For the Fall 2013 children's announcements issue, we spoke with nine writerswhose trilogies are drawing to a close this fall. They shared what it takesto keep dozens of characters and thousands of pages straight--and how itfeels when it's all over.

At what point did you know this was a trilogy?

I had no clue until I started writing the second book. I remember my original synopsis for the third book was horribly vague. “It’s a dark and stormy night. Bad things happen. The plot thickens. Love. Sacrifice. Will they make it out alive? Stay tuned!” That was about it. But specific plot events that came up in the second book convinced me that #3 was an appropriate ending place.

Any favorite scene left on the cutting room floor?

There was a scene halfway through Legend where June goes scuba diving under the ruins of old Los Angeles and uncovers some secrets about the Republic. It was a little too far-fetched, so my agent and I chopped it out, but I still kind of like it!

Did anything develop plot-wise that completely surprised you?

Yes! I think 80% of the plot twists took me by surprise. I am a hopeless pantser, so I don’t do much outlining. A thought will occur to me and I’ll just throw it into the story. I tell myself I’ll worry about untangling it later. I’m glad no one sees my first drafts except for my poor editor and agent.

How does it feel to have finished?

It feels like how I imagine parents must feel when they send their kids off to college. Happy, relieved, proud, wistful, and a little empty. You hope you raised your books to be the best they can be. You hope they don’t get too drunk or call you to bail them out of jail.Click here to read the other interviews.