Hi everyone! Well, it’s a brand new year — speaking of which: best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous one!
On one of the zillion discussion lists I belong to I saw the delightful news that Elizabeth Peters – one of my very favorite writers since I was quite a young thing — has a new Vicky Bliss book coming out sometime this year. Originally, I heard that it would be April, which would have been very cool as I have CORPSE POSE, the first book in the new yoga series due out then, but the latest word is that it’s now September.
I mean, I’m not kidding when I tell you I was squeaking so excitedly to Mr. Thrilling about this that he had to request that I slow the hell down and explain what I was talking about. To begin with, he was under the impression that MPM (aka Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) was one of the Good Girls — or possibly one of the Cozy Chicks — so while he was happy for me (and her) he didn’t quite follow the cause for celebration. Not that he isn’t always up for celebration. And the new phone books really will due in a pinch.
Even after I explained in depth why this was so exciting (primarily because the Vicky Bliss series was never quite the monster hit with the reading public that the legendary Amelia Peabody series was, so the books were few and far between — the last one was Night Train to Memphis in 1994 or thereabouts — and we Vicky fans had sort of given up on another novel), he was still only mildly thrilled, and soon after went back to chewing on bullets and musing on the deeper meanings of all Springsteen’s songs.
We take our stories and our storytelling very importantly as a society. Even non-readers seem to need story-telling — they just get it in electronic format. Granted, there are people who are so busy interacting with nature or doing the club scene that they don’t have much time for stories in any format, but by en large, we are a society, a culture, that values stories. And we’re not by any means unique in that; it may be, in fact, that as a society we are moving away from valuing traditional storytelling as much as we once did what with reality TV and the peculiar stuff that passes for news these days.
Anyway, while Mr. Thrilling was not as ecstatic as I, he did understand the root of my passion — which is something most non-readers don’t get, although they do understand the murderous rage of having your favorite TV show canceled, or the pain of a sequel not living up the promise of the first film. Book addicts understand — especially nowdays when so many series bite the big one just a couple of books in; it almost makes you fearful of falling in love with new characters in case the plug is pulled just as things are hotting up.
Of course I feel pretty intensely on this topic, having had one serious yanked out from under me — only to have it miraculously restored to me when I least expected it. That would be the good old Poetic Death series, the fourth book of which I’m working on even as we speak. So the question for this bright and sunny Monday morning is, who — however unlikely (because, like, maybe the author is dead) — would you most like to see the next book in the series from? Can you think of any series that broke off at a truly excruciating point?