The second hardest thing to do when it comes to working on a book series ... is saying goodbye. (The first hardest thing is creating the series in the first place.)
Counting both published and unpublished books that I've completed, I think I've now topped 20. Most of those books have been part of a series. It's gotten me in the habit of becoming close to the characters. We don't spend a few months together, but years. In the case of Mira and Danaus from my Dark Days series, I had those two running through my head for nearly a decade. I saw parts of the U.S. because of the Dark Days books. There were years where I was so intent on the stories that I'd have Mira giving a running commentary through my head as I shopped for Christmas gifts (and let me tell you, that vampire does not like to shop).
But the truth is that in all those months and years, you learn that series world as well as your own home. You know the parts of town you don't wander down after sunset and the parts of town you don't go to regardless of the hour. You know your character's favorite food even if it never comes up in a story. In fact, you know tons of things that never make it to the books but they are there, running through your head, shaping little decisions all the time.
And after three novels, two novellas, and a short story, it's time to say goodbye to another set of characters. This Tuesday, Demon's Vengeance hits the shelves, signaling the end of the Asylum Tales series. And it's hard to let them go. Warlock-turned-tattoo-artist Gage Powell is special to me. He's like a best friend that's moving away, and deep down, you know you're not going to keep in contact. Gage was on the run from a dark force and he managed to carve out a life that made him happy. He found family, friendship, love, and a greater purpose.
Gage's books became about sacrifice and learning that there are things out there worth fighting for that are so much bigger than ourselves. And in those moments, you have to be willing to risk everything. I'm proud of him and his choices... even the bad ones.
But I'm still going to miss him and his world. I'm going to miss hanging out at the Asylum Tattoo Parlor and never knowing what was going to step through the front door next. Maybe it was going to be an incubus, an elf, or a werewolf. Maybe a set of vampires from TAPSS stopping by to harass him. Or maybe it was just Bronx or Trixie showing up for their shift. The Asylum Tales inhabit a world of endless possibilities and that's what made it so much fun.
If you would like to take a step into a crazy world of witches, vampires, shifters, elves, trolls, goblins, incubus, sirens, and soooo much more, I invite you into the Asylum Tales. Below is the reading order for the entire series.
The Asylum Interviews: Bronx
The Asylum Interviews: Trixie
Dead Man's Deal
"Of Monsters and Men" -- short story found in Blood By Moonlight anthology
And if you happen to run into Gage and the gang, tell them that Jocelynn misses them.