It’s been a crazy few weeks for me- so busy. As many of you know, I am a full time high school English teacher, and getting back into the swing of things has been exhausting. I think I’m finally getting back into my groove, so now I can focus on talking about book 14 and look forward to book 15!
I am so happy to hear how many of you have enjoyed Heartbroken. I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to receive so many sad emails and messages after The Unthinkable came out. I wanted nothing more than to tell all of you to have faith and all was not as it seemed, but I couldn’t. People who are close to me didn’t even know the truth and they keep telling me how surprised they were and how well I kept this secret.
To be honest, I was going to end the series with book 13. My intent was always to have everyone believe that Stephanie and Tessa were the target and have Julie be the shock nobody expected. Although not always considered the main character, Julie is the reason the series was born and how the family became just that; a family. Her connection to each and every character was something that I always leaned on and cherished and I knew, killing her off might be something the series couldn’t survive.
But then something incredible happened.
I started to introduce Mike and Jade and Evan and Elizabeth into the series and people seemed to really like them. I wasn’t sure how a relationship between Mike and Jade would be accepted, especially after Mike hurt her by going to the bar. One thing I have always stood by in writing these characters, is that I don’t write infidelity. I find enough drama in everyday life without adding a third party. What Rebecca did to Mike was so incredibly vile, that I knew he would never hurt Jade in that way. What happened in the bar was terrible judgment on Mike’s part, and the result was almost catastrophic. I also realized, in writing that scene, that I was still discovering who Mike was and what he had endured. He had his work cut out for him in pursuing Jade, and I fell in love with them when they fell in love with each other.
Their story has been so fun to write and bringing Elaine into the mix has been great. She is a combination of my Grandma and my mother, and she will continue to be a comfort to the family- especially in the coming book.
Book 15 will be a turning point in the series and not just for Mike and Jade. Tommy and Brittany are facing a crisis that they have been trying to put off, but they will no longer be able to ignore. It’s something that will effect everyone, and not in the way you might think. As strong and amazing as Brittany has always been, her health is something she simply can’t run from. Her body is about to betray her.
The most common question I get about this series is when will it end. I used to say that I didn’t know, because there has always been more story to tell. I think that might be coming to a close. I write about a book ahead of what is out there, so I can guarantee book 15, but I do think the end is near.
Maybe I’ll continue the series 15 years in the future and follow the kids around. It’s something I’ve been thinking about.
Anyway, just some thoughts and feedback for you. Book 15 title and cover reveal will be soon, and I will be sharing a preview in October. I will also be sharing some more flashbacks that haven’t been published.
Thoughts? I would love to hear from all of you. As always, ask me anything you want!