Any Sopranos fans out there? How about the riveting show that was Lost? If you fall into either of those groups, then you might know a little something about feeling like you went on this amazing journey that ended up with a great big kick in the naughty bits. Sure, there are those who will profess to be just fine with how two of the most epic television series ever came to a halt, but judging by the responses at the time, I am guessing that those people are in the minority. X-Files? Hell, even Rosanne and Seinfeld get grief from anybody who vested any serious amount of time watching a sitcom for anything other than the humor. And don't get me started on How I met Your Mother, a sitcom that started off with a supposed end game.
Give me the ending to Breaking Bad...or either of my personal faves, Friday Night Lights and Quantum Leap (the song Georgia on my mind garnered some serious meaning for me after that QL finale, it still almost brings a tear to my eye when I hear it). The finale is the reward to the fan. It is that last image that they will cling to for eternity. It can be the toughest episode to create because it is going to have the greatest impact. Nothing that came before will mean squat if the finale sucks. (See Lost.)
So, what the hell does any of that have to do with me? Well, as many of you may very well know, the proper DEAD series is coming to a conclusion. I expect to release DEAD: End (Book 12 of the DEAD series) on Halloween of this year. I am currently cobbling book 11, DEAD: Blood & Betrayal and am experiencing some tremors of nervousness as the book wraps. (I think I set a record for the lack of zombies in a zombie novel with this one.)
I intend to go directly into the writing of DEAD: End immediately. This book has gone through so many possible conclusions in my head that I could write five "alternate ending" books. One of my earliest ideas was to give each major character a final chapter. Too bad most of them (major characters that is) did not survive to have a final chapter.
I think I have settled on one story line's ending. I am not certain how I will get there, but that is half the fun for me as a writer. Still, even though I think the ending is kinda cool, that by no means carries over to how it will be received. I have learned over the past few years that things I see clearly can often be cloudy at best for my readers. (I thought I dropped enough clues when I began the Emily-zombie story line to explain the behavior of the child zombie...umm...NOPE! I still have folks asking what the deal with the child zombies is after book 9.)
To say that I am feeling the pressure would be an understatement. You, my loyal reader, have embarked on this journey with me and trusted that I would take you to a satisfying conclusion. I have almost reached a point where the last paragraph has Pamela Ewing go into the bathroom where Bobby is taking a shower. Once she tells him about her "crazy dream" he says, "Wait until I tell you about mine! Spoiler, it has zombies in it!"
I guess I am just saying that, like anything in the world of entertainment, not everybody is gonna love it. My biggest goal right now is to avoid comparisons to any of the shows mentioned in the opening paragraph.
Oh well, I have until October before the calls rise up for the villagers to arrive with their torches.. Right?