Saying Goodbye To Book Family

This morning I finished writing the 11th and final Tom Harper book. It’s a strange feeling to know I’m saying a final farewell to Tom, Annabelle, Mary, Ash and the others. After all, we’ve gone through 30 years together – it takes place in 1920, three decades after Gods of Gold. An awful lot has happened along the way, to Leeds, to the world, and to them. I’ve been their companion for almost a million words.

Curiously, it’s not the first time I’ve written a book with the title Rusted Souls. I completed a version last year, but even as I was working on it, I know Tom deserved to bow out on something better than this. I set it aside and never went back to it, and I know that was the right decision.

This one is the Tom Harper book I was meant to write.

It’s still only a draft. I’m going to allow it to percolate for a few weeks, go back and hopefully make it a better book – probably about the time A Dark Steel Death is officially published (although everyone appears to be selling it already, so do please get your copy or reserve it from your local library). And even then, there’s no guarantee my publisher will want it. Of course, I hope they will, to round things off neatly.

I feel sad to be saying goodbye to people who’ve been such good friends. More than that, they’ve become family. I know them so well, their joys, their sorrows and the pain they have. Strange as it may sound, I feel privileged to have been in their lives.

And please, don’t tell me they’re fictional. I won’t believe you.

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye To Book Family

  1. ron eisner

    Sorry to see the last book come, although I knew it would have to, given the characters’ ages and time period movement. Of course, I also really wanted more Richard Nottingham, although his books were sometimes hard to read as his life progressed. And more Chesterfield, and even more Lottie Armstrong, who I grew to like. The new Simon Westow is excellent, though, although also a bit harder to read.

    You do an excellent job of making the reader feel like they’ve lived through Leeds over the years, even though the sights often aren’t as ‘civilized’ as we might like them to be. Interestingly, your books make reading others using the 19th century as a background for stories of mostly the rich and privileged seem empty, knowing that there’s an entire world that just isn’t visible (or is ignored) by the people who are well enough off to not even care about anything other than themselves.

    1. Thank you so much for this. I like a reader to feel like they’ve walked the streets of Leeds, smelled it, heard it. I’ve always gone for ordinary people rather than the rich because, well, that’s who I can, those whose lives I can describe, even if they are pretty. I would have loved more Lottie, but I not only wrote myself into a corner, the second one sold poorly, so there was no chance of a third. Maybe I’ve oopened a few eyes. Maybe not. But I’m lucky to do what I do and have perople read it. Again, thank you.

    1. MoiraG

      As if there isn’t enough grief in the world at the moment…😀
      I’m sure their spirits will be walking those Leeds streets for us to spot somewhere.

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