As I’ve said before, every book in a series is a balancing act between giving readers something new, and giving them what they already love. We’ve all read series that over time seemed unable to do the former and settled for repeating the latter. It’s common to say, “That series should’ve ended back at <insert series book title of your choice>,” which is the point that, in retrospect, it’s obvious the author fell back on that repetition. By the time they peter out, only the hardcore fans remain.
There’s also the unfortunate case of authors who pass away before concluding a series. Robert Jordan is probably the best known example in fantasy, leaving the final book in his Wheel of Time series unfinished at the time of his death (Brandon Sanderson completed it). Recently Sue Grafton, author of the popular Kinsey Millhouse “alphabet” series, died with Y is for Yesterday done, but not the final “Z” volume. In her case, there will be no Z; as her family said, “as far as we are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.”
So it’s the lucky writer who gets to bring his series to some kind of conclusion that lets him tie up the threads he’s been weaving since the first book. And hopefully, that means the reader is lucky, too.
All this is by way of saying that The Fairies of Sadieville will be the final Tufa novel.
Please don’t be sad about this, because it means I’m one of those lucky writers. It’s not that I don’t have more ideas; rather, the ideas I have don’t go anywhere new. If I did continue, there’s the danger I might start repeating myself out of desperation, or laziness, or both. What I’ve tried to make compelling and unique might degenerate into soap opera. What I’d hoped was magical and delicate might become trite and obvious. So I’ve decided to end it now with a story that fills in a lot of the blanks I’ve hinted at in the prior books, and in the process wraps up the various subplots running throughout the series.
When Sadieville comes out in April (pre-order from all the usual suspects here), I hope the readers who have followed the Tufa since The Hum and the Shiver in 2011 feel like it’s an appropriate finale. After all, you’re the ones who got me this far.
And for all those who don’t start a series until the last book is out . . . now’s the time to jump right in! There’s a special deal on the series so far, including the short stories, right here.