Zoe, of Wausau, Wisconsin asks, “Why (in Poppy) did Ragweed have to die?”
To answer this question, Zoe, you need to know how I wrote the Poppy series. I wrote Poppy first, followed by Poppy and Rye, then Ragweed. Then came the rest of the series, Ereth’s Birthday, Poppy’s Return, and Poppy and Ereth. The point is, when I began to write Poppy I did not intend to write a series. Poppy began as a stand-alone. That book deals, in the main, with the struggle between two characters, Poppy and Mr. Ocax. As I saw it, readers needed to know that Mr. Ocax was a very dangerous creature, that Poppy had much to fear from the owl. Therefore, I briefly introduced a minor character, Ragweed, whose death by Mr. Ocax provides the book with lots of tension.
However, as I began to extend the story—as the series unfolded—the character Ragweed seemed to creep into all other books, until I felt I had to write a book about him, who he was, where he came from, and how he got that earring. It is that earring which sparks, so to speak, the last book, Poppy and Ereth. In short, though Poppy and Ereth are the main characters in the series, you might say Ragweed is just as important.
The truth is, Zoe, writers do not always know what they are doing. Sometimes—if the writer is lucky—the characters are in charge.