Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why Is Getting Rid of Kids Easier than Getting Rid of Characters?

Yesterday I sent the kiddos off to school. 

I was terribly sad to watch them go. You see, I am one of those mothers who would spend all her time with her kids if I could. And having them home with me – all the time – just completes me in a way I never thought possible.

Is anybody but me rolling around on the floor laughing yet?

Holy cow. I love my kids, but THEY HAD TO GO!!! Here in Virginia we have a late school year start (the day after Labor Day) and I thought I would kill them the last couple of weeks.

But now they’re gone.

This was them, heading on off to school:

As soon as the last one was out the door, this was me:
(Or even better, see this dancing orangutan. That was really me:

Interestingly, the day I said goodbye to my kids was the day I also said goodbye to Omega Sector Series characters I was writing for my next Harlequin Intrigue books. Book 4 was due to my editor on September 2, the day after Labor Day. 

Kicking the Omega Series guys out the door was a little more difficult than kicking my kids out. Maybe because the characters in my books rarely ask me to make them a sandwich or demand an iPhone for their birthday. 

But these characters have consumed me for the last ten months. Together, we’ve been in plane crashes and on yachts and in dangerous situations we were both sure there was no way out. I’ve spent hours every day figuring out what drives them and scares them and makes them more than they thought they could be. I’ve gotten to know each character as if he or she was a real person. Because to me they were each a real person.

Deadline reminder that has sat on my desk for 10 months
And although pitching, writing and editing four novels in ten months was CRAZY, I was sad when I wrote The End on book 4. 

Because that meant these characters were gone.

I guess they’ll be back somewhat in the form of copyedits, cover reveals, and, of course, the books themselves. That makes me happy and I truly hope readers will fall in love with these characters like I did. But for all intents and purposes, they’re gone for me. I have to move on to the next project with its own set of characters that need my attention. But hopefully not any sandwiches.

So I send off my Omega characters – the Branson siblings and those special people who come to love them in their stories– but without a happy orangutan dance. Because I know these guys won’t be getting back off the bus at 3pm.

I’ll miss them. I really will. They've been my buddies. 

But now I’m ready for the next set of stories and whatever crazy adventures we’ll take together.


  1. Janie, I'm one of those weirdo moms who didn't particularly like the end of summer. I didn't feel comfortable confessing this until another mother first confessed to me. We kept it quiet for a while, so that no one would realize how strange we were. Since then, I've met only one other mom who admits to hating the end of summer and the kids going back to school. To be clear, it isn't that we want to spend every waking moment with them. But I (that is, some of us) don't like the early mornings. And then there is the homework. At my house known as the witching hour where there was much howling and gnashing of teeth (and the kids weren't too thrilled, either). But now, they're all grown and my baby is college bound. It goes fast, Janie! Way too fast ...

    1. Hahahaha. Yes, I totally agree! But Kiddo #1 has to leave for the bus at 6:00am, which gives us a wake up time of 5:25. UGH!!! That is taking some getting used to.

      I know it goes by fast, which I both dread and am thankful for...