Celebrating Happily Ever After: Writing The End of A Series
by Lee Tobin McClain, author of Low Country Christmas
BookAddict left a Goodreads review of the last book in my Safe Haven series. It says, in part:
This is one of those books that leaves me with conflicting emotions. I adore these characters and love their heartwarming, emotional journey, but Cash’s story means the end of my visits to the warm, welcoming community of Safe Haven. This is one of those series I wish could go on forever because the characters have secured a permanent place in my heart, from the O’Dwyer brothers and their ladies to the crotchety menswear shop owner who loves his dog but isn’t too fond of people.
Ah, yes, I adored that menswear shop owner…and I have to say goodbye to him as well as to a host of other characters I’ve come to love.
Most of us get sad about endings. The end of a season when a child goes to kindergarten, moves out for college or gets married. The end of a favorite TV series. The end of a good book.
What about the end of a whole book series? My just-released book, Low Country Christmas, is the last book in the Safe Haven series, and I was definitely sad to say goodbye to Pudge and Ma Dixie, known for their warmth toward kids in need; Jimmy, the handsome manager of the diner; and Norma, whose tough talk hides a heart of gold. I’ve already had readers write to ask if another book set in the South Carolina low country might be on the horizon for me. Never say never…
But for both readers and writers, there’s something terrific about the last book of a series:
- The characters are familiar, old friends.
- The setting feels like home.
- Almost always, past characters reappear, and we can see where life has taken them.
- Loose plot threads from all the books are finally tied up…in a satisfying way, because that’s romance!
The Safe Haven series has an ongoing character Rita, who’s had a hard life and faced many challenges. As her three sons have found love in each book of the series, Rita has grown and changed…and even found a very emotional, romantic relationship of her own. It’s only in Low Country Christmas, though, that she has the satisfaction of truly overcoming her past, with the help of almost all the other characters in the series, in an exciting climactic scene. I couldn’t have written that scene without the groundwork laid in the earlier books, and I wouldn’t have written it unless I knew the series was ending, because it puts the final cap on a central story line.
Romance series have happy endings with each book, and usually, all the books can be read as stand-alone romances. But for the biggest and happiest of endings—keep reading until the end of the series. You’ll be glad you did!
About Low Country Christmas:
Come home to Safe Haven, where the best Christmas surprises aren’t the ones under the tree.
Holly Gibson has one wish this Christmas season: to find her young niece’s father. And she’s traveled hundreds of miles to the small town of Safe Haven to make that wish come true. But the mysterious Cash O’Dwyer is nothing like she expected. Strong and kind, he makes her heart beat faster. And suddenly that little secret she’s keeping about her sister stirs up all kinds of guilt…
Cash is stunned—and more than a little wary—to discover he’s a father. Having a family of his own was never part of his plan…until sweet baby Penny and her fiercely independent aunt Holly arrive in town. Now he’s trimming trees and stuffing stockings for three. But when the ghosts of Cash’s past threaten the future of his fragile new family, he’ll do whatever it takes to be the father Penny needs—and the man Holly deserves—for more than just the holidays.