Has this ever happened to you? After the relief and accomplishment of finishing a novel, after the joy of penning that final sentence, I start to miss it. That daily grind of finding the Muse, of hearing my fingers tap at the keys, of the creative process itself. Mostly, I miss that "world" - those characters, those people I've grown to know so well. I'm not visiting them on a daily basis anymore, and that's a little bit sad.
Now, of course, I'll need to go back and edit the novel soon. But it's not the same. Editing is tedious and time-consuming. Necessary, but not always fun. Or terribly creative. The sad part is this - the story that I've told, in its origin, will not be told again. I'm finished, said all I needed to say. And, even though I'll revisit the characters in future books (because it's a series), it won't be the same. It'll be a different story, altogether. It won't be this story.
I guess missing your characters is a good sign though, right? Perhaps it means that the author has invested so much of her time, herself, into these characters, that there's actually a tiny void when the process comes to an end. Hopefully, that also means that the reader will experience the void, as well (meaning, that they invested in the characters, too, and actually gave a darn about how their lives turned out). In the end, if we didn't care about our characters, it wouldn't be so difficult to read that last page, shut the book on their lives, say good-bye.
So, maybe missing your characters is a positive thing, after all.