Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Tearful Bon Voyage

It's been one of 'those' weeks. In the midst of dealing with 'storm stuff' (the fallout in my slice of Iowa real estate being much less severe than what The Assassin experienced) I received my galley for ANCHORS AWEIGH. This is a biggie, folks. It's my final (for now) Tressa Jayne Turner mystery. The series finale. The last roundup. And one tear-jerker of an edit.

You see, I love the quirky characters that inhabit good ole Grandville, Iowa. They've become a part of me. When I walk down the street and see something amusing or interesting, sometimes I think what Tressa orJoe or Hannah or Rick would have to say about it. It's hard to let go of family, folks.

So that's why I procrastinated in going over the galley. Why I put it off as long as I could. I didn't want to have to say goodbye. I knew how hard it would be. How much it would hurt.

Or so I thought.

When I finally got to the point I couldn't put it off any longer (these kinds of things tend to be time sensitive) I picked the galley up, removed the rubber bands binding the material, squared my shoulders, took a deep breath, and plunged in.

And, I have to admit it. I got emotional. People who know me in 'real life' know that I'm one of those gals who rarely shed a tear at movies other women go through a purse-sized pack of tissues at and leave the theater looking like they had an allergic reaction. It's probably a cop thing. You learn to keep a fairly tight rein on the old emotions and train your facial patterns to mimic those of Joe Friday. It's a job requirement.

So, I was surprised to find my eyes misting over my galley.

"I love you guys," I said out loud as I read.

"We know, Mom," my daughter responded.

"Oh. I wasn't referring to you guys," I replied. "I meant Tressa and Rick and Joe and Manny--"I stopped to wipe a tear. "And Gaammmy!" I blubbered.

"Mom, are you okay?" my son asked, walking in on my unaccustomed emotional jag.

"She'll be fine," my daughter said.

"It's just saying goodbye is so hard to do," I sniffed.

"That's okay, Mom. We're not leaving for college yet," he pointed out.

"Uh, she's not talking about us, doofus. She's talking about Calamity and Company," my daughter pointed out.

"Oh. Right." My son said. "Uh, you are gonna be okay when we go to college this fall. Right, Mom?" he asked.

"I'll be fine. I'll have my writing," I assured them.

And that might just be the time to resurrect that serial killer story. Get it out. Blow the dust off it. And take a little walk on the dark side.

I finished the galley this morning and have it ready to pop in the mail. It was the cleanest galley I've ever received. And going through it was one of those pleasure-pain experiences.

It's done. Ready to send out.

I'm still a bit emotional. A little weepy. A lot nostalgic.

Hmm. I think it's time to open that serial killer file and get to work. Let's see. Who should I have my serial killer off next and what diabolical means should he/she use?

Bon voyage, Calamity Jayne! It was fun while it lasted!


~Bullet Hole Bacus who is really not from the planet Vulcan after all. Sniffle. Sniffle.~


Anonymous said...

Just think how much fun and laughter you've brought to your readers and that should cheer you up.

I have to admit I'm sad too. I love those charachters and am always sad knowing that I have to wait for the next book. Now I'll just have to reread them all again.

I'll be looking for whatever you write though.

Angie Fox said...

Now I'm sad too! I do love those characters and it's hard to think that one more book will round out the series. But I have to say I'm really looking forward to what you do next.

Kathy Bacus said...

Ah, thanks Kristi! (Bullet Hole drying her eyes.) It's been one sweet ride, for sure.

But there are always new characters to discover--and grow to love.

Thanks again!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

But I have to say I'm really looking forward to what you do next.

Uh, so is my agent. I'm late getting my proposals and edits to her. The new job, weather factors, home projects, and college coursework have all put me way behind.

Today I'm negotiating with roofing contractors. Yeah. I need a new roof. (That's where my conference money had to go. Waah!)

~Bullet Hole~


Christie Craig said...

Ahh, Kathy,

I get emotional on just stand alone books, I can't imagine how hard it would be to say goodbye to series.

Here's you a cyber tissue. You have my sympathies. And have fun with the serial killer.

Crime Scene Christie

Gemma Halliday said...

Awww, Kathy!!! {{hugs}}
I can so relate. I just spent the morning going through copyedits on my last Heels book. I swear, I cried at the end. Again.

But I can’t wait to read Calamity’s swan song!


Terri Osburn said...

This sounds so heartbreaking. I've yet to finish my first WIP and now I'm not sure I want to. This sounds traumatic.

Sorry about the tears, but maybe this is your way of cleansing for the next adventure. And these characters really aren't going anywhere. They'll always be with you somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad about the end, too, but at least I haven't read the entire series yet, so I still have some new to me books in the series to read. :)

Kathy Bacus said...


Thanks so much for the cyber tissue, Crime Scene. I feel better now.

I do think when you write a series you can't help but become attached to the characters.

Talk about your separation anxieties!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Ah, it's nice to have a fellow comrade who has to cut those literary apron strings, Gemma.

I hear you on the tears at 'the end'. Can't wait for my final High Heels fix!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Terrio! I didn't think too much about how I'd feel each time I had to bid farewell to my cast of characters, but it's harder than you imagined it would be.

But no way should you let the possibility of being a bit let down when you let go of some characters prevent you from finishing your wip. There's no comparison to the high you feel when you can finally type 'the end' at the end of your book. That, m'dear, is an unforgettable--and indescribable feeling. And it only grows more powerful with each book you finish.

So go for it!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Right now I'm working on a stand-alone, Tori, but hope to return to series writing when I find the right vehicle.

So stay tuned!

Hope you enjoy the 'Calamity' books once you've had a chance to read them all!

~Bullet Hole~

Keri Ford said...

Buck Up Bullet Hole!

Easier said then done, isn't it? It's always sad to come to the end. I hate getting to the end of a book, because I know those characters are almost done with me, but at the same time, they deserve their happy ending!

Kathy Bacus said...

And nobody deserves a happy ending more than 'Calamity Jayne', Keri! :)
That girl has some luck.

~Bullet Hole~