For reasons I’m not really clear about, I’ve been getting a rather disturbing question from readers lately, and I’m not sure how I should take it.
They keep asking if GHOST IN THE WIND, the seventh and latest in the Haunted Guesthouse series, is the last.
So here’s your answer, readers: No.
There will be an eighth Guesthouse book, whose draft I just submitted to the editor at Berkley Prime Crime, and hopefully there will be more after that (I can’t say one way or the other yet, except to note that it’s not up to me).
An author is left wondering, however, when readers ask the question, whether they know something the author doesn’t. Have you been talking to my publisher?
A series is a funny thing. Hopefully, my series are funnier than most because they’re intended to be. If a purported series book leaves you weeping from laughter, something has gone horribly wrong.
But a series is not like a standalone book. It’s intended to tell a longer story and to develop characters the reader gets to know pretty well. If Alison Kerby, the reluctant ghost talker (“whisperer” would be too quiet) were the same exact character in GHOST IN THE WIND that she was in the first Guesthouse book NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED in 2010, I would have done my job poorly and maybe this book should have been the last installment.
She’s not, or at least I think she’s not. Each reader gets to decide individually.
Alison has gained some small confidence in her investigative skills. In the first book, she was not a private investigator at all and had to be dragged into the business—or more accurately, blackmailed into the business—at the beginning of the second Guesthouse book AN UNINVITED GHOST because she needed the ghosts in her house to help her build a business by being spooky on schedule for curious guests. It’s a long story. In fact, it’s a couple of long stories, and they’re available in paperback.
Now, Alison has done some investigations and even though she didn’t want to get into that business, she has found some level of success. That doesn’t mean she wants to give up being an innkeeper at all. It means that when Vance McTiernan, one of her favorite 60s musicians, shows up as a ghost in Alison’s house and asks for her help in proving his daughter was murdered, Alison will take the case even against the advice of her resident ghost detective Paul Harrison. She’s star struck but she also believes she can do the job on her own if she has to.
Character development is very important to me when writing a series. I’d get bored and frustrated with a character who never changes. I believe readers feel the same way, and by book #4 would tune the series out, so that it would be unlikely there would be a book #5.
People do evolve and progress as they live. Characters should do the same.
And so, no. GHOST IN THE WIND is not the last in the Haunted Guesthouse series, I’m happy to say. Alison has a lot more growing to do.
What a great post. I love the way characters evolve in cozy series. It is what keeps me coming back for more!!
Thank you E.J. for dropping by today!!
About The Author
E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series and the co-author with Jeff Cohen of the Asperger’s Mystery series. Next year E.J. will also unveil the Mysterious Detective Mystery series in which a crime fiction author is confronted by the flesh-and-blood incarnation of her fictional sleuth.
Ghost in the Wind
(A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery)
7th in Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Release Date – December 1, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0425269275
Murder and mystery on the Jersey Shore from the national bestselling author of Inspector Specter…
Never meet your heroes—especially when they’re dead…
Guesthouse owner, single mother, and reluctant ghost whisperer Alison Kerby is about to sit down to movie night with her family and friends when she’s struck speechless. Floating before her is the ghost of her musical idol, 1960s English rock star Vance McTiernan. He’s in desperate need of help from Alison and her resident ghostly gumshoe, Paul Harrison.
Reports claim that four months ago, Vance’s daughter died from a drug overdose. Vance, however, thinks she was murdered. While Alison agrees to help, Paul is suspicious of Vance’s motives. But after the body of the alleged killer is found in the movie room, Alison and Paul must act quickly before someone else finds a stairway to heaven…
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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