And They Lived Happily Ever After…

The topic of happy endings periodically comes up on Facebook posts. There was also a panel on this at LCLC. As I read and respond to some of the posts, a few things strike me as interesting.

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How do readers define Happily Ever After (HEA)?

  • Does happy for now count?
  • Does leaving happiness up to the readers’ imagination count?
  • Does the promise of a sequel with a HEA count?
  • Does HEA for the particular situation count and what does that mean exactly?

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I suspect, like with everything, it depends on who you ask. There are probably as many different opinions on all of these questions as there are different happy endings. Of course, I’d love to dig deeper into each question.

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I suppose unless a book details an entire lifespan, almost every HEA I read is technically happy for now because the reader doesn’t know what is around the next corner unless it’s a series and you get a glimpse into the future for the two main characters. So for me, happy for now does count. I simply refuse to believe future issues will change the narrative for the couple because I get to decide that as a reader!

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Leaving the ending up to the reader feels too much like being left hanging.  So I want y’all to imagine a different circumstance where you’re all hot and bothered and that ultimate release is almost there, then your partner says, “I’m gonna leave that orgasm up to your imagination.” Oh hell no…Thanks, but no thanks. I want resolution. Completion for me is an absolute must or else I am very frustrated. Now that’s just me. To each their own, my grandma used to say and I agree with her.

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HEA with the promise of a sequel…well, I think you know where I’m going to go with that. “Hey babe, can you hang on for oh, let’s say another year?” And that’s if she’s inspired to continue what she started. Yup…no, just no.

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This last one is the most intriguing of all to me. The one situation I can really relate to is the two main characters break up because, well, they aren’t right for each other and staying together wouldn’t make either one of them happy. Okay, I’ll admit that has some logic to it. But. then I would want to be assured that either they found other love, or being solo was the thing that made them most happy. Of course, I have a hard time relating to that particular scenario because I love being in a relationship. I don’t think I would be very happy without my wife. So, I’d need to explore this particular scenario a bit more. I do like unconventional tales. I suppose an unconventional ending shouldn’t mean it isn’t satisfying.

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I guess my point is that for some the traditional HEA is a must. That is certainly the case for me. I will get downright cranky when I don’t get my satisfying ending. Thus, I write what I like to read. A HEA will never be missing from my books. If my ending doesn’t seem believable, I don’t really care. My books are fiction and I get to design a world that leaves readers who share my views on HEA satisfied.

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Want to count on a HEA…you can pick up any one of my books and I guarantee you’ll be satisfied. I’ll bet there’s a lot of readers smoking that cigarette when they turn the last page on my books!  You know the drill….click the links below.

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