I am not a huge fan of Kenny Rogers…but when he sang, “You gotta know when to hold ’em…know when to fold ’em…know when to walk away…and know when to run…” he was onto something that applies to myriad times of life. And today, I’m somewhere between folding and walking. Doesn’t really matter where I stage myself, though, because the end result is the same: it’s time to say farewell to Blueberry Lane.
Three years ago, in June 2014, I set out to write a five-book series about five hot millionaire brothers who lived in Haverford, a little town outside of Philadelphia. I called them the English brothers because it sounded posh, and I came up with their alliterative titles before I even wrote the books. I wrote and published those five books in six months flat, and loved it when they “broke out” around Christmastime 2014. I loved it so much, in fact, that I added a sixth book about the English brothers’ cousin, Kate, and outlined four new books about the Englishes’ neighbors, the Winslows. And so it went, house by house, family by family…the Englishes, Winslows, Rousseaus and Storys…
And I loved them.
I loved the world of Blueberry Lane so much, in fact, that I ignored the dwindling sales and comments on posts about the series being “too long” or “so intimidating.” I loved it so much, I planned nine more books even though I could see that books 15 and 16 weren’t really selling as well anymore. I loved it so much, I had covers made that would carry me through to book #21. But eventually – today, in fact – I forced myself to open my eyes and run the numbers. And it was…well…painful. Super duper painful. The same series that placed me on the New York Times bestseller list is no longer in demand. Not by a long shot. Not at all.
It’s a bit of a blow to my ego, sure…but more importantly, it’s a blow to my finances. And while writing is a creative passion for me, my royalties pay for my children’s education, and I can’t put that in jeopardy.
So (#gulp) here goes…
I will be discontinuing the Blueberry Lane series after 16 novels.
The Director and Don Juan will be the last book of the series.
I will not be writing the remaining Story, Ambler or Atwell books.
To all of you who pre-ordered The Flirt and the Fox, your money will be returned. If you have any issues getting that money back, please contact me.
To the thousands of you who joined me on the journey through the mansions of Blueberry Lane, from the bottom of my grateful heart, I thank you. I will always remember and savor your beautiful reviews, kind comments, support and enthusiasm. I hope you will keep reading as I continue the Modern Fairytale collection and figure out what other books will come next.
So much love to all of you,