HEA or Happy Now
I asked readers a question on the LASR Valentine's Day Party about their requirements for a HEA ending to books they read. Many said it was essential and one reader expressed the reason that may be shared by most of those who require the HEA. She said that real life has enough negative events and she wants to read positive stories. However, a couple of answers were thought-provoking and I want to share them.
One reader said if the story involved her enough she could accept a less than happy ending. I like to refer to this as "grabbing you by the throat and not letting go until the end." And though we may all blame the author for a turn of events we don't like, it is really the plot and characters that compel the outcome.
The other reader said she could live without a "happy ever after" if the story had a "happy now." That phrase made me stop and think about my plot in TO THOSE WHO WAIT. I had been wondering how I was going to promote this book to readers who expect their romance books to always have a HEA. This one doesn't! But I re-examined it in light of this reader's comment and decided it definitely qualifies for "happy now."
When I began the story I wanted it to end with Scott and Leah riding off into the sunset while "Til The End of Time" played softly in the background. But as usually happens, (I'm a panster, I confess) the characters did not behave according to my wishes when they came alive on the page. And a chain of events took place as their story evolved that made my plans for them impossible to write. Had I forced my intended conclusion to this book, it would have been contrived and left the readers even more unhappy. Scott and Leah would not have been true to themselves and readers would have lost all empathy with them.
TO THOSE WHO WAIT has a beautiful love story, actually more than one. For two characters do not live in a vacuum. They have families and friends and enemies. And life happens, and not always the way we'd like. And even a hero and heroine love other people as well as each other. If characters have depth, they may be besotted with one another but at the same time love others just as deeply. I like to think readers would prefer to experience a true love affair rather than a titillating romp that barely skims the surface of their emotion. So be warned. This is not that kind of book! It will take you through a gamut of emotions but I think you'll be glad you took the journey through its pages.
If you read this book, I'd like you to share your reaction with me. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd really appreciate knowing how you feel about it.
Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. She has worked in public education as a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist.
Her first books were published by Kensington. She currently has available five ebooks (one in print) including a book of prose poems. She has four books of fiction, a Haiku collection, and three short stories to be released by various publishers in 2011.
TO THOSE WHO WAIT, a contemporary mainstream, was released March 1st by Whiskey Creek Press; SUMMER LOVE to be released Apri 1st by Desert Breeze. Watch for announcements of later books by visiting her website at www.lindaswift.net.