*Voices of Fiction will return next Tuesday, November 13th*
Thea Landen joins us today to talk about happy endings and to offer a free gift to one lucky reader.
About the Author: Thea Landen writes erotic literature, frequently in a sci-fi/fantasy setting. When she's not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games. To learn more about this author visit her blog.
How Will It End?
On another forum I post at sometimes (wish I could remember which one), someone once asked about the difference between “erotica” and “erotic romance”. One poster answered that erotic romance needs a happy ending. If it doesn’t end happily, then it’s erotica.
I’ve never been one for splitting hairs, but I suppose it’s a fair distinction. The discussion made me wonder, though – does romance need a happy ending? Will readers be less satisfied with a book if the characters don’t get their “happily ever after?”
There are plenty of different non-HEA outcomes. Maybe the characters just realized they weren’t right for each other and go their separate ways. Or perhaps the author goes all out for the drama and tragedy, and the star-crossed lovers die in a burning building. (But if they’re together in the end, does it count as non-HEA? Now my head is spinning.) Perhaps one character is eliminated somehow, and while the remaining half of the pairing is shocked and heartbroken, he or she accepts the circumstances and realizes how his or her life has changed for the better due to the experiences detailed in the story. I’m sure there are hundreds of possibilities all along the spectrum.
When I was writing The Edge of the Sphere, I considered a more poignant ending where the characters don’t end up together in the end. (I won’t say here how I ultimately decided to end it!) Right now, I’m working on a dark sci-fi erotic novel. There is no way whatsoever I can give it a happy ending that fits in with the themes of the book. Is that going to cost me readers? Will they appreciate the acknowledgement that life isn’t always sunshine and roses and enjoy the catharsis?
As always, there’s no “right” answer. Everyone has their own preferences, and those preferences can even change due to mood, circumstances, day of the week, etc. I’ll toss this question out to the readers – do you prefer happy endings? If you invest time (and money) into a book with a strong romantic element, are you disappointed when the main characters don’t end up together in the end? Or do you find enjoyment in reading stories that don’t end on a high note, as long as they’re well-written?
Don't worry we didn't forget about the gift. To enter leave a comment below and mention you'd like a chance to win or email me at chergreen at chergreen dot com - Subject Line - Thea Contest. Entry Deadline - Midnight, Saturday, November 10th.
A free e-copy of The Edge of the Sphere.
Blurb: Stephen’s quiet life is turned upside down when he experiences vivid
dreams of a woman he’s never met. Liora, having grown tired of her
forced isolation and servitude in the land of Marindal, uses the
mystical sphere housed in her cellar to attempt to reach someone to help
her break free. They meet up several times in a subconscious illusion
Liora creates for them and quickly form a strong bond. Stephen follows
her to Marindal, where he’s instantly captured by her cruel master,
Thirvar. Plans for escape become their top priority, and their feelings
grow deeper during their secret meetings in the realm of fantasy. The
knowledge that they will want different things once they are safe from
Thirvar’s clutches taints the prospect of reaching their goal. They are
faced with the decision between seeking out the lives they left behind
and taking a chance on the future of their love.