Monday, August 13, 2012

Transitions: When It's Tough to Say Goodbye

by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Elizabeth Bishop has an amazing poem called "One Art", in which the narrator recounts all the things she's lost in life, from door keys to a whole continent.

When you're a writer, you get used to the idea of losing things, of leaving things behind.

Over the course of my career I've left a lot of things behind: five agents (I'm on my sixth, I've been with her for seven years, so hush now); at least four publishers; and delusions of grandeur - goodbye, Nobel! Kidding. Kidding! That last was never in the cards.

And now, this past week, I've put the most joyful part of my writing career behind me.

Last Tuesday, my 25th book was published. THE SISTERS 8 BOOK 9: THE FINAL BATTLE...FOR NOW is the final book in the series for young readers that I created with my husband and daughter. For those who don't know, The Sisters 8 is about octuplets whose parents go missing one New Year's Eve. Each girl must then find her own special power and gift before they can solve the mystery of what happened to their parents, all while keeping the rest of the world from realizing that they're living home alone.

What with the books I've done for adults and teens, what with having had so many opportunities to simply stretch myself however I've wanted to creatively as a writer, I have nothing to complain about. I have had more than my share of luck and fun, and I am not ungrateful. But having to say goodbye to this? It is not easy to express how difficult it is. The writing I do for other age groups - each has its own rewards (along with one-star Amazon reviews). But what you get back from kids? Well, let's look at what was in my in-box today:

"I LOVELOVELOVE sisters 8! and I know you probably get this alot, but I am your #1 fan! I just got the last book today, and boy was it a winner! I was jumping up and down, and squealing like a 4 year old when I heard that your last book was out. I finished it in a record 7 minutes and 38 seconds***. When I started reading the series I was about 7, and I was hooked. I remember counting the days untill your next book came out. As the years passed, I got older, but I still loved them. My cousins would tease me when I immediatly started scanning the 6-8 section for more books! And now, here I am, age 11, bursting through the doors of chapters and running to the kids corner. I may have lost my dignity, but I gained an exellent read! I love to write, draw, and act, and the sisters 8 has given me so much creative inpiration that I may burst! So on behalf of all the 11 year olds who love it as much as I do, (even if they wont admit it) thank you. Thank you for providing an escape from reality, somwhere where we can let ourselves go and become 8 year olds again. Because your books taught me that no matter your age, you can still be as bossy as Annie, as motherly as Durinda, as sarcastic as Georgia, as energetic as Jackie, as smart as Marcia, as paranoid as Petal, as snarky as Rebecca and be proud of who you are like Zinnia. And above all... You can still eat pink icing from the can."
[***I'm thinking this is a misprint because the book is 145 pages long.]

And that's just the highlight for today!

Every day, the emails and letters come, as well as pictures of game boards kids have created, scrolls they've drawn...

And then there are the kids who write, especially since last Tuesday, asking if there can be *more* now that the series is over. And you know what? If it were up to me, I would go on writing these books forever.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of 25 books and counting. You can find her at - well, maybe you won't find her there, but there's stuff about her plus an email link.


  1. whatever you do, don't give up those delusions of grandeur!
    Happy pub day!

    1. Hi Lauren! Nice to meet you!! It's truly a big inspiration to get such a warm feedback from a reader. I wish more success for you. Good luck and thanks for post a lovely experience.
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  2. Congrats, Lauren!! What a milestone. And that email was fab. Save it forever!!!

  3. Aw, I know how sad it is to say goodbye to characters you love. But it sounds as if these characters will live forever in the hearts of many children:)

  4. sorry I missed this but your siblings have brought, i bet, great comfort to the kids who read them!