Friday, August 10, 2012

Would you like a little slice of real life with your Romance?

I wrote a book. It's called Mourning Jack.

My original intention was for Ade, the narrator to end up with Cal, the man that his dead best friend, Jack,  had asked him to look after, if he was killed in Afghanistan. The story didn't end that way. Sorry. I tried to write Cal back into Ade's life but it just didn't work. The story lost its soul and its spark. I came up with another idea. The story has the All Important Happy Ending but, apparently, it's not the happy ending that some people expect.

There is a rule, it seems, that Character A must have the All Important Happy Ending with Character B. Sorry, but no. Life doesn't always work out like that. I'm an author, I've been kicking around on this old planet for quite a while. I've experienced some horrible lows and some amazing highs and everything in between. I've experienced life. So, when I write my stories, I try to make sure that they reflect real life and real people as much as possible.

Sometimes you meet someone, you fall in love and you think that you'll spend the rest of your life with them, in a little rose-covered cottage in some wonderful, bucolic hideaway. Yes, it happens but, there are plenty of times when it doesn't. That first flush of shag-each-other-senseless passion fades and you may wake up one morning and realise that it ain't gonna work. The person you love doesn't really love you in the way you need or want to be loved. So, you take a deep breath, take that leap in the dark and move on. You find someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. So, instead of Character A sticking with Character B, Character A falls in love with Character C and gets their All Important Happy Ending.

All right, so Character B is at a bit of a loose end, but it happens. Life happens.

Romance shouldn't be all about the All Important Formula. Yes, it's nice, but...let's face it, if you know that Character A and Character B are going to end up together, having survived a breakup, a misunderstanding, a nasty ex, an earthquake, an attack of rabid ferrets...where's the satisfaction in that? Not every couple survives a breakup, a misunderstanding, a nasty ex, an earthquake or an attack of rabid ferrets.

So, Gentle Reader, take that leap in the dark and read something that gives you a glimpse of real life. Who knows? You might like it.


  1. As I said to KC Wells today, if you reduce everything to the couple, you get Barbara Cartland.

  2. So very true. ESPECIALLY the rabid ferrets.

    I personally find books that are so predictable not a lot of fun to read. But I guess there are a lot of readers who read specifically to be comforted by the familiar.