Monday 30 September 2019

Revisiting Tara & Kaolin: The End Of Dying Thoughts


Well, fifteen years in the making and we're finally at this point. I wrote years back about what it was like writing Tara and Kaolin, (piece found here) but I thought it would be a good idea to revisit them both now that the series is almost over, and the final book is coming out in a few weeks.

Tara was just a seed of an idea when I sat down to write the first book, and then as I grew as a writer, she came along for the ride. Even though I officially penned the last word in December of 2016, the book is finally ready for people to read her last story. It was a heart-wrenching one to write, but I somewhat knew as I approached writing book eight, that it was going to be. I had the idea for the very end from the start, but the contents of that final story didn't really come to me until I started writing book seven.

So how far has Tara come since then? Well, she was fourteen, in year 10 and desperate to get her schooling days over with. In the time the series in set, it was still legal for kids to finish their mandatory schooling at sixteen, with the optional choice to go onto college, but Tara never wanted that. At the very start she didn't know what she wanted to do, but she was damn sure it wasn't going to involve more exams and school in whatever form that may be.

By the end of the fifth book, Tara's mind has changed. She has a direction, a purpose, a choice of what she wants to do and while A-levels are necessarily required she will have two years to wait before she can join the police force. So off to college she goes, and the eighth book brings a final end to it all.

Writing Tara is second nature to me, even though it's been almost three years since I ended the series, I can still slip back into that character and know exactly how she will react and why. As I've gone through the editing process, it's nice to be both saying goodbye to her, but also to be allowing all my readers to finally know the end of Tara's journey.

And along the way, Kaolin has been a constant for Tara, from that first meeting in the first book, to the end of the eighth, they have been firm friends. There's been ups and downs for both of them, but one thing has remained true and that is that they are very close, and are going to be, probably for the rest of their lives. Even when Kaolin moves on to her own studying without Tara there, the two are not out of touch for long.

As Tara has grown, she has learned a thing or two about her past, about the mother she barely remembers, about the father who's shielded her from so much of her own life, about Mike, about Kaolin, and about herself. I feel like the end of the series is both perfect for what it is, and bittersweet to be finally saying goodbye and closing the book on Tara and everyone involved in her story.

People have asked whether I've thought about doing small stories that involve her, and the answer is not really. I know that Tara is the bigger of my main characters because her story spans eight books, but I am happy with the way it all ended. I hope my readers will be too!

So just as a reminder, Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending is out on October 9th! You can pre-order the ebook here and if you do pre-order, I'm sending out some awesome SWAG which you can claim here.

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