Without giving too much away, there are significant changes to all members of the “Family by choice” in “Red”. By the end of the book, the series will look different because the storylines have changed and the characters have evolved.
I love the families that have been created through the years of writing this series and I love how people have emailed me about their favorites.
I can’t tell you how amazing it is to know how reading about Stephanie has helped someone who deals with Multiple Sclerosis. Her story with the disease mirrors my own and writing her has been incredibly cathartic for me. While I don’t necessarily have my own “Jack”, the way he supports her and loves her is what I hope people find in their own lives.
Jack started out, to me, as a man with so much to prove. He had this rich life he lived with Tommy and Julie and he had the drive and talent to be the best cardiac surgeon out there. He was also devastatingly handsome and had the arrogance to back up his looks and his talk.
What I didn’t want, was Jack to be one dimensional. I felt, from the beginning, that he was so much more than a pretty face. He was scared of what he felt would happen if he ever settled down. He wanted more from life and he deserved more, but he was scared.
Meeting Stephanie was a surprise and a wake up call for him. She was the one to challenge him and show him that he was a good man and he deserved happiness; more importantly, he truly wanted that.
I have written Jack and Stephanie as the anchor characters, but their story isn’t over. There is so much more to tell.
Bill and Julie are so much fun for me to write. Julie changes a bit in book 18, deciding to go back to teaching and finally living her life with her husband home and healthy. Her children are her pride and joy, and her brother and Jack are everything to her. As strong as she is and has always been, what happens in book 18 shakes her at her core. She tries to help her husband and her brother, but the reality of the situation isn’t something she can fix. It’s incredibly hard being on the sidelines when everything is falling apart.
Bill is my hero, and I don’t mean that in the way one might think. He is flawed and vulnerable and he works incredibly hard to make the world a better place. He feels, however misplaced, that he needs to right the wrongs of his father and show his children a world that is good. He also fights the internal battle of having seen 2 tours in Iraq and suffering the loss of so many he was sworn to protect. He adores his wife and his family and he will work to keep that at all costs. What happens to his sister shakes him in a way he has trouble grasping.
Bill and Julie have so much more story to tell. I’m not ready to let them go.
I have thoughts on Evan, Liz, Mike, Jade and of course, Tommy and Brittany, but I will share those later in the week.
As you can see, I have been struggling a lot with where I’m going with this series. I have felt pressure from within with book 18 to bring certain stories to a close, and I think I have done that. That said, I don’t feel that the series needs to end. I have decided to continue the story, but in a new and slightly different way.
The end of book 18 will clearly bring some stories to an end and it will be clear how the story will continue. I am simply not ready to stop telling the story and I hope those of you who have followed me from the beginning will continue. I promise- you won’t be disappointed.
As Naomi would say… “I luv yoo.”
I would love some comments or emails 🙂