Pretty Little Liars is over! Sort of. After 16 books about the quartet of teen pals — and A, the mysterious person (or people) stalking them — novelist Sara Shepard is ending the series that inspired ABC Family's hit with her final installment, Vicious (on shelves Dec. 2).
TV Guide Magazine: Why stop the books now?
Shepard: I didn't think I'd go beyond the eighth book. Then the show reinvigorated things. But it just seemed like the right time.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you know from the beginning how you wanted to wrap things up?
Shepard: I'm not sure I knew how I wanted to end each girl's story, but I knew how I wanted to end their story with [frenemy] Alison. I never wanted to write about them going away to college or moving away, but you see where they are going to go from here.
TV Guide Magazine: There's also a nice hint in the final pages that more could be added to this story later on.
Shepard: Yes! I love these characters so much.
TV Guide Magazine: The books and the show are so different. Were they ever influenced by each other?
Shepard: I've brought characters back, like Ezra, because he was so loved on the show. He was originally out by Book 3 or 4. And the show is giving [Aria's brother] Mike a bigger part. I am happy about that. I would love to have kept Toby alive, too [in the books].
TV Guide Magazine: So...do you know who the show's A is?
Shepard: I don't! I could ask, but it's kind of fun not to know!