are so friendly and it’s the perfect place for me to put myself in a great mood – even when the whole world is going crazy.

Mulligan’s Cove is really a romantic spot, filled with rocky beaches, stretches of sand dunes, and a harbor. I even have a map that shows all of the places I love to visit. I go there to see friends, catch up on their lives, and lose my own problems and worries for a few days.

And all without leaving my office.

So I know most of you read my Urban Fantasy books, but I’m changing it up right now because I’ve been in Mulligan’s Cove for a while and I decided to just stay there and see what’s going on. This is the perfect time to escape and have a little summer romance out by the ocean.

For your first adventure, I’d like to introduce you to Collin Landry, a local celebrity chef who grew up in Mulligan’s Cove. Everything is going really well for him. His friends are fun and he taking a break from the whole globe-trotting chef scene to guest-chef in the fabulous Harborside restaurant in Mulligan’s Cove.

I think you’ll really love Collin (I do), and when Hollywood Defector Angeline Kent shows up in Mulligan’s Cove, things in the kitchen at Harborside come to a slow simmer that’s going to really be a perfect escape from all of the craziness we’re living in.

So I’d like you to buy your ticket for Wednesday, and spend a while in this beautiful seaside town with me. You know you want to come to the beach and hang out. So let’s make this a memorable summer!