In the November 2020 newsletter I asked our readers what authors they never wanted to stop writing, or what series they never wanted to end.

Here are the responses:

Sam: I will go with the Mitch Rapp series on this one. Thankfully, Vince Flynn turned the series over before he passed away. Kyle Mills is doing a pretty solid job of keeping it going. In fact, I think his writing improves with each volume. But I know eventually, the “party” will have to end.

Chris: Hi Graeme. I enjoyed the newsletter, as always, and wrote down the names of several books I’d like to try soon. This month’s question is easy for me–what writer would I miss seeing or which book series would I like to never end? Diana Gabaldon isn’t producing her books in the Outlander series every year like clockwork, but she is writing them as quickly as she can and they’re always worth waiting for. For those of us who followed the books (8 so far) before they became part of a television show, reading the Outlander series has meant almost 30 years of immersing ourselves in fascinating characters and locations. Your idea of people contacting the writer of their favorite books and letting them know how they feel is great. I think, though, that probably any message I sent to Ms. Gabaldon would be lost in an avalanche of mail as her fan base is gigantic!

Ken: William Kent Krueger and the Cork O’Connor series.
Great crime and adventure with family and friends set in northern Midwest.

LC: For me, I pre-order Jeaniene Frost’s Night Rebel books as soon as I learn of them.
And the Night Huntress/Rebel world, I never want those stories to end. I’m also waiting for Nalini Singh to stop teasing us and finally write both Aodhan and Bluebell’s story!

Rosaria: There are 2 authors I would really miss if they stopped writing first is Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon has developed thru the years, I’ve listened to all the audio books starting from the first one. Gabriel has traveled with me the east and west coastline of the US.
The second is Charles Todd, who I also have followed since the first book. Ian Rutledge is a deep soul who struggles with his army past.
Interesting question, I enjoyed it!

Carla: #1: Louise Penny!! And the Gamache books, of course…so beautifully written, with wonderful character development–best read in order! Gamache is profoundly humane and deeply courageous. I love the dry wit–I actually laugh out loud.

There are many whom I’d miss, but limiting myself to this.

Thanks for the many hours of enjoyment I’ve had because of you!

Katherine: The two series I would miss the most are the Darling Dahlias and Aunt Dimity. The Darling Dahlias because I enjoy reading about the thirties, and the author does a very good job of portraying that decade with her research. Aunt Dimity because the series is so well written, but what I appreciate most is the mystery to be solved has only had two people die in previous books. It is refreshing to read a mystery that doesn’t always involve a murder. Plus, I love England!

Martin: I hope Martin Cruz Smith never ends his series featuring Moscow investigator (aka detective) Arkady Renko, the quintessential good guy seeking justice as best he can in a corrupt system – whether the system is Communist or capitalist. The series began with Gorky Park, which was made into a decent movie with William Hurt, but my favorite book in the series is the 2nd, Polar Star.

Kris: I have a few authors I’d miss pretty badly, but I did find out with the deaths of Kathleen E Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, and Bertrice Small that life does go on. (And thankfully, their backlist doesn’t disappear!) (Another author I DO miss terribly is Laurie McBain. She wrote romances back in the bodice-ripping days of Avon in the late 70’s and early 80’s. She retired from writing when her father died, but there were some loose ends that I was totally hoping would get tied up, dangit!) Currently, I think I would miss Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Nelson Demille, and Ken Follett the most. I just really, really like their books. I love DeMille’s wisecrackery, Follett’s absolutely sublime historical writing, (though Edward Rutherfurd is right up there with him!), and Nora’s consistency. Relating to that, the series that I NEVER want to end is the “In Death” series she writes as JD Robb. I don’t even care that we are already up to 51, with the next two in the pipeline. She has grown so much as an author with that series, and I just adore it.

mailman: Two authors I would totally miss if they stopped: C.J. Box. If Joe Pickett retired from his Wyoming game warden adventures(or misadventures) I would be completely lost. The same if Dave Robicheaux(James Lee Burke’s southern Louisiana lost, get back detective) decided to throw in the towel and finally quit chasing killers, thugs, Mafia lords and general nefarious miscreants(as James Lee describes them) I would quit reading all together! No I wouldn’t, but I would be quite lost.

Kacey: This is hard…there are so many that I have. Broke my heart when Sue Grafton passed away. I love The Gamache series by Louise Penny.
Reacher, Brennan by Kathy Reich, Orphan X by Greg Hurwitz. Longmire by Craig Johnson , The Death seriesby JD Robb.
Too many to list.
I have to say it would be a tie between the Bosch series by Michael Connelly and Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke. Those two I get as soon as they are available.
All of these plus more kept me sane thru 3 years stuck in bed.
Boos are my only vice.

Janice: I love authors who write serial characters, and I’d say I follow too many such authors. My list
of authors/characters I’d miss if the authors quit writing is not exhaustive:

Anne Perry (My librarian informed me her audio books, which I preferred listening to, were discontinued a couple years ago because of low readership)/Victorian mysteries

Michael Connelly/all his series, especially Bosch

Faye Kellerman/Decker and Lazarus

Jonathan Kellerman/Alex Delaware

Greg Iles/Penn Cage and stand- alones

James Patterson/Alex Cross and stand-alones

Alexander McCall Smith/Precious Ramotswe

Robert Galbraith (JKR)/
Cormoran Strike

Philippa Gregory/(English history) The Wars of the Roses novels. My favorite, by far, is The Lady of the Rivers. Please, don’t forget to read the historical notes following the novel, if you choose to read the book; that’s
where I found the surprise. As I understand,She is launching a new series of novels dealing with how the commoners were affected by the English wars.

Authors I wish could continue writing include Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, Clive Cussler, John Mortimer, Ariana Franklin, Frank McCourt, James Herriot, etc., etc…..

Donald: The series that I would miss so much would be L.E. Modesitt jr Recluse series I pray will never stop along with Mike Shepherd’s Longknife series.

Claudia: The author I would miss the most if he quit writing would be Michael Connelly with his characters Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller.

Linda: I could read forever the Gamache books by Penny, the Mitch Rapp by Kyle Mills, Gray Man by Greaney, and now my favoirte Amos Decker by Balacci. I just read “Redemption” the fifth Decker book. It was excellent the best so far. I loved the plot and the characters. I wish Baldacci would just stick to this series and not let it end. Now there is the “Rizzoli and Isles” books, which have ended, but I would take them up again if they were started. Loved them. I am so glad you are enjoying the Decker books. Just wait for #5. An old series that I enjoyed was “The Ladies of Covington” by Medlicott, but the ended in I think 2000, so am sure they won’t start back up. I could read them again. My choice for reading is a good plot, but the plot must have characters that are memorable. Have a wonderful November.

AJ: Hey Graeme, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Amos Decker series, I really like them.
For me, I would most miss the Gabriel Allon series, the Genevieve Lennard series, the Lucy Kincaid series, and the Mitch Rapp series. Each of these I will reserve far in advance. The Jack Reacher series used to be here, but I’ve been too disappointed by several of the last ones. I haven’t started the current one yet, maybe that will put him back on my list to buy blindly.

Tom: Hello Graeme…hope you are well. I guess I would miss C J Box and his Joe Pickett character. Also, I think I would miss Bosch. And I would miss Robert Parker’s Cole and Hitch western series, which I think is still active. There are others that I miss like Elmer Kelton and Louis L’Amour, who are now gone

Steve: I miss Bill Pronzini’s the Nameless Detective series- we were led to believe in Endgame that it was going to be the last Nameless Detective book. This was written in 2017 so who knows, but I really enjoy these books (I’ve read everyone of the series so far).

Also, in the past I wrote you regarding Michael Brandman’s Buddy Steel’s series – the book Risk Factor which was announced for a May 2020 release is now being published in April 2021.

mjoseph: Which series of books do you never want to end?

The whole point, I think, in a story, is for it to end, to see how it all works out. The ring has to be destroyed, Harry has to kill Voldemort and live happily ever after, the menace of the black monolith has to be overcome. More currently, how many of us are waiting for the last two books in “A Song of Ice and Fire” and the last book of “The Expanse”? We want to know how the story ends! How would you feel if you never found out “who done it”?

Also, if a series goes on too long, there is an exponentially increasing probability that it will become stale or repetitive. The longest series (but see note below) I’ve ever read, in terms of number of books, is ten, both “The Black Company” and “The Chronicles of Amber.” Both end perfectly; neither can be extended without ruining the structure and rightness of what is finished. Ditto for Narnia, Charles Sheffield’s “Heritage Universe,” Jack Vance’s “The Demon Princes” and “Lyonesse,” and the Hunger Games (though I understand she went back to this, but I don’t think the new book made much of an impression, kind of like the Foundation novels Asimov and others wrote after the original Foundation trilogy).

One hopes, with respect to both of these points, that at some point Charles Stross actually finishes “The Laundry Files,” and we actually obtain closure and find out about CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN before the series gets stale. Though I’m through the first seven books, and so far, so excellent.

The rule-proving exception to all of this is, of course, Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld”. 32 books down, nine to go, and still as good or better than ever.

Phoenix: This month you asked what author you’d hate to see stop writing. Sadly, my very favorite author, Margaret Frazer, passed away some time ago, so there will be no more Sister Frivesse mysteries. I thought I’d found a replacement in Ann Swinfen, but alas, she too has passed on to that great typewriter in the sky.

But there are a few living authors whom I enjoy: Alexander McCall Smith for this No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, and Jan Karon’s Mitford series. In fact, the second one is a series I wish would never end. I do wish I could persuade her to continue Father Tim’s story with Dooley and Lacey, but so far she doesn’t seem ready to do that. We ain’t none of us gittin’ any younger, as my dear old ma used to say, so if she’s going to, I wish she’d get crackin’!

Now, I might put the Outlander series in there as well. It’s taking the author simply FOREVER to get this ninth book in the series published, and I’ve almost (almost, I say!) given up caring if it ever comes out or not.

A few of my newish favorites are apparently sitting on their laurels and raking in enough dough from their previous books that they’ve become slackers in the writing department while those of us who await a good, decent, wholesome mystery are perishing. (I joke, of course. Writing is hard work, as I well know.) Those authors are Karen Menuhin, with her Heathcliff Lennox series, and Harriet Steele with her Nuala series.

These are hard times, and a good book is a necessity. Else my family will be inundated with crocheted doilies for Christmas.

Thanks again for this monthly missive. I look forward to seeing it in my mailbox every month.

Pam: I would miss Louise Penny. I love her writing and the way she describes Canada. I can almost feel like I am there with the characters. I look forward to her latest releases and get sad when I finish reading it because I know it will be a long wait for the next one.

Elizabeth: I remember reading the last book in the original Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larsen. I wanted to read it slowly because I knew it would be the last one because he had died. But it was so good I couldn’t read slowly. I do read the ones by David Lagercrantz that have continued the series.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Authors You Never Want To Stop Writing

One Response to “Reader Mailbag: Authors You Never Want To Stop Writing”

  1. Mary Jo Bonds: 8 months ago

    One of the best books I have read this year is “The Women in Black” by Madeline St John. It’s a story of some women who work in a high end department store in Australia during the 50’s. And especially about a certain black dress in the high fashion department. I really can’t tell you why I loved it so much but it’s one of those books you can’t put down and read over and over again, just because of the characters. Highly recommend!

    Reply

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