I'm not sure how to process this as a reader. I honestly thought Tim was enough death for this story. I know how many readers thought -- really thought and looked forward to Methuselah and Selena continuing on as a couple in a normal world. We're denied that now.
That they won is ... great. That Methuselah lost is not so great. The story is still superb, your writing as awesome as the best published work I see of the genre, but ... as a reader I'm very, very disappointed. Deep inside I don't feel it had to be this way.
Yet I'm not the author. In this story only you get to decide. And still I read on.
Still I look forward to the next chapter and the sequel. Still faithful ... gee, what does that say about the quality of the story? I'm still a fan - at the moment a very, very sad one. :'-(
Author's Response: Methuselah was, unfortunately, always going to die. That was always the plan for him as a character. And, yes, he was killed off partway through an arc, when he had things to look forward to, when you as readers and me as a writer had things to look forward to exploring. Him with this latest success. Him and Selena as a couple in the real world. You're right, you're denied that. I'm denied it as a writer and it hurts me, to ask myself the questions of if Selena would have stood by him like she said, how they would have gone on after this, and I found them as adorable to write as I think readers found them adorable to read.
And that, unfortunately, is the point. Death when it's a side character is just drama, or when it's a character whose arc is already over, and that's all the deaths I've done in the past have been. Methuselah was a young man, killed with his whole life ahead of him, love and prospects, and it's just been cut short. Incomplete. His life is incomplete, and so I felt it was important that his story was incomplete, too, cut off when there was so much to give, because that's what death can do - take someone away before we're ready for them to be taken away.
I wanted the readers to not be ready to say goodbye to Methuselah, just as much as Selena and the others aren't. That is why it is hard. And why it is sad. 'cos it's supposed to be.
And I'm still sorry, because I loved the guy and I loved his story and I loved his relationship with Selena, all more than I thought I would in the planning. I will miss him too.