Saying Good-Bye. A Brief Essay on Janie Face to Face
By Caroline B. Cooney, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 11, 2012
I have now written five books and one e-short story about a girl named Janie, who recognizes herself in a missing child photograph, and her boyfriend Reeve. At the end of book one, The Face on the Milk Carton, Janie finds herself with two families: her biological family and her “kidnap” family. Reeve also has an enormous family. They both have tons of friends. All these people show up, book after book, year after year.
Janie Face to Face is the final Janie book. People ask what it is like to say good-bye to characters I’ve lived with for so long. But it isn’t good-bye.
I’ve written ninety-one novels.
That’s a lot of characters. I think I speak for most fiction writers when I say that the majority of characters vanish from the writer’s mind when the book is completed. But some stay alive, occupying a mysterious layer of the heart and mind. They may lie there quietly, almost unknown to the writer, or they may trundle along, having dialogues and conflicts and pizza. My own mind is populated with nonexistent teenagers. I used to worry about my sanity, but I seem to present a normal façade to others.
When it was decided that I would write a fifth Janie book, after a gap of several years, everyone in her story leaped up in my mind—little resurrected kids racing around telling me what they’d been doing all this time and whether they liked college and what they hoped to do with their lives. Writing Janie Face to Face was like a family reunion.
I think my readers will feel the same.
Caroline B. Cooney is the bestselling author of many young adult books, including the million-copy plus bestseller, The Face on the Milk Carton, the first volume in the Janie series. Caroline B. Cooney lives in South Carolina.
For more information, visit: http://www.carolinebcooneybooks.com
Add this book to your collection: Janie Face to Face
Follow Cooney on her blog tour:
Friday, December 14th: Bookish
Friday, January 4th: Random Acts of Reading
Monday, January 7th: TeenBeat
Tuesday, January 8th: Huffington Post
Friday, January 11th: Forever Young Adult