I was struck by something Vicky mentioned in her post last week about the back-and-forth between her and her publisher over a semi-upbeat ending for her book. I’ve been getting email in advance of the release of my next book from readers anxious about whether or not the story will end on a happy-ever-after note. (I’m so naïve, I had to write back to the first person who inquired about an “HEA” ending and ask what the acronym stood for.)
Prior to the publication of my first book, I never thought of myself as a particular kind of writer one way or the other. Good novels ought to transcend genre, right? Imagine my surprise when I found myself lumped into various categories from women’s fiction (which I can halfway understand and live with) to chick lit (when my characters wouldn’t know a Jimmy Choo or a Cosmopolitan if you knocked them upside the head with it) to romance. Readers of the latter category seem to be the ones who most eagerly clamor for HEA endings.
To which I can only say, Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. [Read more…]