When it comes to writing, I’ve always found it extremely hard to try to squish myself into one genre or another. I write emotional stories, I write stories that have suspense, mystery, angst and a lot of love and romance. Sizzling love, connections that zap the senses and leave you craving more. I write stories that I relate to, stories that I would want to read, with endings how I would want them – because I’m a writer and I have that power. Writing is a magical power, and yeah – I want my characters to always have happily ever afters. But sometimes, that doesn’t work with the storyline. It’s sad, and it depresses even me when I’m writing, but it doesn’t change the fact that some happily ever afters just do not go with some storylines.
Do I think that makes my stories any less romantic? No. Why should it? Is the romance diminished simply because the characters couldn’t make it work for whatever reason? No, not at all. The romance is still there, the connection and often times – the want to make it work is still apparent on those pages. But sometimes, a connection and a want to make it work aren’t the only things that will make it work, if you catch my drift. Plus, who knows what the future will bring? Second chance loves are the best kind, because you know the connection is still there and by the time you’re ready to give it a go again, you often know what went wrong the first time and you’re able to face that head on.
I love love stories of all kinds. Love stories with a happily ever after, love stories with a tragic ending where something fell just a little short. I love love. I love connections between people, and I love how love can change those characters.
When I was younger, I fell in love. I thought that falling in love and having all those romantic firsts, like Allie and Noah in The Notebook, made it a forever thing. I didn’t realize that eventually, people grow and change, and some of them grow and change away from one another. I didn’t realize that some love fades to a fraction of what it was. Does that make the magic of falling in love any less magical? You try to tell that to the seventeen-year-old girl I was, sitting on a boat in the dark of night, looking in to pale eyes illuminated by moonlight and feeling very much on the cusp of something wonderful. Love has a magic…even if it’s not the forever kind of love.
I believe all kinds of love deserve celebration – your first crush…that first boy you couldn’t get out of your head. Then the boy who pushed that first boy completely out of your head and made you feel what it felt like to love and be loved, then the heartbreak of that not lasting – because the bitter truth is that sometimes, it doesn’t last. The lessons you learned from those boys, and the hesitant way you gave your heart again…this time to the forever, to the one who got down on one knee – the one who makes everything else prior feel like child’s play.
But sometimes? That love fades too. You could mean with utmost certainty the words you utter when you whisper “I do” at the alter, but then several years goes by and for whatever reason…that love diminishes. Or maybe it’s not the love that diminishes at all, maybe it’s just the desire to try – the desire to walk hand in hand with someone. Maybe something in you shifts and makes you see clearly that what you have is not what you need, and so you quest onward to find out what it is you need.
But that love you walk away from, it still matters. It was still love – still romance. You felt it in the moment, you felt it in every nerve ending. For years, it fueled you and it inspired you. Something changed, but that doesn’t cheapen what it was. It also doesn’t mean that you will never find love again.
A lot of people don’t agree with my stance – romance should end with the couple being together, they say. And that doesn’t bode well with me. I promised myself that I would write authentically, that I wouldn’t cheapen my story and throw in a HEA when it wasn’t suited.
I know that a lot of people need the HEA because they feel denied of that simplicity in real life. I can relate to that. I wish that everything was happily tied up with a neat little bow when the credits roll. I wish that forevers truly were forevers, but I have a darkness in me and that darkness knows that in the end – there is no forever, but there is love and all love matters to me, all love is worthy of romance.
That doesn’t mean that every single book I write or will write will have a terribly sad ending of the couples not getting their happily ever after – far from it. In fact, all my stories end up having happy endings, it just takes a little longer to get there, and it’s not always what you expect, either.
This is why I don’t and can’t summarize myself as strictly a romance writer. I am many sub genres rolled into one and I personally think that’s beautiful. I love it when an author manages to surprise me. I love it when the ending to a story makes sense, even if it’s a little sad and tragic.
In the beautiful words of John Green; “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.“