So far, I have managed to put Nick Kepler through the wringer. I’ve taken away the love of his life (“Flight of the Rat”). I had him cover up a murder through blackmail (Northcoast Shakedown). I killed off his best friend. (Second Hand Goods) And I put him in an untenable love triangle while another friend is killed. (Bad Religion) My goal in this series was to send him to hell slowly. Then, eventually, I would slowly bring him back. I had an entire arc mapped out for him, including an ambiguous last scene in the last novel.
The question remains as to whether to continue Nick. I have a new short coming out and a second one awaiting revision. The real question is whether to continue with the novels. A fourth remains outlined, the story of a friend’s husband committing suicide after losing their retirement money in a phoney scheme to develop an abandoned amusement park. Following that, Nick would end up in a confrontation with one of Nikolai Karpov’s enemies that sends him fleeing Cleveland. Then I would send one of the characters, the future Mrs. Kepler, actually (who hasn’t played a major role yet) to go bring him back.
But the question remains whether to do it or not. I’ve just spent the first six months of the year rewriting Holland Bay from scratch. I’m currently working on the SF novel (more on that tomorrow). So what do we do with Nick?
I’ll probably know when Holland Bay goes off to its destination.