I have always been honest with my readers. I am experiencing a sense of sadness, akin to mourning the loss of a loved one. I approach writing “The End” for Night Covenants. It is coming together as planned and the characters are following directions. I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t prepared for the profound sense of dread. I’m attempting to come to terms what that statement means.

“Part of the Journey is the End”

– Tony Stark

Photo Credit: Mihail Macri

Nighthawks started in seventh grade. Nick Leonard and myself spent the our time after school swapping comics, talking about superheroes and day dreaming about what if we had powers? We didn’t advertise our geekery for fear of being ridiculed. Being the brilliant children we were, we decided to start our own comic. Nick spent his afternoons drawing powered characters while I wrote out melodramatic scripts. I used these characters for my creative outlets. They allowed me to work through the angst of my youth all while saving the world. They became like family.

We never made our comic, but the groundwork remained, hidden in a box in the attic.

At thirty, my parents moved. Childhood belongs were sorted and I donated most of my youth to charity. However, I found a notebook containing Nick’s drawings, old floppy disks and a few printed scripts. I had been writing for a few years and I recognized the potential for a story. It needed to mature and the world needed development, but our tween selves had started something that needed to be finished.

Vanessa transformed from a member of an invading alien race to a tender hearted telepath outcast by society. Skits became Dwayne’s sister and learned to fend for herself in a cruel world. Magus, a magical shaman with the ability to bend reality, well he got deleted because that was just batshit crazy. Even their location moved from New Haven Connecticut to Boston, Upstate New York and Chicago.

Only one character remained as he was created: Conthan. Conthan has always been me, there is no denying it. As a child, he was the man I hoped to be, a hero who in the face adversity could confront him demons and do what’s right. As an adult, he reminds me to roll with the punches, appreciate life, and remain connected to the people in my life. Conthan has become my alter ego where I get to explore a world different yet similar to our own.

Five books later, the Nighthawks have evolved. There will always been a need for heroes, but maybe not these heroes? I’m still writing the final chapters, so I don’t know what the story will bring. Eventually I will reach the final page and have to write “the end.” Truthfully? I’m a bit scared. At first I was concerned I would run out of ideas to write. With nearly a dozen outlines ready to be written, that’s not my concern. So why the melancholy? I’m saying goodbye to the only people who literally understand my every thought.

Their story will end, but mine will continue. There’s a sense of dread losing this support network I’ve manifested in my head. The grieving process has already begun. I’m currently in denial, trying to imagine the next story in which I’ll meet these characters. But even if I write it, I know we won’t be the same people when we reunite. It’s to the degree that I’m forcing myself to write, knowing every word puts me that much closer to a finale. Eleanor’s first letter rings oddly true.

Mr. Cowan,

As you ponder the situation laid out in front of you, it is clear that things will never be the same. Before you are many decisions, but alas, beyond this point I cannot see nor predict your future. You are an element that seems to defy the strands of probability. I fear that before you lies a path that will test the fortitude of your soul. I wish I could give you more than a simple direction. I have done everything in my power to see you safe to this point. I wish I could tell you that somewhere on the other side of the darkness will be you, standing triumphant. However, I cannot. For that, I am sorry. What I can do is start you on your hero’s journey.

Go to Sarah.

With Regards,

Eleanor P. Valentine

While wading through the mournful victory coming, I am working to end the story in a way where the characters and the fans give their best performance. I want there to be a sense of closure and a hopeful eye to the future. I want to believe the best has yet to come. I guess there is only one way to find out?

So thank you reader for being along for this epic journey. There is more to be had and growth underway, but thank you for being part of my story. It’s been amazing knowing that there are so many people along for the ride, supporting, interacting, and lifting me up. I have no words that truly show my appreciation. For now, thank you.