Monthly Archives: April 2015

The sense of an ending

Over the weekend I finished reading the last of the Cut and Run m/m series, featuring FBI agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. The series was begun by Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban, and continued (and concluded) by Roux when Urban stopped writing. I’ve read the series from the beginning, and although it had some weak spots along the way, it finished quite well, going out with a BANG! with Crash and Burn.

I hope, when the time comes, I can finish as well.

It’s a question that every series writer must consider – when do you finish? I was discussing that last week with a couple of people from my writing group. One of them is finishing his project, all of the scripts for a TV series, which he’s been writing for nine years. Another is just starting his. It made me consider where I wanted to end the Jamie Brodie series – and I think I know. (Don’t worry – it’s not for a while.)

But the time comes – it has to – when the story is told. Your characters have made it to wherever they were headed, and it’s time to put the thing to bed. Readers don’t always approve! People are still begging poor Josh Lanyon for more Adrien and Jake, when it’s clear to me that their story is finished. Sure, we can see snippets of their lives now in Josh’s Christmas codas, but in terms of the overall arc of the story – the relationship – they made it.

The last thing any author wants to do is this:

I’m going to do my best to stay off the waterskis.

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New-to-me cozy mystery series: Simon Kirby-Jones Mysteries

A couple of weeks ago I saw a recommendation in a Goodreads group for a mystery called Posted to Death. Naturally, the title made me sit up and take notice! The book is the first in a series, the Simon Kirby-Jones Mysteries. Simon is a gay vampire from Mississippi, a bestselling writer, who has moved to a picturesque village in rural England. In the first book the nasty, blackmailing town postmistress is murdered, and nearly everyone in the village is a suspect. It’s a fun read – a pure cozy mystery.

The author, Dean James, also writes other cozy series under other names. One of them is the Cat in the Stacks mysteries, in which the protagonist is a semi-retired librarian with a Maine Coon cat. A friend had recently loaned me the first of those, and I thought it was refreshing that theĀ protagonist was male. That’s so rarely seen in cozy mysteries. (I’m still not convinced that my Jamie Brodie books are cozies. Los Angeles is many things, but it’s not a picturesque village.)

The copyright on Posted to Death is 2002, so I think the books were just released for Kindle. When I was searching to make sure that I wasn’t copying anyone else’s title when I wrote Cited to Death, I found no mention of Posted to Death or the others in that series. Fortunately, I haven’t used any of the titles that James did, and the series seems to have stopped after four books. Repeating a title isn’t wrong in any way, but it might create confusion. The “to Death” part of his titles and mine have the potential to create some confusion, I suppose, but the stories and settings are so different, readers would immediately know the difference.

If you like gay cozy mysteries, you should check out the Simon Kirby-Jones series. I’ve only read the first, but it made me want to read the rest. If you don’t like vampires, don’t let that stop you – there’s hardly any vampire action in the first book. There’s hardly any gay action, either, just flirting – so if you’re looking for m/m, you won’t find it here. At least not in the first book.

I’m hoping that will change as the series goes on. šŸ™‚

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