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The Issue of HEAs

Yesterday, while celebrating my birthday and the birthday of one of my favourite beta readers, another beta reader asked if Halos was going to have a HEA (happily ever after). The first stated.

“I don’t think it should. One of them have to die”

My other beta reader objected, saying she likes HEA.

“It needs to be a happy ending for the protagonist”

Hmmm. The conundrum. You see, I don’t necessarily believe in HEAs. I do believe in stories ending how they need to. Sometimes, yes there is a happy ending. Sometimes, it doesn’t work right now, but the potential for it to work later is there. Sometimes, it’s just a no.

Warning: Spoiler alert for those who haven’t read Best Man.

Take Best Man for example. Most of the reviews were good, but most of the negative comments centred around the ending. I left it open, for the reader to decide in their imagination if Ethan and Jess could make it work. To me, it was kind of obvious that was going to happen. Jess got on that plane and flew home with a smile on her face. Still, people didn’t like that I didn’t write it out for them. I was asked if there would be a sequel, the answer was no. I liked where it ended. Others didn’t and I wonder if that’s why it didn’t even sell somewhere close to well.

So now I’m left with a slight pressure to give the reader what they want. A happy ending. Not only implied, but printed in black and white. The issue with that, is while Some of my books are romances that end happily, I also write reverse romances. This means that the protagonist starts in the relationship and we follow them through the breakup and the realisation of why that relationship wouldn’t work. Possibly, the protagonist finds love again, possibly not. Should I even bother with these books if no one else is going to like them?

The bigger issue right now, is how will Halos end? Will Katiana get her HEA, and if so, who will it be with? 

The artwork, Winter Gothic by Victoria Frances, which inspired Halos 5 years ago.

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