Readers ask questions, and that's great. There's nothing writers love quite so much as talking about themselves and their work.
But I do cringe just a little when I get the most frequent question from a reader, and it's because I don't have an answer that's going to make them happy. They want to know if there will be more books in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, and I have to tell them no.
I hate that.
Authors most often don't decide when to end a series. I have never voluntarily ended a series since I finished the Aaron Tucker books in 2005. And that wasn't so much because I wanted the series to end as that I had a better deal with another publisher.
So no, it's not my choice that the most popular of my book series will not continue. Believe me, we tried, to the point of actually selling the last two Guesthouse books to a new publisher when the first one decided not to ask for any more. Then those two books didn't supply the kind of sales numbers the new publisher required, and well, you're not going to move a series more than once, if you manage it that many times. (Still, you might get another quick glimpse of Alison and the gang, not in a new book, and when I know for sure I'll be certain to pass the news along.)
Alison Kerby and her nutty group of confederates will have to satisfy themselves with ten novels and two novellas (only on audiobook). And you and I will have to do the same, I'm afraid.
The same is true of Duffy Madison and Kay Powell, who inhabited the Mysterious Detective and Agent to the Paws series, respectively. Each of them got two novels and that was it. This is the reality of the publishing business. If enough people buy the books, there are more and if not... well, I can only assume I didn't do as good a job as I should have.
That's the way it goes.
(And if you're one of the people wondering whether the next Mysterious Detective book would have solved the mystery of Duffy Madison, I can tell you with no hesitation that it would not, because I never decided whether he was real or not.)
Within a month (specifically, by November 1, when AND JUSTICE FOR MALL hits bookstores and libraries) there will be four Jersey Girl Legal mysteries in print, and the fifth will be available in 2023. Also next year will come UKULELE OF DEATH, the first in what we all hope will be a series about Fran and Ken Stein, and if you want to know about them, read their names together and you might get an idea. More on that after New Year's.
So let's not dwell on the past. The Guesthouse books and all the others still exist. You can read them whenever you like. And I'm not finished writing yet, so hopefully there will be more on the horizon. And if we run into each other somewhere along the line and you feel compelled to ask, I'll be happy to answer you question.
But I'm afraid the answer will not have changed.