Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Begining of the End

We always knew it would end with Jane. Therefore the announcement of Jane's book on February 18th of last year was bittersweet. Lauren said it best:

"It’s official. Pink XII – aka the book after The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla – will be the last book in the Pink Carnation series.

Twelve is a pretty good number for a series, don’t you think?

Here’s what I can tell you about Pink XII so far. It’s Jane’s book. It’s set in Portugal in autumn 1807. And it will presumably make its appearance at some point in 2015.

The first book in the series, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, was published in 2005. It’s hard to believe that the Pink series has been going strong for nearly a decade – but the decade mark seemed like a good time to wrap it up, before it begins to go stale.

Wrapping up the series doesn’t mean that we’ll be leaving the world of Pink forever. I’m not ruling out the possibility of novellas or related novels. After all, there are still far too many characters who need their stories told….

More about Pink XII soon!"

The copious comments on this post reflect my emotions. But I was prosaic about the whole thing, I went through the five stages of grief rather well. Rarely does an author get to end a series on their terms. Either they sell phenomenally well and the series is pushed beyond it's viability, resulting in parody, bad stories, and installments that are a shadow of their former brilliance and strain credulity. Or they sell badly and the author is never given the chance to wrap everything up in a neat and perfect little bow. Lauren's Pink Carnation series worked better than most long running series in that each installment was predominately self-contained but still placed within this larger framework. And yes, there are stories I still want told, yes, there's characters I don't want to part with. But I would choose this bittersweet ending over a broken heart any day.

Twelve books, three novellas, and ten years. I have a copiously laden bookshelf devoted to Lauren. Yet the true balm isn't in the satisfactory conclusion of this series, and yes, you will be satisfied. The balm is that Lauren continues to write. With her first three stand-alone novels Lauren has proven that she can keep us in her thrall. Plus it's also fun to play "spot the Pink Carnation reference." But when a series goes from hardcover to paperback, you know the end is nigh. Thanks go to Penguin, Dutton, and NAL for letting Lauren end the series on her terms. Also thanks for all the ARCs over the years, you couldn't have been lovelier. 


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