When my son was young, the end credits to “Lamb Chop’s Play Along” featured The Song That Doesn’t End. Not surprisingly, he loved it.
More surprisingly, I happen to love it too.
For those not acquainted with this little gem:
(My apologies to anyone who actually clicked it. You’ll now be singing it for weeks.)
I love the song for its childlike denial of endings. If the song never ends, the fun will continue forever.
Good books are like that too. When a story captures my imagination, I want it to keep on going and the ending is bittersweet. I’m glad the characters reached a closure but saddened to leave them behind. Even with series novels, I have to wait for the next installment to see what my favorite “imaginary friends” are up to.
Not surprisingly, my novel CLAWS OF THE CAT is the first of a series. Somewhat more surprising is that the Shinobi Mystery series already extends at least fifteen books in rough outline, and could go even longer that that. Each of my primary characters has an extensive backstory and also a future arc – but very, very little of that shows up in the novels themselves. My goal for each book is to give you a slice of Hiro and Father Mateo’s ongoing lives in a fascinating and dangerous time and place. Curiously, it was easier to write the first novel (and in it, to foreshadow things that will happen in later books) because I know where my characters came from and where they are going.
CLAWS OF THE CAT is a stand-alone work but also a slice of Hiro’s life , which meant “The End” was not goodbye. I started writing book 2 (BLADE OF THE SAMURAI) less than a month after finishing the final draft of CLAWS – and speaking as a series addict, it felt great not to have to wait for the next installment!
Each book in the series features new murders, new suspects, and new surroundings (much of BLADE takes place in the Shogun’s palace) but in another sense writing a series is a bit like Lamb Chop’s song – the fun never has to end.
What’s your favorite fiction series? Do you miss your favorite characters between installments?
9 Replies to “Why Deb Susan Likes “The Song That Doesn’t End””
Aha! I know that song far too well. As a matter of fact, I used to torment my children with it, because I am evil. There are a couple of other songs I know like that, as well as some spoken never ending things, like this one, dredged up from my childhood: “Two bums sat by the fire side. One bum said to the other bum, “Tell me a story.” So the bum began – “Two bums sat by the fireside…” The directions for this one are to go on until somebody clobbers you!! I’m glad Hiro has plenty of adventures ahead of him – looking forward to the reading of them all!
Why am I not surprised that you know this song? I torment my husband with it. No “used to” though – I pull it out about once a year, just when he thinks I’ve gotten over it permanently. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
I love the bums. I’ll have to remember that one too. 🙂
And thanks – I hope you love Hiro’s stories as much as I do!
OMG, I used to love that song as a kid! My brother and I would sing it all the time (much to my parents’ annoyance, I am sure). I haven’t read a ton of series, but I can’t wait to read about Hiro’s adventures!
This is why I love my Deb sisters so much – you get my weirdness!!
I’m really excited about releasing Hiro’s stories into the world. I’m nervous, too – it’s scary to think about other people reading them – but so, so exciting. I really hope you like it!
Honey, I didn’t even need to click on it and it’s still be stuck in my head all day. Payback could be a melodic b*tch, ya know? 😉
LOL!! This one is a powerful earworm for sure. That’ll teach you to save me because I got distracted and missed my day and then being generous enough to let me use yours, won’t it?
Seriously though – huge thanks for the save this week. And frankly…having had this song in my head for three days now, I’d be grateful for a substitute earworm.
I blame you. Now that song is in my head and I didn’t even click. My fav series lately has been the YA series The Fitzosbournes.
Ooh, thanks for the tip, Eileen! I hadn’t heard of the FitzOsbournes, but I googled the series and now I can’t wait to read it!
And my apologies for the earworm – this one IS particularly vicious, because if you’ve ever heard it, even once, all someone has to do is mention it and it’s back with a vengeance. If it’s any consolation, my teenage son caught me singing it and dancing in the kitchen last night – and I doubt he will ever let me live it down.
I’m so impressed that you can outline a series 15 books into the future. Definitely a skill I don’t have!
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