Where to from here?

Readers of my Quilting Cozy series continue to ask if there will be a #11, and I never know what to say. As you probably know, Books 1-10 have been picked up by a publisher and will be reissued during 2018 with new covers, a fun addition, and a whole new distribution plan.

But what about a Book #11? I’ve made a number of attempts and have written  (and rewritten) five or six chapters, making numerous changes and generally struggling with it. I’m beginning to think that perhaps the story of Sarah and her retirement community friends just might have reached its conclusion. Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye.

How about something new? Simultaneously,  I’ve been playing with another idea, and have five or six chapters of that one in draft form as well. It’s tentatively entitled Glimpses and you’ll see why in a moment.

The setting is current day, and the main character is a forty-year-old single mother in the process of closing down the estate of her reclusive grandmother. There are quilts, of course, a nutty neighbor, an annoying yet persistent ex-husband, and a fourteen-year-old girl whom you will recognize if you ever had a teenage daughter.

Oh, and also there’s a delightful, fun-loving young flapper from the 1920s who keeps everyone on their toes (an ethereal being, of course). I promise that we are not talking about a scary ghost — just a young apparition with a reason to stick around.

What do you think? Would you object to a change of pace?

I’d love to hear what my current readers, potential readers, followers, and friends think of these ramblings. Please comment below.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

About Carol Dean Jones, Author, Quilting Cozy serieshttp://caroldeanjones.comI am a retired geriatric social worker, avid quilter, and author of A Quilting Cozy series including: Tied Died, Running Stitches, Sea Bound, Patchwork Connections, and six others.

32 thoughts on “Where to from here?

  1. My love of your quilting series was largely because I can relate to the senior characters.
    I am sure your new series will be amazing but I will miss the old cast.

    • Mary, actually the thought of moving on makes me feel a little sad. I’ve grown close to my characters and they feel like friends. Our age group is under-represented in the fiction world. I always enjoy finding a book with older characters, but it is rare. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I’ll let everyone know what I decide.

  2. Hello Carol,

    I haven’t had a moment to read any or your books yet, but will say that the series I am reading now seems to go on and on and on! I started in the middle with a story theme that was published in a trilogy, and now I am almost done. Here’s the deal: The fantasy series is really good, but there are about 25 titles and I have unknowingly started in the middle. I am not anxious to backtrack (important themes and characters are referenced “historically” in this series for continuity) and I don’t know how long I can sustain reading forward. They are different eras, but the way things work in this mythical fantasy series there aren’t many surprises.

    You have ten books in our series which sounds more readable than 25. 😉 AND, your mini intro to the new book idea sounds like fun! I’ve expounded, perhaps too much, but to get to the point, you sound like you could use a change too. Just to keep it fresh? I vote try something new.

  3. I would miss Sarah and the gang, and I am intrigued by your sharing of the new book and characters. Whatever you do, keep writing 🙂

  4. I have mixed feelings, as I’ve related so much to my Cunningham Village friends, being so close to my age and some of my experiences. I will be sad to see their life journey come to an end,; maybe we need just one more book??? Just an idea for a story…what is one to do with all the quilts we make, when we’ve covered our family in our quilts? 🙂 I’m not sure whether I’ll relate to the younger characters, BUT the younger quilters out there might enjoy them more 🙂 It might be time to reach out to them as well, I look forward to seeing which path you choose, as I hope to continue to follow your books. Good luck in finding your inspiration and direction!

    • Perhaps the answer lays somewhere between the two. We could stick with the Cunningham Village gang but perhaps bring in some younger people. Actually, we already have them: Sarah and Sophie’s children and grandchildren. Perhaps a #11 which focuses on their lives and issues more than the seniors. Thank you, Jane, for your response. I hope you’ll stay in touch. Best wishes.

  5. What to do? I guess you could look at your situation as in quilt making. If you make five or six blocks and it doesn’t feel right, do you continue to struggle and perhaps not enjoy the process? Or tuck it away for a later date when it does seem to flow with new inspiration. Or perhaps scrap the project altogether and begin anew on something that does capture your heart and get the creative juices flowing. Personally, I vote for working on a project that is fresh, absent of any stressors and thoroughly enjoyable to create. Life is too short.

  6. Sounds like a fun change! I would definitely buy the first one. Thanks Carol for not giving up on writing quilters books

    • Hi Charlotte, Thank you for commenting and for being a long time reader. I appreciate your loyalty. Not sure which way I’ll go but just might figure out a way to combining the ideas but without the ghost, of course — Sophie would never stand for that! I actually slipped the suggestion of one in when Charles and Sarah were looking at houses (the old Victorian house) but I didn’t develop it. Again, thanks for your comment. Stay in touch.

  7. I would embrace a new Cunningham Village book, especially since the quilters have so much fabric in their stash to deal with….including the younger generation as you have done so far is a great step to new avenues for the Village. Maybe the younger set could be mentors to new quilters on the horizon. But, if this series is to end, then so be it. As you say, there are new horizons to scale. Glimpses sounds intriguing and I, for one, would love to explore this new cozy from you! At times, I think we all need to reassess our lives and possibly decide on new directions. I am an avid follower of your books and your life and will be in your corner whatever you decide. I am so happy we are friends.

    • Hi, my friend. I think the answer is beginning to take shape as I read the responses to my blog. This doesn’t need to be an either-or decision — I can do both. But I’m actually beginning to play with the idea of combining them into the current series (sans the ghost of course). I just need to give some of my younger folks a voice…and I think I need to have Sophie turn 80 this year so I can play out some of my own trepidations about the big Eight-Oh. I actually suspect that may be the source of my confusion about what to do…perhaps I’m realizing that time is becoming limited. Anyway, thank you. You are always there no matter what.

  8. Hi Carol,
    I have loved your Cunningham Village series (as you know!), but I would be eager to read anything you care to write! I think that the most important thing is for you as a writer to write the stories you feel you need to tell – if it feels good to you, that is what matters, and your readers will follow! You need to tell the stories that you need to tell – the ones that just have to flow out of your pen. You have numerous options, if you don’t want to part from Sarah, for example: you could set Sarah and co. to one side for a bit, while you write out your new ideas and setting, and come back to Sarah afterwards. You could link the two worlds, maybe: with characters from Cunningham Village appearing in your new book (enough younger generation characters to do that) or you could write a book of Cunningham Village short stories, if a sustained narrative is eluding you. Or of course, you can strike out in a whole new direction with your new ideas, they sound great, too. Whatever you choose to do: make sure you are doing something you enjoy!
    Go with what makes you feel good and happy, Carol. Writing a new book with a new setting dosen’t mean you have to abandon Sarah an her friends, it’s not disloyal, it just means you have more stories to tell than you knew! Good luck with your decision, and I look forward to reading your next book, whatever it is!

  9. So glad to hear from you, Fiona, and I thank you for every word you wrote. I’m going to print it out and post it above my desk to remind me that I have many choices and that I need to follow my heart and my joy. (What I really want to do is move to Cunningham Village!). As I told Joyce (above) I think turning 80 is influencing my thinking and I need to give lots of thought to just how I’m allowing that to become a negative. I’ll write about it! So again, thank you for your thoughts and your support. My very best wishes.

  10. Your new plot sounds intriguing. I just really enjoy your writing style. I definitely love your quilting cozys. Discovered them by accident and loved every one. You are just a lovely story teller and writer. Will be looking forward to whatever you decide to write

    • Thank you, Debbie. I often wish I hadn’t waited until I was 73 before writing my first book. I really enjoy writing but I never had the confidence to think that anyone would want to read something I wrote. But once I got involved with the Cunningham Village gang, I realized the stories are waiting to be told. The plots are fun to develop but I’ve often told people that my characters are actually writing the books — their words just seem to flow (and sometimes at very inopportune times. I’ve had to pull the car over and call home to leave a chapter on my answering machine!) Thank you for reading my books and for your comments. Best wishes.

  11. I agree with what Linda said – your story telling ability transcends genre – if you make a change in characters or “voice” you will tell it with the talent you have period. Your audience truly will follow you – because that TALENT combined with your choice of characters is going to be there. If you do write a new series, you will still be including quilts and quilting with a most interesting TWIST! Writers like to stretch their writing ability in new directions sometimes – I’ve told you before, you can write ANYTHING and I mean it!

    Your loving sister, Pam

  12. Carol, you know that I have loved every single one of your books – and would love the next one in the series too. But, if this just isn’t the time for the next one (maybe it needs to percolate a little longer?) then I will look forward to starting a new series with you! Maybe it won’t even be a new series, maybe it is a book just yearning to be written. Please follow your instincts on this and let us know when to expect another book.

    • Hi Wanda, thank you for responding, for being a loyal reader, and especially for staying in touch with me over the years. I respect your opinion and I think that allowing the entire issue to ‘percolate’ is exactly the answer. In one of my comments, I speculated as to just how much my upcoming 80th birthday may be causing this confusion about where to go from here and just how to spend my next years. Please stay in touch and I will certainly let you know what I decide. My very best wishes. Carol (QuiltingCozy@gmail.com).

  13. I am in the middle of the Cozy series, and I am just delighted with each one. I love this series, but I also love the ideas you have about the new series. Maybe the young flapper is a grandmother??? Hope to see that series come to fruition! In the meantime, I will keep on reading about Sarah and company!

    • Hi Lana,
      Thank you for your response. There is definitely something about the flapper series that is calling to me. I have about 1/3 of another Quilting Cozy book written, so I think I’ll finish it off and then turn to my flapper. I’m so glad you are enjoying the series. I’m very attached to my characters and doubt that I can ever stop writing about them. I hope you signed up to follow my blog so that we can keep in touch. Best wishes, Carol

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