I'm kind of dealing with some mixed feelings tonight. I just finished the first draft of Cochran #4, called The Perception of Reality. On one hand, that's a good thing. On the other hand, this is the last Cochran book I have in mind. The ending leaves room for more, but I just don't have any real workable ideas for another one. Not right now, at any rate.
See, what's been happening is I'd finish a standalone book, then work on the next Cochran book, and back and forth and so on and so forth. Now I can't do that. And that feels a little strange to me.
Not that I don't have any more ideas for stories. Quite the contrary. The question is which of the ideas I'm going to tinker with next. For this one, it's an idea I had while on vacation in the Smoky Mountains this past weekend. Which is weird, because before that idea came to me, I had three other options to choose from. Well, technically four but one is still gestating in the brain and not quite ready for exploration. So it's not like I'm going to stop writing or something stupid like that.
Still, I've come to love these characters like family in the six months or so I've spent with them. I always dreamed of doing a series of books, and these guys allowed me to do that. I'm going to miss playing around with them and seeing what kind of new trouble they're going to get up to this time. My only hope is that I've done them justice for their present send-off.
Of course, the publishing industry being what it is and how it works, once they start coming out no one may notice the gap if I end up with a good idea and do another one. It may be a continual stream that will make me look back at this post and shake my head at my lack of foresight. After all, if there were a fifth book, I already know who the client is and I know what one of the subplots would be. So who knows?
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.