In the famous and loving words of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t Panic. Aislinn Cain and Nadine Daniels aren’t going away any time soon.
I have a great deal of time invested in these two main characters and all the supporting cast as well. I wrote my first Cain novel at 18… I’m now 35, almost 36… That means she has been in my life for more than half of it. Lucas, Xavier, Gabriel, Alejandro, Christian Hunter, and Malachi Blake were all involved from the very first novel. Some rolls have changed from the first weirdly timid novel to now, but they existed. Originally, Aislinn was a sexual being and Alejandro and Christian were both love interests, but I took that out for various reasons and made them assholes instead. In the end, it worked better that way. They have made great assholes to compliment Aislinn’s evolving personality.
As for Nadine, I wrote the original version of her story when I was 22. And it existed as a stand-alone novel for many years. Then I was threatened with death if there wasn’t a sequel (and the threats were ironically from mothers and mother-in-laws). Now, there are actually five of them and there will be more. The problem with writing a Daniels’ novella is that I need my best friend. She makes me funny. I’m mostly a dark, silent, brooding type. I don’t do this on purpose, it just happens. However, my bestie brings out the worst in my sense of humor, which translates into giggle-fits, and then into a Dysfunctional Chronicle. Sadly, I haven’t spent a lot of one-on-one time with her lately, life has gotten in the way, but I’m working on fixing that and when I do, I’ll end up with enough funny for two or three novellas.
Now, as the author, I know Nadine doesn’t have the following that Aislinn does. However, I also know that writing a Dysfunctional Chronicle is therapeutic. Even I have to tear myself away from the darkness that revolves around Aislinn Cain. A person can only kill so many fictional characters in gruesome and grotesque ways before they have to fall asleep watching videos of puppies. People rarely die in a Daniels’ novella and when they do, it is morbidly entertaining simply because Nadine’s life is dysfunctionally entertaining (for example, Nadine’s father died after winning the lottery, which saved her mother from an expensive divorce that she was expecting to leave her penniless and saved Nadine and her brothers, mostly Nadine, from having to live with her penniless mother for eternity… It’s bad enough that Melina lives close enough to visit).
My post the other day about there being 11 D&R novels and wondering if I would know when they were finished was more of a question that authors ask themselves. Will we know when readers get bored with a series? And when we figure it out, will we have the guts to pull the plug? In the past, that has been decided by publishing houses when sales of a series plummeted. Indies don’t have someone to tap them on the shoulder and show them the door. We could write a series indefinitely, oblivious to the fact that the readers are no longer interested. We have to figure it out on our own and hope that we get it right.