This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
What kinds of books do you like to read and/or write? Do you like a tangled web with an ending that totally surprises you? Do you like a romance where the guy gets the girl? Do you like a book that leaves you dangling from the cliff crying for more?
There are as many different kinds of books as there are wildflowers in the world. (Had to find a way to use the wildflowers because ours are sprouting at the lake and will soon be a sea of brilliant color). At any rate you probably like to read one or more of the types I’ve listed and although you may be known as a mystery writer, you may write other types of fiction as well.
A couple of years ago when I was really pushing my first book in the Inzared series, I was featured on several blogs and websites. One in particular I was tickled to have been asked to be a part of. The website did an author interview, gave a good excerpt of the book, and was set to promote it all over the web. Everything was going well. The owner of the website interviewed me at length and read a part of my book (that included the beginning and middle, but not the end.)
Everything was in place, my date was set, and I was ready. I don’t even remember at this point how it happened, but maybe the website owner read a little more of the book. She emailed me and asked if my book was HEA. I scratched my head as I tried to come up with what HEA meant so I wouldn’t sound unintelligent when I replied. Alas, I had to write back and ask her what HEA was. The answer and the aftermath astounded me.
HEA, it turns out, means happily ever after, where the boy and the girl ride off into the sunset together, all problems resolved. I’m sure some of you are chuckling about this as you know already what HEA means, but I was shocked. This website took romance/mystery books. My book definitely qualified for that. However, in my book there is a tragic accident in the last chapter and one of the main characters meets an untimely death. Turns out it wasn’t HEA. Or was it?
I may hear a lot of flak for saying this, but when a book is family-friendly, suitable for young adults through adults, has a mystery and two people who fall in love, in my estimation it already meets the qualifications of a HEA. Sometimes the HEA doesn’t happen exactly the way we want it to and in my case, the last pages of book one segued into book two. So, although there was some sadness in the ending of book one, the entire book had been uplifting and exuded happiness.
At any point, my book got yanked from the website and I learned a valuable lesson. The website owner was very nice and handled the problem well, giving me other venues to contact and explaining that if I wrote another book that was HEA it would have a place there.
I wasn’t really upset because I learned something new. However, it turns out that my second book had an ending that was unforeseeable and exciting but also sad. I expect the third book will be a HEA (unless I decide to write more books in the series) but I write what I think and what I feel is best for the tone of my books. The place they have in the book world is fine with me because I’ve done all I could to make them the best I can.
What about you? Have you had situations like the one I did? How do you feel about HEA
endings? Is there a UHEA category (unhappily ever after)?
What do you think?
Books by L.Leander:
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You can also find L.Leander here: