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Monday, November 11, 2013

HEA - what's that all about?

HEA - what's that all about? by Clare London

I’m currently celebrating the release of my new book FLYING COLORS. It’s the fifth book in a kind-of series, starting with True Colors, through 3 sexy shorts called Ambush, Payback and Switch, and now Flying Colors. All the stories feature erotic romance, and elements of sexual tension, drama,theft, danger, angst, joy, misunderstanding, confession and reconciliation. And – of course? – an HEA.

Now most of us know what HEA stands for – Happy Ever After. It’s the mainstay of many a romance novel. And as an author, I love to bring my characters together by the end of the book. Most of my stories are get-togethers, where two apparently unlikely-matched characters are originally at loggerheads, but are forced to work together, and gradually find desire and admiration overcoming their prejudices. With more than a tad of erotic tension, shared danger,and intimacy along the way. *Happy sigh*.

You see, I have an HEA of my own in real life, so I hope I know what I’m talking about. But does that really transalet into fiction? Is an HEA either realistic or achievable? Does life for the protagonists really stop on page 200 with a declaration of love and (probably, for me) another tumble in the hay?!

Hell, I hear you say, no!

Of course, we all know that love - REAL LIFE love - is a journey, not a specified number of chapters. It requires time to mature. The deepest feeling doesn’t always cancel out all the past misunderstandings – or the future ones. A rewarding, fulfilling sex life rarely happens after just one night. Has anyone else had their fair share of bumped noses and awkward wriggling and unstoppable laughter as you get used to each other? The road to HEA is one to travel together, to build shared experiences, to strengthen the core values that made you go gooey for each other in the first place, to create the whole new delight that is a pair.

And all of that has to take place within an author's framework of suspense - crime - villainy - injury - mystery ... ? I'd need a LOT more word count LOL.

So sometimes the end of my book is really only a beginning. The characters are together, but it’s not the end of their adventures and/or struggles. I may not even let them declare love, because in my genre, some of my characters are – you know – tongue-tied men LOL. But I’m sure the readers know where things are going! Even though our characters are *obviously* mad for each other, there are things to sort out before they can really understand and enjoy it to the full. So often, that’s only just beginning as the book fades reluctantly towards “The End”.

But – you may also say – I love my HEA! This is fiction, this is my escape, my pleasure, my vicarious pleasure. Don’t let TOO much reality get in the way.

And that’s why I write it – because I agree wholeheartedly :)

Thanks for dropping in!

(a version of this post also appeared on another blog earlier this month, forgive me if you already read it there but I wanted to explore the theme some more :)) 
Clare London  
Writing ... Man to Man 


J Wachowski said...

So I want to know about *your* HEA. And start with the loggerheads. :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

I relate more to "The End" being really "The Beginning" and I want to know about your HEA, too!

Anne Marie Becker said...

That's why I love fiction...none of that pesky awkwardness. LOL Great post - and so glad you got your HEA...

Rita said...

"So sometimes the end of my book is really only a beginning."
THIS eggzackerly. I like to think it isn't over until it ends how we want it. every person has their own vision.

Toni Anderson said...

I love your HEA!! Also in fiction we tend to out the characters through hell--which accelerates all the boring parts and helps with nose bumping awkwardness :) Great post!

Elise Warner said...

Lovely post. Getting over the bumps in the road keep life and fiction interesting and wait 'til we get to the end.

Clare London said...

*hehe* I've teased you all about my HEA! Hubby and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage, and I've known him even longer - of course, we met when I was a mere child *cough* - and we both feel we have that bone-deep commitment - and sense of humour! - that will last the course for even longer :). But the loggerheads and the exploration and the misunderstandings and the bumped noses continue ... LOL.

I'm glad so many of you agreed with The End being just the start of things :). Maybe that's why authors write series??

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