Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A plague on their heads? by Cathy Ace

Endgame – After considering killing off his hero, Lee Child is handing over the writing of the Jack Reacher Novels to his brother, Andrew. Would you consider killing your protagonists, and how do you envisage ending their careers?

My immediate, and brief, response to this is “No, I wouldn’t (currently) consider killing off any of my protagonists, and I haven’t yet given any thought to how I might end their ‘careers’.” (I’m hoping this is good news for anyone reading this…fingers crossed!)

However, I understand that an author might reach the point where they just don’t want to write about certain characters any longer, and that they then have to choose how to allow that character to “end their life” or continue it, somehow, without the original author’s input. I dare say this implies that I believe I might reach this point at some time in the future, but I don’t want it to imply that point is on the horizon!

To be honest, I’m amazed that some authors are able to write 20-30 books featuring the same small cast of characters; I hope I’m able to find and employ their enduring enthusiasm and ability as the years march on. 

With “only” nine Cait Morgan Mysteries penned to date (I’m working on number ten right now) I have so many adventures I still want to enjoy with Cait and Bud that I believe they’ll be around for some time to come. The fact that the books have been optioned for TV means I need to keep my focus on the Cait books at the moment, because – though the industry is at a standstill at the moment – things are moving on this front (no, I cannot say more at the moment!) and they’ll hopefully need as many Cait books to work with as I can write! Thus, with two protagonists who are in what they believe to be “their prime” I believe they have many sleuthing years ahead of them, and they’re ageing more slowly than the rest of us, so I hope they’ll have a good, long run. If I ever do consider “killing them off” I think they’d have to go out, together, in a blaze of glory, doing something courageous and deadly in the name of justice…which is what motivates them both, in different ways.

From the Free@LastTV website

This raises the question of “what will happen to my other characters”, of course. Well, there are two novellas and four novels featuring the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency; I have left the publisher of those, but they sold the rights to the Kindle books to Joffe Books (another UK publisher) who have dropped the price and are republishing them; the three republished to date have all reached either #1 or Top Five, or at least Top Ten, in Kindle cozies in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, so you can imagine how thrilled I am about that…YAY! However, with only the fourth novel to republish (soon, I promise!) readers will then have run out of WISE books to read…YIKES! At the end of the fourth book there’s a pregnancy, a nascent romantic relationship, a gunshot wound to be recovered from (yes, in a cozy!) and a few other cliff hangers – I didn’t know I was going to leave the publisher, you see. I have already outlined two more books for this series…but I only have so many hours in the year to write, and Cait needs my attention right now. If I were ever to kill off the WISE women there’d need to be some awful disaster to be able to kill off four lead protagonists, plus all the recurring characters at Chellingworth Hall and in the village of Anwen-by-Wye…which doesn’t smack of cozy wonders at all!

New covers for the Kindle WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries

Also, I’ve been asked if Detective Inspector Evan Glover (retired) and his wife Betty might feature in any more psychological suspense novels in the future. With their “success” in The Wrong Boy (and their track record in previous novellas contained in Murder Keeps No Calendar and Murder Knows No Season) AND the fact they’ll be on television (speaking in both English and Welsh, no less!) then, yes, they will be back. I’ve already outlined their next outing, but plan to wait until the mini-series is well in hand before I turn my attention to them again. Once again, I’m not sure how I’d ever kill them off…though if I needed to, well, okay, I have a few ideas. 😉

Is DI Glover (retired) the right boy for more books?

But, overall, I’d rather focus on writing more featuring the characters I already have (because, for me, the mix of traditional (Cait), cozy (WISE) and psychological suspense (the Glovers) is a good, and satisfying one) than planning to stop writing about them, hand them over, kill them off, or create more new worlds. I hope you enjoy reading about them!

If you'd like to catch up with any of the characters I haven't killed off yet, please check out my website by CLICKING HERE

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