I get that people like kids and enjoy the idea of their favorite characters procreating. They, in theory, love the idea of seeing Bay and Landon raising a little witch – Landon most certainly turning into a pile of mush and sharing his bacon without prodding – or Griffin and Aisling raising the world’s snarkiest future reaper.
The problem is that, in practice, it often ruins the narrative.
My characters are immature by design and, while I like them to mature a bit each book, I don’t think most of them are ready to raise children. Even if they were, though, the odds of seeing my characters toting around an infant are pretty slim.
Why? Because I can’t get over the irresponsible nature of hauling an infant around to a crime scene (or facing off with vengeful ghosts, deranged killers, murderous neighbors, etc.). Sure, there could be babysitters and nannies or … in Avery Shaw’s case she would probably put a dog in charge as long as she didn’t have to do it … but, after a little bit, it straddles the line to bad parenting.
It’s not just the way the characters would have their lives changed, though. It’s the way the kids would alter the story. I mean, could Aunt Tillie curse everyone into a zombie book if no one was around to babysit the little ones? Could Aisling end up thrown through a window or attacked by a mirror monster if she had an infant in her arms?
I’m not opposed to the characters having kids … eventually. That really means that, for the most part, if they have kids it will be at the end. By adding kids you can spin off a series when it gets close to the end (if it’s needed or warranted). Instead of focusing on Bay and Landon eventually, perhaps you’ll meet their daughter. It’s not happening any time soon, but it’s not something that I would ever completely rule out.
As for Avery Shaw, she will never have kids. No matter how you beg and plead, it’s simply not going to happen. I don’t believe people need kids to be satisfied and Avery Shaw is not the mothering type. Period.
Now that I’ve said all of that, there is one notable exception.
On June 6th, the first book in The Dying Covenant Trilogy (the last leg of the Covenant College series) hits. As readers know, Zoe turned up pregnant at the end of The Living Covenant Trilogy. She announced it to her new husband on their wedding night.
The Dying Covenant Trilogy hops ahead thirteen years. Yup. You won’t get to see little Sami Winters as a toddler (although you will hear stories from her parents and get a prologue that revolves around her birth) or even as a precocious eight-year-old. She will be a pain in the butt 12-year-old with her father’s looks and her mother’s mouth. She will be a tyrant on two legs with abnormal role models who prefer messing with her to coddling her.
Why is Sami different? Because she’s part of Aric and Zoe’s story in an important way. She’s her own person by the time you meet her and can be left alone for little bits of time, which means Aric and Zoe don’t constantly have to be on top of her. Sami can actually carry parts of the story (although Zoe and Aric still do the heavy lifting) because she’s twelve and she’s coming into her own.
Also, it should be noted that Sami comes in at the end of Aric and Zoe’s story. While I have plans to have the characters cross over to the Mystic Caravan Circus and probably Charlie Rhodes’ world before it’s all said and done, The Dying Covenant Trilogy is the end of their individual story. That means they can support a kid because Sami won’t be weighing down future stories.
Now, I’m not saying the characters will never have children. I’m merely saying it won’t happen until a shift in the series is due or even until I’m wrapping up a series. Kids are inevitable for some of them, but they cause a narrative stumble a lot of times in an active series so they have to be worked in at the right time.
What do you think? Do you wish there were more kids hanging around?
5/16/2017 07:17:57 am
I'm a Mom; I love kids. But you're spot on. Introducing children to these stories would have such a focus shift. I love the characters and want to stay focused on them. I'm a reader with imagination; I can see down the road to Bay and Landon's (and the rest of the Winchesters and Grimlocks) little ones. I know it will happen eventually. But I don't need to read about them now.
8/3/2018 02:08:19 am
I also agree with some of the points posted above. There should always be a progress when it comes to the stories on each book featuring a kid who happens to be the main character. I don't want them to remain as kids as the story should progress. But on the the other hand, I realized that it depends upon what the story has to offer. It still lies on author's creative freedom to come up with a story that she thinks will best fit the overall flow of the story. Besides, we all have our own taste!
YES! I totally agree with this blog. Sometimes having kids in the story fits, but mostly it's the "jumping the shark" problem to me. It derails the story and you can't ever go back. I love the idea of ending a series with a HEA and kids, but I'm in no hurry to see any of your series end anytime soon. I do look forward to seeing Zoe and Aric's daughter though. That ought to be fun.
5/16/2017 08:26:29 am
I agree with you completely. I've even thought about how it could change the story of Aisling and Griffin had a baby. It would almost kill the series if it's done incorrectly. And at this point they are still too immature to be in charge of a little human. They can barely take care of themselves sometimes.
5/16/2017 09:25:45 am
I agree with you about children for the main characters of your books, and I don't want to see them with children until the end (which I hope is a long, long way off) But I do like to see the effects of supporting characters having children, I can totally appreciate and even understand all of Avery's trouble with Carly being pregnant and how that will change her life, and I just know before it's said and done she's not going to handle it with grace, and that's just fine by me!
2/19/2018 11:08:11 am
Agreed. I think supporting characters could have kids like in Avery's book. How fun of an aunt would Aisling be? Or if mystic caravan adopts a younger kid they found and Nellie bonds as the dad. IDK, I'm not a writer lol. But I think if you really wanted to ad a kid, secondary characters would be fun.
5/16/2017 11:21:54 am
My problem with keeping "immature" as you call it, is that because the relationships for most of you characters (both for Lee and Hart) are so similar I feel like they are stagnating. I am feeling restless, I like your style and I love your characters but I'm starting to feel like I'm reading the same thing over and over now with minor detail changes. I'm not saying that I think all your couples should start popping out kids, but maybe some. Also, there are all types of moms. There are plenty who utilize child care to be cops or continue in the military. Or to be doctors or other time consuming or dangerous careers. Also, so many of your couples are surrounded by amazing families to be their village. So write in a marriage or a couple of kids or don't, but a bit of a stir up for some of your series might not be a bad thing.
5/16/2017 01:59:11 pm
Hooray! I completely agree with you about how children would really change the feel and narrative of your books. Especially since your books deal with murders and other things that go bump in the night, I think if you introduced children (especially from infancy on) they would/could just be giant targets. Also more importantly for me, I love the fact that for your characters to be happy and fulfilled they don't necessarily need to have children. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten to the end of a book and let me guess... its all wrapped up with a marriage and babies. Sigh.
5/17/2017 05:02:40 pm
THANK YOU! I agree 100%. Kids do change the narrative significantly, and not always for the better. I also appreciate your comment that not all women need to have children to be fulfilled. It seems like so many romances end with proposal/wedding/kids. And yes, I understand that happens a lot in life as well. But I just hate when it doesn't feel true to the characters. Like you said, Avery is not the mothering type, and pretending that she is would feel disingenuous to the character and the story.
11/18/2019 04:56:40 pm
I would love a new series with Sami from Dying Covenant series where she's grown up and starting her own adventures. I bought all 3 Covenant series and would love more with Aric and Zoe having cameo appearances.
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When I was a kid, I was torn between whether or not I was going to grow up and be the Incredible Hulk or Wonder Woman. I flirted with being a Jedi Knight for awhile, but I wasn't up for the intense travel associated with the gig. In my teens, I settled on being a writer -- although I had no idea the effort that would entail.