Agatha Christie kept writing Hercule Poirot for many years after she got tired of him, mostly because readers wanted him. Ditto Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: when Doyle killed off Holmes, readers practically rose up in arms and forced him to bring Holmes back. And Edgar Rice Burroughs kept writing Tarzan long, long after he’d lost all interest in the character… because Tarzan paid the bills.
Lately I’ve been hearing from people who say enough’s enough already, please, no more Bell Mountain books! Happily none of them are my editors or publishers. But if the readers are tired of my books, what excuse would I have to keep on writing them?
Twelve of the books have been published, with No. 13 waiting in the wings and No. 14 being written. No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, has not been well received. Even though it has giant hyenas in it.
A few comments don’t constitute a groundswell of non-support. Then again, several books ago, I wasn’t getting any “too much” comments at all.
So I have to decide what’s right to do. I pray for guidance. I listen to what readers have to say.
(No! I am not going to switch over to Oy, Rodney…)