Why does a reader crave a happy ending in a romance? And what makes for a happily ever after ending?
Even though I’m an author of romance and erotic romance, and am supposed to know about those miracle happy endings, my personal experience, up to about ten years ago, was romance (usually THE END part) equates with hurt feelings and a sense of wanting more. I’d ask, “Wanting more of what?” The answer came to me after I read a Diana Palmer novel, and spent the whole afternoon crying. Why couldn’t I have a love story like that? I’ve never forgotten that book, and once I had my ‘happily ever after’ ending, I started to enjoy romance.
I read and read - everything from Harlequin to single title romance, although I’d rarely read romance before 2000, and tended to focus on fantasy, science fiction, and mystery. The first novel I wrote was a hard-boiled private eye novel which won an Honorable Mention. How cool is that?
In 2001, I decided to write an erotic romance and was immediately faced with what comes between the beginning where the hero and heroine meet each other and the end where the pair are supposed to live happily ever after? I mean, I’m looking around me at the couples I know, and very few of them are living that happy ever after ending. They’re squabbling continually about petty things like finances and more important things like ‘who’s going to get the kids for the weekend?’ Yeah, sadly, there’s divorce in there. Not a happy ending, is it?
With the characters in my novels, I get to choose their circumstances, how incompatible the sexy hero and swooning heroine are, and the events that will lead them gradually closer to each other, physically and emotionally, although in erotic romance the physical part is very important. (You know the kind where the hero and heroine make love to each other?
I look at the characters first. Usually they’re male and female, although I have a novel in progress that has two males and a female. We all have a quirk in our make-up that often leads to problems with others. Me, I’m very independent, and my heroines usually are too. If she meets with an alpha male, then there is war in the happenings! Two independent people can’t have a happily ever after ending, can they? But that’s the whole fun about writing erotic romance. The characters make love to each other and fundamentally, both change as they learn about the other. In my upcoming novella, Fantasies, due to be released by Total-E-Bound on December 15, I have two couples who are both trying to find their way with not only the world at large, and themselves, but with each other. The journey takes place in a Christmas setting and as Hanna and Carla make their journey of self-discovery, they must also battle with a problem that many face in their quest for love. Is an older man or woman the right partner for a younger one? What challenges do they face if they decide marriage or staying together is a long-term option? I had fun writing Fantasies and made certain that Carla and Hanna, the mother and daughter looking for love, found it in an unexpected man. And there it is, a happy ending in the making!
Aurora Rose Lynn