Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Fond Farewell

Concluding a series is never easy. We scribblers become attached to the worlds we've created and the characters who populate those worlds. If we're lucky, readers become invested in them, too. The temptation to keep exploring possibilities becomes nearly irresistible. (Ask Laurell K. Hamilton -- heh.)

I'm going to miss Win and Pablo, Tole and Ridley, Zee and Sebastian, and the host of secondary characters that went into the making of Utopia-X. And I mean really miss them. I'm still curious about Andrew's fate. I'd like to follow Skeep, because I've grown very fond of him. I'm wondering what other creatures and metroplexes lay beyond the ones I've explored, and what challenges lay ahead for this flawed but brave new world.

But there are so many other stories I want to write . . .

So, with real sadness, I have to cut this world loose and let it spin off into space. But at least I can do so knowing that all my boys have found their Happily Ever After, a fact that's reflected in the title of Book 4.

Below is the blurb for Finding Utopia, coming January 5 from Loose Id.

When human-angel-demon hybrids fall in love, it makes them a little crazy. But that's not the worst of it for Regenerie's Coven of Three. Now that Win, Tole, and Zee are involved in passionate relationships, they can't generate enough sex-energy with each other to activate their indispensable oracle, the Celestine.

The Dark Elves of Bildezir couldn't have picked a better time to attempt a takeover of the Utopian Metroplex. Regenerie's leaders have gone off to seek a solution to their quandary. Their employee Pablo, left behind, decides to party with his former coworkers -- a little too hard. There's ample evidence he's committed a serious indiscretion. Both the Coven's headquarters and Pablo's bond with Win end up in shambles. And here come the elvish warriors.

Kicked to the curb, Pablo has his hands full. He must prove he didn't betray Win during his night of drunken revelry with a group of male prostitutes. And he must figure out how to save both the Coven and the Metroplex from a power-hungry and sexually ruthless enemy with magic on its side.

What does Pablo have going for him, aside from his love and devotion? A twink named Skeep, a mongrel humanoid . . . and a shining seraph.


Tam said...

Ohhh. I can't wait. Kicked to the curb? How sad. Endings are always sad, but maybe there'll be a new beggining somewhere in there.

K. Z. Snow said...

You bet, Tam!

Chris said...

On the plus side, although it can be painful for both readers and author to let go of a beloved series, I really appreciate an author who can recognize when a series should end... instead of dragging it out until all the magic and enjoyment is gone (*cough*LKH*cough*Evanovich*cough*).

Kris said...

ooooh, can't wait!!!!

Jenre said...

Noooooooooooo!!!! Don't finish now. Surely there's a fifth book in your brain somewhere *sob*.

K. Z. Snow said...

Absolutely true, Chris. By the time I began writing the first Utopia-X book, I'd read plenty of grousing on the Internet about series that drag on so long, they tax readers' patience and ultimately lose their interest. And that's for popular authors.

I figured from the start I'd be pushing my luck beyond three books. But the fourth just needed to be written. It serves as a capstone, I guess.

K. Z. Snow said...

Yeah, there's probably one in me, Jen, but it wouldn't get published if I wrote it.

A lot of readers are averse to series books, especially in an oddball genre like m/m futuristic urban fantasy. Publishers are aware of this. I'd have to have a huge, loyal, vocal following to keep U-X rolling along, and that just isn't the case.

Jenre said...

I'm loyal and vocal, damnit! :).

I always though that, in general, series were quite popular. I'm surprised to learn that isn't the case. Personally, I like following a set of characters through a story arc as long as there is a story arc and not just a never-ending set of books which rehash the same story over and over again.

It looks like I'm just going to have to suck it up and deal with the end of a great series. I may cry.

K. Z. Snow said...

That you are, sweetie, but one person does not a teeming horde make. :-)

In m/m, contemporaries seem to outstrip other categories in popularity. When it comes to series books, authors who've been writing in the genre for the longest period of time have the best chance of developing a "fandom."

Some series titles can be read as stand-alones, but when complicated world-building is involved, it's almost imperative for readers to begin at Book One and proceed numerically. A lot of people are reluctant to make that kind of investment. And it's difficult to sell subsequent books to readers who haven't been with the series from the start. And there's the ever-present possibility that if followers are disenchanted by one story, they'll pass on subsequent installments.

So series-writing is a risky venture all around -- unless, as I said, an author is so popular, people will eagerly gobble up whatever s/he produces.

Jenre said...

Yeah, I can see how that would make you reluctant to continue the series.

Does this mean that you are planning on sticking to stand-a-lone stories for your future projects?

K. Z. Snow said...

Time will tell, Jen. For now, yes, although I'm probably not through with Jackson and Adin. But their books don't constitute an actual series.

Mobry's Dick, which will also be published by Loose Id, is intended as the first story in a duology...unless my editor either a.) doesn't accept the second story or b.) decides they'd work better as two parts of a single novel.