Evolution & Completion

mistresscover4I didn’t expect to feel this way.

Letting a character go, ‘finishing’ their story and moving on to the next is usually every easy for me. By the time I kick them out of my head and write ‘THE END’ I’m a little bit glad to see them go. Like a parent sending their kid off to college (which I’ve not yet done, so there is a strong possibility I don’t know what I’m talking about) there is sadness, but also eagerness to see what the next phase will bring.

This week, I finished my journey with Keisha, my main character in ‘Mother’, and I didn’t expect to feel so terrible about saying goodbye. I think it’s fair to say she’s my least-liked character. The backstory is, she did something in my book ‘Commitment’ that by some standards would make her an irredeemable human being. I’ve gotten numerous emails from readers saying some variation of, ‘I really love your work, but I can’t read about Keisha; I just can’t. I don’t even think she deserves a happy ending and I’m scared you’ll give her one.’

In ‘Mistress’, we see that there might be some merit to those strong emotions because Keisha has apparently learned nothing from prior experience and has gone on to live a life that other people would say only confirmed that she was “a bad person.” But I happen to believe that are very few “bad people” in the world. They do exist, I just don’t believe there are very many.

Wife Cover1f2In my other line of work as a lawyer, I often say about the people whose interests I represent (most of whom have broken some law, some of them in very hard-to-defend circumstances), “would you like to be judged in your totality as a human being on the basis of the very worst thing you ever did?” That question often causes people to become very pensive, thinking back to the time they, let’s say, told a vicious lie about someone, stole something, or committed some other act about which they are now very ashamed. And after thinking about it, they say something like, ‘no, I wouldn’t. I’m a better person than that act would indicate.”

And see, that is why I wanted to write about Keisha. In ‘Mistress’, ‘Wife’ and ‘Mother’ I wanted to write about the evolution of a woman who must learn not to judge herself on the basis of the worst thing she ever did, and not to define herself on that basis. She has to learn self-acceptance and self-love. And of course, there’s a little romance thrown in there as well, but Keisha’s romance is also about learning to love yourself enough to believe you deserve love from someone else; someone worthy. So for me, the more important love story is that which Keisha begins to have with herself.

How does a ‘mistress’ learn she can be more?

How does a woman who was a ‘mistress’ embrace the role of ‘wife’?

How does a wife who has no recollection of being mothered decide to become one herself?

Mother cover mistress FINALThat was what the ‘Mistress trilogy’ was really about for me. And so it stood to reason that once I had written ‘Mother’ I should be glad to let her go because from the standpoint of a writer, she has ‘evolved’ and is now ‘complete’. But Keisha’s complexity made it hard for me to end her story. And in fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to write the words ‘THE END’ as I customarily do.

Like that parent sending their kid off to college, I know they may never live with me again, but find myself thinking, ‘would it be so bad to just drop in for a visit?’ But that’s as far as I can go with that analogy because it would be a very bad parent indeed who never did drop in for a visit to their college-age kid. And sadly, in this case, I would be a very bad writer indeed if I could not simply let Keisha be … complete.

Happy Reading.


The Mistress Trilogy (based on the Commitment Series)

Mistress (Book One) On Kindle & Nook

Wife (Book Two) On Kindle & Nook

Mother (Book Three) On Kindle & Nook

8 thoughts on “Evolution & Completion

  1. Oh my goodness Nia. I am trying to save Mother until I go on vacation in 2 weeks but this is making it so hard. Im re reading Wife to freshen my memory. Kisha has grown on me so much.I know I’m going to finish it in one day.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I struggled with Keisha. Every bad thing she did in Commitment, Mistress, Wife, etc, I was convinced that she would never change and she made me crazy. I had gotten to the point when I just couldn’t read about her because she would just disappoint me. But I took that journey through your writing and finally came out of the other side – can’t say I love Keisha – but I can finally say that she deserved her chance at happiness. Only you can create a character who was so universally hated do such a turnaround that readers begin to root for her. Brava!

  3. Nia, thank you so much for this story. I just finished and of course it was another five star book. I greatly appreciated the additional back story. It goes to show that perspective is a hell of a thing. Your post resonates with me because upon completion my first emotion was sadness that my access to Keisha’s world had come to an end. I think she’s going to be a fabulous mother and I hope we’ll get the occasional peek into their lives as parents. Maybe when you give us Bettina’s story ☺! Great job. I think I’m now going to re-read the entire series as one story.

  4. Nia I think the mistress trilogy was awesome although she was not my favorite person in commitment she grew on me by the time I finished mother. I am excited to see what new characters you have to introduce to us. 🙂

  5. I responded to the blog post in Good Reads but will post it here as well. Whenever I have an opportunity to talk up one of my favorite authors, I do so. *I am a die-hard Nia Forrester fan. Although I like some of her books and characters more than others, her sheer writing ability is compelling and persuasive enough to draw you into the least likely of situations and themes until you are rendered helpless and feel connected to the story arcs. I was not a fan Keisha, it took me a long time to read this series but as always no matter how foul or reprobate her characters are, Nia always manages to give them a redemptive quality. So, here’s cheers to the evolution of not only fictional characters but to the scribe behind these captivating words! Nia Forrester is a masterful write/storyteller whose words are worth their weight in gold!

  6. Granted, I’m a few weeks late in responding to this, but I’m not going to lie: I am one of those readers who just couldn’t stand the idea of reading about Keisha after “Commitment.” Granted, I didn’t want to see anything bad happen to her. I just couldn’t find the nerve to read (and possibly enjoy) more of her story. It was just easy to write her off as a trifling character and move on. However, I have to admit, you had me when you explained that these stories were more about her personal journey to self-love and self-acceptance. That’s something I write about in my own life, and now I must admit I’m intrigued. I’ve completely avoided the “Mistress” trilogy based on the aforementioned reasons, but now I feel compelled to give Keisha another chance. Somehow it feels like the right and fair thing to do. Thanks for sharing!

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