Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Endings in a World That Doesn't Always Have Them

As I write this, news is coming in about someone shooting up a movie theater in Colorado, a writer friend is ill, and some horrible website is putting up personal information of book reviewers online and compromising their safety. There is some really ugly stuff going on in the real world ... and I am sitting here writing romance novels.

By definition, romances end happily, either "ever after" or "for now." I once had someone say to me: "But that's not what life is like!"


I can't wallow in all the awful things that get thrown into the atmosphere every day. I know how depressed it will make me. I read romances to give myself an out, a place to escape the evil. I write romances to hopefully bring those moments to someone else.

I'm not kidding myself. After a romance novel ends, I'm sure the happy couple will go on to fight about bills and deal with screaming babies and face evenings of less-than-satisfactory sex, but for now, I can read about passion fulfilled and hurdles overcome. I know that the good guys will win between the covers (and under them, hehe), when just outside my window that's not always the case.

Still, I do read books without happy endings. I can say I found them "incredible" or "profound" or "gut-wrenching." It is hard, however, to call them "wonderful," and I likely won't talk about them with a smile on my face. I might recommend them, but with caveats. Often, after finishing one, I'm left feeling uneasy or hollow. I have a need to fill myself with positivity. 

I whole-heartedly believe in karma. Putting good into the universe will create more good, whether it's from stories, or outward goodwill or just benevolent thoughts.

That moment I wrap up a novel, and the action and characters and plot all come together, is a joyous occasion. Even if some things in the characters' world have changed, and not necessarily for the better, I know that they've persevered and survived, and they will be rewarded justly. I can only pray that the real world might one day be the same.

What about you? Why do you read romance? Do you find that books can change your mood or mindset?

All my best,


Pat Cochran said...

I guess reading romance is
an integral part of my stroll
down life's path as I search
for that which is right and
positive. It just might be my
love of the printed word and
the stories and books written
using those words. Or it may
be both. Whichever it is, I
will continue on down that
printed path!

Pat C.

Eli Yanti said...

i love reading romance because can make me : smirk, blush smile and laugh :). and yes, sometimes it can change my mood :)

love the cover :)

Kathleen O said...

A good romance book can change my mood in an instant.. I have some suthors I go to that I know are going to give me that happy feeling I need at the time.. Or maybe I need a Hot spicy sexy romance to take me a way from it all... I am a lover of HEA and romance books give me that what ever I am reading... It may take the time to get there but in the end it alawys does.

Jen B. said...

I am affected by the books I read. I find that I am more somber when the book I am reading is somber or I feel that the characters are being unfairly treated. By the same token, when I am reading a laugh out loud story, I am more bubbly and bouyant. I don't need HEA or HFN to whole heartedly recommend a book. Some of my favorites are books that made me walk away and think. Have you read The Woman In Black? The end made me shiver and I dropped the book and walked away. I recommend it to everyone (not the movie, the book). I also loved the book White Heat by MJ McGrath. Certainly, no happy ending there but the main character is so appealing and the story so compelling that I don't need the HFN/HEA to have it work for me. I love this topic. Talking with my friends about it gives me insight into their psyche and allows us to share personal thoughts and feelins (without getting too personal).