There has been some talk in the writing world about JK Rowlings interview where she says that she is killing off two of her HP characters at the final book.
She is quoted as saying: "I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, `Well, I'm gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author-written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character."
This has brought up discussions on various blogs including one at Paperback writer’s Blog. Reading all of the comments posted there got me to wondering, what would I do in this case? First off, I’m not Ms. Rowlings so I doubt I’ll ever have to worry about this being an issue for me. But I do have a myriad of partial WIPs in my files. I also have hand written sketches for another book, a sequel to my book Hawk’s Rayne (I’ve been requested to write a sequel, ages ago by the publisher) and a secondary character in my book Seeing the Light, I was asked for Tawny’s story. (She is in the works, honest I just have to finish some other obligations first.)
So what would I do in this case? I discussed it at length when my DD and I had lunch with my mother this afternoon and my DD had this to say: “If you will any of your writing stuff to someone don’t let it be me because I suck when it comes to writing.” Of course I had obligations to argue this point because a) she’s my DD and b) the child has a vivid imagination and she does have potential as a writer. She had her first book published in the third grade. Granted it was a school project and the books were paid for printing, but that isn’t the point. I spent the next hour or so trying to convice her that she should think long and hard about it before making a decision.
And of course this brought another issue to mind. Am I trying to force a future career on my DD? Every parent has at one point or another been thrilled to hear their child say I want to be this when I grow up because its what you do. I was an EMT for many years on the local fire department and from the time my DD was able to think about what she longed to be when she grew up she said “I want to be an Emt just like you, mommy.” Words to make my heart soar. I wasn’t considering her reasons for this. I became an EMT because I wanted to help people. Sure there is a bit of glory seeking, how ever miniscule it may be. To me there was nothing more heroic or appealing than EMT/ Rescue workers. (I grew up ont the television show Rescue with Randolph Mantooth…to me he was the epitome of the hunky hero). So did I want my DD to be an Emt to honor my role in her life or because helping people is the real issue. I can’t say for certain.
Now that she is getting older her passions are changing. She no longer is absolutely one hundred percent sure of what she wishes to be when she is grown. Her goal is to graduate high school and get a place with her best friend either residing in Tennessee or Pennsylvania. (Neither option I am thrilled with. The whole empty nest thing, ya know.) But she doesn’t have a goal for the rest of her life.
I am trying to squelch the desire to say you have to know now because I didn’t know at her age. One thing I knew for certain was that one day I wanted to be a published author. A dream I’d had since I was young enough to pick up my first book and get enthralled with the world the writer created. I’ve had so many jobs while trying to find this point in my life, I was sure people saw me as a wishy washy person who had no idea where they were headed, like a ship tossed about without a course. I prefer to think of myself as a free spirit…
So now two topics are floating in my brain. What am I going to do with my characters and stories that are in hodling or working stages? And am I pushing my daughter too hard to be what I want her to be rather than giving her the chance to plot her own course for her life?
I have two hopes: I don’t die before all my thingsd are published and I have no further to be written works. And that my daughter finds happiness in whatever she chooses to be when she grows up. (I also hope for the wisdom to keep my mouth shut unless asked for opinions in helping her giude her course in the future.)
What about you? What would your answers be in these situations?
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