|Courtesy of Cliff Johnson, Flickr.com|
I’ve been sitting here for over an hour trying to think of how to start this month’s blog post. So instead, let’s talk about endings. Namely romance/fantasy endings. Yes, I’m talking Happily Ever After (HEA) vs Happy For Now (HFN) endings. I’d like to know which people prefer.
As both a reader and an author, I like both. Let me explain that, though. I love reading series, so throughout the series, I’m more than satisfied with a HFN ending, because I know that will lead to the next book, then the next, then the next (series that have upwards of four books are fantastic, they’re one of my addictions!). Of course, once the series gets to the last book, I don’t mind a HEA. However I do appreciate HFN’s in the last official book of a series when the author then writes more books from the universe.
Take Anne Bishop’s ‘Black Jewels’ novels for example. Anyone who knows me knows I have a slight obsession with these books. There is the trilogy, which explains all about the levels of the jewels, and the core relationships. Anne Bishop didn’t stop there, however, and has six other books outside of the trilogy. The closest she gets to a HEA is in ‘Queen of Darkness’, the third book of the trilogy. Even in ‘Dawn’s Twilight’, the final book in the collection, it really is only a HFN. And I love it.
While a HEA closes all questions and lets a reader imagine the happy life that the characters are now living (unless they’re the bad guy, in which case they’re hopefully getting their just desserts), the neatness of such an ending can sometimes feel too good to be true, and so rings false and can leave the reader feeling dissatisfied. At least, that is my experience sometimes. A HFN ending can keep a reader’s imagination flowing and the air of mystery, I believe, keeps the book/s alive.
That is what I try to aim for with my own books. I won’t talk about ‘Wolf Smitten’s’ final book - ‘Leader of The Pack’ - since it’s not out yet. However I will mention a few works in progress (with vague details to avoid spoilers) and my other released title, ‘The Return of Their Master’.
At the end of ‘The Return of Their Master’, there is a new discovery, a new dilemma, and another mystery for Angie and Jake. Of course, I plan on writing a follow up novel to explain that, but for now, while Their Master stands alone, it’s certainly a HFN ending. Even in my fantasy ‘Persephone’, while things work out for her, there is still so much ahead of her that holds a mystery. Even I’m not sure what the future after the novel has in store for her.
So now you know which I prefer. What do other readers prefer?