''Out of Oz'' author Gregory Maguire talks about saying goodbye to his ''Wicked''-ly best-selling series — and says you may not have seen the last of it

By Stephan Lee
Updated November 11, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

So is this really the final Wicked novel?
My way of thinking about the end of the series is ”Let’s stop for as long as I can bear it.” Maybe I can bear it until my deathbed, or maybe I can only bear it for a couple of years. I definitely tried to direct all the lines of the plot to feel that the story came to a [natural] ending, but I like to think that I left the series ”alive,” rather than ”done.”

In any case, the series will continue to live on in many forms. You’ve always been a champion of the Broadway musical, even though it differs greatly from your book.
Yes! I like to think I have as healthy an ego as the next quivering blob of jelly. To me, the play differs in tone and plot, but it doesn’t differ in intention. You still come out of the play with a lump in your throat remembering that all things that you treasure have a natural end, including friendships and love affairs, and that puts upon you the responsibility to treasure them all the more. That’s what my book is about too.

A movie version of the musical is all but inevitable, and there have been rumors about an ABC series based on the novels.
Well, ABC has owned the rights for about a decade. I have not seen Game of Thrones, but from what I read about it, it sounds [like it has some of the same] traumatic motivating forces of Wicked. I would be very happy if ABC made Wicked into a miniseries that followed not just the characters but the political and social drama of the plot.

How did it feel to finish this book?
Hugely sad! It’ll take months to feel that I’ve flown out of the gravitational pull of this enormous story. The weight of creating an 85-year arc and more than 100 characters has been an enormous burden. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I turned from this to writing streamlined novellas?