Today I would like to welcome author Sulivan Lee who is joining us with a guest post about her new release, Brightwing! Sulivan is also offering a fab giveaway at the end so make sure to stick around!
When Characters Fight the HEA
Romance readers – a lot of them, anyway – tell me they need a happily ever after ending. Not just a happy ending, but EVER after. Wow. Forever? How on earth am I supposed to do that?
Granted, within their own little purview, an author is a godlike being who is, in theory, wholly responsible for their characters' actions and emotions. But my fellow writers know that characters often have a mind of their own and occasionally hijack the story. Many's the time I've been typing merrily along, thinking I had everything under control, when suddenly a character sneaks off behind my back and falls inappropriately in love, or does something else that totally throws off my well-planned plot. Characters are, in their own way, alive. And they live on, if only in our heads, after the story is over.
So here's what I wonder about happy endings. Even if I do give a reader their longed-for HEA, how in the world am I supposed to guarantee that it is true? We all know that Jane Eyre is going to have her share of troubles after, “Reader, I married him.” And as shown by the plethora of modern Pride and Prejudice sequels, readers aren't entirely convinced Mr. Darcy is going to be easy to live with. The joining together of the happy couple is only the beginning of the story, and frankly, after I write “The End” I'm not responsible for my characters anymore (unless there's a sequel!) Like fledged birds pushed from the nest, I give them the best start I can and then they're on their own.
Don't get me wrong – I love a happy ending too. But does a Romance need one? What if the happiness is a bit equivocal? In Brightwing, the couple ends up together, but they both realize that some serious adjustments need to be made if they're going to find true happiness. Lucy is used to being free, and even a bit promiscuous. And loving Lucy means that Edgar is condemned to spend the rest of his life in the Everglades swamps. Of course, what I haven't told most people is that I plan to write a sequel, eventually, which makes some difference in the perception of the ending.
So, I'd love to know from your readers – is it still Romance without the HEA? Do we need a separate genre, the Love Story, for the not-quite-HEA endings? Do you feel betrayed by a book when the last page isn't exactly what you were hoping for, even if it is authentic to the story and the characters?
Thank you so much for having me on Reading Between the Wines, Crystal!
Sullivan is graciously giving away one print copy of her book Brightwing open to US/Canadian residents and one digital copy open Internationally!
-Just leave a comment answering Sullivan's question found at the end of her post
-Make sure to leave an email address so if you're a winner we can contact you
-Let us know which prize you are entering for, the print copy or digital copy
Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on September first when two winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email. The winners will then have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Good luck!