At one of my recent book signings, a reader stopped by my table and asked whether I intended to continue my trilogy past the third book. She seemed to be a bit miffed by authors who come out with a series that never ends. I assured her I had no intentions of continuing the trilogy. However, I did have two prequels planned, which would delve into the backstory of some of the characters featured in my trilogy. Due to my own curiosity and reader interest, I’d been inspired to explore the rocky relationship between Richard Hughes and Malkis of Tartarus. I was also interested in how Hughes became friends with such varied characters as Guillermo “Guy” Gutierrez, Hiro “Howie” Watenabe, and Barad of Eris.

I have no problem with authors who write extensive series as long as there’s enough material to warrant sequel after sequel. Sometimes a series is necessary to do justice to a story, then to wrap it up. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books come to mind. But if the well is running dry—! A reputable author ought to have the wisdom to do his or her readers a favor and know where to stop. Have you ever tasted water from a well that’s down to its last few drops? Trust me, you don’t want to!

No one wants to read material that has been done to death and should be on life-support! Rather than go down that road, I’d advise authors to bow out gracefully, put their series out of its misery and readers out of theirs. I realize that many authors become entrenched in a series because it feels comfortable, it makes money for them, the publisher won’t let them quit, or because they simply don’t have fresh ideas.

Now I’m not saying that a good, healthy series shouldn’t be continued. On the contrary! Readers would be disappointed if you dropped it.But no author wants their series to become the butt of jokes, ala the movies’ “Rocky 65”!

Someday, in future years, I may decide to write the final chapter in my Tartarus Trilogy—if I can find the time, the energy—and the heart to do so. But now is definitely not the time. Keep on reading!