Jenn McKinlay

New York Times Bestselling Author

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Jenn McKinlay's News #17

June 7, 2015

Books: ALL SALES FINAL the fifth and final Good Buy Girls mystery that I write under the name Josie Belle will be released September 1st. A wedding, a ghost, a skeleton, and bargains galore, trust me when I say it’s going to be a wild ride!

Events: I’ll be signing at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco on June 26th and 27th.

What’s On My Mind:
Good-byes. I’m terrible at them. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with my XX chromosomes because I know I am not alone in this lingering at the train station until the last possible second and then having to run and execute an undignified skirt in the air leap to catch the train because talking about the incoming weather is so much more important than, you know, actually getting my butt on the train.

I was at a conference recently where I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with my writer buddies talking like we were solving all of the world’s problems - we were not - when we finally called it a night or rather a day since the sun was coming up. Do you think we managed to mumble ‘good night’ and part? Oh, no, we stood there sagging on our feet, trying to figure out when we’d meet up the next day at the conference just to say good-bye, because it was the last day and we were all headed home. This went on for fifteen minutes when I finally looked at my gal pals and said, “If we were dudes, we’d just knuckle bump and say ‘see ya’ and it’d be cool.”

This inability to end things extends to my relationships as well. I am the queen of the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ talk. I’m so good at it, in fact, I think there are a few people out there who aren’t even aware that we’ve broken up. Again, I blame the XX. Hub, like all manimals, has the XY and I suspect the Y stands for “Why are we still here talking when we could be gone already?” or “Why is this person calling me? We were done ages ago. Was I not clear?” I tried to explain that my ineptitude in adios is really a disability. He didn’t get it.

Not surprisingly, coming to the end of a beloved series has induced the same stalling tactic in me. I really hate saying good-bye to the Good Buy Girls and I’m not alone. I noticed while writing the last book that my main character Maggie Gerber was having a hard time saying good-bye to the life she had always known even as she was excited to move forward in a new life with Sam Collins. She can’t find a wedding dress, pick a venue, or even commit to the flowers for their wedding ceremony. Clearly, she suffers from the same later-gator aversion syndrome as me. Gee, I hope it works out for her.

Still, even the best procrastinator in the world eventually has to face the facts. The gig is over, they’ve unplugged your amp, pack up your guitar and hit the road, Jack. So, while I have loved every word of the Good Buy Girls’ five book run, it’s time to say good-bye.

Now here’s the upside to saying good-bye. Once you get over it, you get to say hello to something new! Say it with me now: “Hello, exciting new adventure!”

Now I could be a scaredy-cat and worry that I won’t like the next book/series/what have you as much as this one. I could refuse to try something new and keep writing the same characters in the same situations until they beg for mercy. But I don’t want it to end like that. So, with great fondness I will leave the girls and forge on and go try something new even if it’s scary and hard and fraught with insecurity and doubt.

Life is just too short not to do what you love with whom you love in a place that you love. So here’s my unsolicited advice, because I’m so good at giving it but not taking it - unless by force - figure out what you need to do to say good-bye and GO FOR IT!