The story of Ragweed, character and book, is a case history of how a character takes over a book, and indeed, a series (The Poppy books) not because the author (me), wished it so, but because the story insisted.
That answers the question, why did Ragweed (the character) die?
You see, when I wrote Poppy I had no intention of writing a series. I wanted to write a stand-alone about the character Poppy. To create tension, suspense, I wanted to show that her nemesis, Mr. Ocax, was a real threat; that it would take great bravery for her to struggle against the owl. Owls, of course, eat mice. Therefore, Ragweed was the sacrificial character, so to speak, to make the point that Mr. Ocax was a truly dangerous adversary.
But by the time I wrote Poppy and Rye, it was clear to me I was going to write a series, and also readers would want to know more about Ragweed. Hey, I wanted to know, too. I mean, where did he get that earring?
Thus, Ragweed came to be written. It is full of skate boarding (one’s son’s passion) and rock-music (another’s son’s passion.) Indeed, the whole series is chock full of references to my own family experiences; love, marriage, fatherhood, childhood, step-fatherhood-and a lot more.
Curiously, the character Ragweed hovers over all the books. Even his earring (which he gets in the first book) is vital to the last book.
All that said, there is a big gap in the series, one that brings another constant question: “How did Ragweed meet Poppy?”
Be patient: I am trying to find out. And when I know, you’ll be able to read all about it.