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?
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.