***First of all, many thanks to Romance Junkies for allowing me to be their guest blogger for the day.
To be or not to be? That is the question.
What question, you ask. Well, let me explain in more detail. To be or not to be happy? Do you, as a reader, require a Happily Ever After? When I did a search on the internet for this question I was astounded at the controversy and in-depth explanations people give of this very subject. The general concensus is that romance has to have an HEA, but there are wide and varied opinions as to what constitutes a happy ending. According to some, the hero and heroine don’t necessarily have to end up together at the end of the story. These people enjoy reading about the emotional roller-coaster ride of relationships and love, but have no problem with the h/h ending up seperate at the end. In fact, they love a good cry. Other readers insist upon a happy ending, they want to be left feeling good and walk away from a book with a smile on their face.
So why the difference in opinions? Does it have to do with personality types? Could your astrological sign influence your desire for HEA or HFN (happy for now)? Do you want the outcome to be a reflection of your own life, or are you reading to escape your own life? Do you need things written in black and white, or are you okay with an open ending where you can fill in the blanks yourself?
My husband and I own a martial arts center and I see kind of the same thing when teaching our students. Some of them need exact details: how, what, why, when, how fast, how slow, how hard. They are true technicians who need specifics and don’t do well when you tell them it depends as much on the energy of the person coming at you. How fast that person is coming, how long their legs are, are they righthanded, lefthanded, kicking, punching, spinning, short, tall…it all comes into play. The more creative people deal well with this and adapt easily to the intangible aspect of the martial arts. In this case, it’s so much a personality thing. I’ve gotten so that I can know a person’s job and their astrological sign and tell you what teaching approach they’ll need on the floor. I’d be curious to know if the same technique applies to people who need the HEA and those who don’t.
Now, that brings me to my next question. As a writer, (I know some of you reading this are writers), do you need to write an HEA ending? Are you comfortable splitting up the hero and heroine to live seperate lives, or, even worse, killing one of them off and leaving the other one grieving for what could have been.
What do I like to read and write, you ask? I could tell you to buy my books and find out, but I know you’re all going to do that anyway You can do that here: www.catherineannecollins.com/books.html My two latest releases finaled in the 2009 Independent Book Publishers Awards and are both great reads. I have to admit, though, that A Witch’s Lament is garnering the most attention because of the Salem witch theme. It seems to be a subject that interests a lot of people.
Okay, self-promotion over, I’ll answer the question. I’m a true believer in a happy ending. I have to put a book down or walk away from a movie feeling good. There’s far too much sadness, pain, gore, and anger in the world. Why not feed the good? After all, what you put out there, not only comes back at you, but can influence others. I would rather make someone feel happy than make them cry. It might not be reality, it might not mirror day to day life, but what the heck, I’m the writer, I can make anything I want happen in my books.
So, tell me, what do you think?
Catherine Anne Collins