Thursday, December 03, 2009

Guest Blogger: Annie West

The Playground is tickled to welcome Presents author Annie West to the blog today. (Annie is also our guest in the Sandbox this month, so you can really get to know this fab Aussie author!) Everyone here is a sucker for a happy ending, right? Well, Annie is talking about just that today..


‘The End’

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for having me over at The Writing Playground. This is my first visit and I’m thrilled to be here!

I thought I’d talk briefly about endings, wrapping things up and making them tidy. Maybe because Christmas is in the air. Or maybe because I’m almost (so close yet it seems so far) from the point of handing in my current story. I’ve done some of the hard work but the hardest is yet to come – rewriting the ending. After all, typing ‘the end’ on a book is enormously satisfying, especially when a writer sometimes has doubts if she’ll ever get there.

I’m a girl who loves happy ever afters. I adore that sigh-worthy finale to a book that makes you sink into your chair with pleasure. I dislike movies that end suddenly, without resolving issues, leaving you feeling stranded, high and dry. If I’ve invested my time into a book (or a film for that matter) the end is the pay off for me. OK, so I don’t need to know precisely how many children the hero and heroine will have and whether they decorated their home in pastels or vibrant colours, but I do like to know all the issues have been resolved. In a romance that means that they each admit their feelings (even if heroes may be a bit laconic about it), they confront their issues and find a way to move forward together.

I’ve been waiting right through the story, hanging on every word through tense scenes, following the highs and lows of a rollercoaster ride that’s full of emotions, surprises and doubts. Hopefully it’s been a nail biting ride – after all I want my money’s worth. Is it any wonder I, and other readers, want to luxuriate in an ending that not only wraps up the story but resolves all doubts?

This is where I’ve run into trouble with my current manuscript. I wrapped up the issues OK, but I was galloping along so fast, trying to get it down between major interruptions. The result: I rushed it. Yes, there was emotion, but really, it needed more layers, more depth. There wasn’t enough to really hit the reader with the intensity of the hopes and fears and finally the joy that I was trying to deliver. It didn’t live up to the promise of the earlier chapters. So, I’m revising to get it right before I send it to my editor.

I think it’s because by the time I get to the final chapter I feel a little like a horse who’s been out on a long trek and sees its home paddock ahead. I pick up pace, I become focused on where I’m going and I don’t take as much time as I should to enjoy the scenery as I go. Do horses enjoy scenery? Well, you know what I mean!

Having said all that, I can report there’s enormous satisfaction in going back and fixing this. The bones of the ending are there. It’s just fleshing out the all important emotional detail. Normally I aim to write all of that together, but at least this means I know where I’m headed and what I have to do. And, fingers crossed, it seems to be working. My poor heroine is having a terrible time. So is my hero. Great! That way we’ll really enjoy it when they overcome the obstacles between them.

I’ve always been a fan of a terrific beginning in a story. Yet, as I think about endings I realise some of the strongest scenes come at the conclusion of a story. Think about Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, going off with his old foe/friend Claude Rains, talking about ‘the beginning of a beautiful friendship’. Just after he’s given up the woman he loves because he believes it’s the right thing to do. Or the memorable ‘Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn’ at the end of Gone with the Wind. Or the destruction of Manderley in Rebecca.

Are you someone who loves the delicious wait till the end? Do you enjoy not knowing how a story is going to be resolved? Or do you do as one reader I’ve met and read the ending before you start the story? Do you want a long, slow ending, or do you prefer a short sharp scene with maximum impact? A fan of epilogues or not? Or maybe you like a twist of surprise in the tail. Do you have favourite endings you’d like to share?

To make it enticing to share, I’ll offer a copy of my December Harlequin Presents Extra release: BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE to one person who contributes to the discussion. Easy! If you want to find out more about the book visit my website or go to eHarlequin where you can read the opening. I’m happy to say I can guarantee Dario and Alissa get their happy ever after ending.


49 comments:

Authorness said...

Hi, Annie! Congrats on your latest Presents release.

I sometimes do rush toward the end when reading a good book, but I would never spoil it for myself by reading the last page first!

Good luck in rewriting your ending! For me, endings are the hardest part. I was a pantser for many years and had no idea of how to end my stories. As a result, I've got a lot of unfinished manuscripts gathering cobwebs.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, congratulations on your latest U.S. release. As you know, BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE is one of my favorite stories of yours. So much passion and emotion and oh, dear, you made me cry! Not to mention the gorgeous Dario - as yummy as pistachio gelato but considerably hotter!

You're right about hitting the end being a moment of great satisfaction. I had to rewrite the ending of my latest manuscript too - I was concentrating on all the loose ends and not on the fact that these people were now contemplating a joyous future together. It really is a balancing act, isn't it? Think I got it right in the rewrites!

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Annie

Oooo, I hate that "short-changed" feeling at the end of some books too. If I've put in the effort to read and get involved with the characters, I want it all tidied up in a neat package. Obviously I love the happily-ever-after of romance but it's not just that. I've read a couple of books where I've got to the end and suddenly, to finish it off, the author pulls a rabbit out of a hat... when I didn't even know there was a hat there in the first place! Foul play, I say! LOL

Anyway good luck with your latest story. I'm sure it's be another Annie West winner! Can't wait!

:)
Sharon

Annie West said...

Hi Authorness. Yes, it's thrilling to have Dario and Alissa's story out now, especially since I've just received a series of nice emails from readers about it. As I wrote this blog I thought about their final scene and how satisfying it was to write (and hopefully to read!). It was a great feeling to stop and think - Yes!

Hey, nothing wrong with being a pantser (or an organic writer - which sounds quite pleasant, I think). I'm the same. I think my problem in the case of the book I'm working on now wasn't that I didn't know how it would end but that I wanted to get through it quickly. Lazy, in other words (or, actually, battling too many interruptions to concentrate properly - that's my excuse!).

Commisserations on the unfinished mss. Can you resurrect any of them? Maybe there are some ideas you could rework and finish.

Annie West said...

Hi Anna, you must have popped in while I was typing. Great to see you here. So glad you enjoyed Dario and Alissa. Hm, Dario as yummy as pistachio gelato but hotter. Can I quote you on that? I'm sure that would attract readers. Actually, I think he's one of my sexier heroes. But then he was my first Sicilian hero and I did do considerable research.

Commisserations on the rewrite of your ending. It can be difficult, can't it? You need to make sure everything essential goes in but more than that it has to be satisfying too. As you say, it's a real balancing trick.

Annie West said...

Sharon, I'm smiling at your analogy about pulling a rabbit out of a hat you didn't even know was there. It's so annoying, isn't it? As if everything that went before didn't matter. I've noticed that a bit in movies recently. Or ones that end simply because they had to end but nothing is really resolved. Gr. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do think a story needs a decent ending. Fingers crossed I can deliver on this current project. I'm getting close.

Authorness said...

Oh, 'organic writer' sounds much classier than 'panster'! I may be able to revive those old books some day. It's going to take a lot of elbow grease, that's for sure.

Great to hear you're getting fan mail for Dario and Alissa's story!

~ Vanessa

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa,

Glad you liked 'organic writer'. I was very taken with it when some New Zealand writers mentioned it. As you say, it does sound classier and a lot less messy!

Good luck reviving those old stories. You never know what you can use from old mss.

Yes, I'm thrilled to get such positive responses to Dario and Alissa. It's lots of fun.

Helen said...

Hi Annie
I too loved Dario and Alissa's story your heros are to die for and I do love your endings I love it when an author wraps everything up with a fantastic HEA and I am a fan of epilogues. I always get very close to the hero and heroine in a story and love to learn more.
Anna I have to agree Dario is as yummy as pistachio gelato LOL.

Have Fun
Helen

Annie West said...

Hi Helen,

Ooh, what lovely feedback. Thank you! Hm, who'd have guessed that Dario could be as popular as pistachio gelato? Actually, another writer friend and I once played a game of working out what ice cream flavor our heroes are. My current hero is definitely all rich dark chocolate and cashews. (G).

I see you enjoy epilogues. They can be so satisfying, can't they? I've just recently written my first as I couldn't resist giving a quick snapshot of what came next!

Maureen said...

I think I remember endings more than beginnings and I prefer the endings that slowly resolve everything instead of an abrupt ending.

MargaretM said...

Hi Annie,

After all the tension, conflict and passion of a Presents I love the warm glow of a great ending and your wonderful stories always supply it.
I have no doubts your current story will be wonderful.
Cheers, Margaret Midwood

Problem Child said...

Welcome Annie!

I insist on a happy ending. I guess that's why I'm only reading romances these days! I can't trust non-romance books not to decide to have someone die or something at the end.

Karen Robards' SCANDALOUS was such a fab book, but when I got to the point where there were only a few pages between me and the back cover and I couldn't see HOW she was going to get the hero and heroine together for their HEA... Let's just say I was already mentally composing my complaint letter! :-) Thankfully, it all turned out okay.

I'm mixed on epilogues. Sometimes I think I need them, just to be sure the H/H have really overcome all those obstacles in the book. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe I do like epilogues -- 3 of my first 5 books have epilogues!

Smarty Pants said...

Hey, Annie. Welcome. Wow, you must've brought some Aussies on a different time zone with you!

I don't rush toward the end when I write. I think its because of the complexities of the emotional baggage. It slows me down. Writing the scene where the hero realizes he's a jerk and he really loves her is like pulling teeth for me. Sometimes I will just skip that scene (I know how it works out, after all) and write the conclusion, then go back and fill in all the emotional stuff later. My characters don't really emote. :)

As for epilogues, I like a well written one that really has a point - not just that they're married and she's pregnant and isn't that nice - but to have some sort of real resolution between them that's value added.

Playground Monitor said...

Welcome, welcome! I absolutely insist on a happy ending. Like Problem Child I read romance almost exclusively. I like epilogues. They're brief peeks into the future to assure the reader the HEA was for real and didn't just last for 90 minutes after "The End."

It took me several years to figure out the ending to the book I wrote last year. And it had an epilogue. Heck, it took me five years to write it. I'm hoping the next one doesn't take that long but at the rate things are going...

Lynn Raye Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Annie! Everything you just said, I emphatically agree. I've gotten into a bad habit of galloping toward that end and being so tired of the ride that I just want to get there. Though I must say that I'm not smart enough to figure it out on my own. It's usually my editor who has to tell me I rushed it. :)

Can't wait to read this new book of yours!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh, that was me who deleted a post. Posted under wrong ID....

Kathy said...

Welcome to the playground, Annie. I love your books and am always pleased with the HEA at The End. ;)

Epilogues are cool. They give me one more chance to get a glimpse into the HEA of the h/h. Especially nice when you never wanted the book to end.

My problem is I tend to drag out the book, delay the writing because I don't want to leave my characters. I really have to learn how to let go. :D Any tips?

You've written about very hunky heroes and spitfire heroines. Where do you get your ideas? Do characters just come to you or have you traveled to the places you've written about and come up with ideas during your travels?

Also, what is it you most like about the Presents line?

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hello, ladies. Please don't send me books until I'm more caught up around here!

I wanted to drop in and let you know I've posted this at Win a Book. Thanks for the e-mail heads-up!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Wavubg and sending hugs Annie. I adored this book and yes it certainly had a very intense beginning but the ending, well let's just say a tear jerker.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and hope Santa is good to you! xx

To the Playground, Happy, Happy, Merry and Ho Ho, it's been such an enjoyable time at the Playground this year! xxxxx

Virginia said...

Congrats Annie on your new release! I don't rush to the end I don't want to know what happens to the end! Sometimes I like the little twist or suprises in the end. Also love a slow ending! It all depends on my mood!

Annie West said...

Morning everyone! I can see you've all be awake for a while - how lovely to wake to comments to read. I can't wait. Here on Australia's east coast it's very early in the morning, so here's hoping my comments make sense and aren't full of typos!

Annie West said...

Hi Maureen. What you say is so interesting - about enjoying endings more than beginnings. That's got me wondering. With my foggy morning brain I think that with movies it's definitely the ending I remember. With romance books it's often the beginning that I recall first. I wonder why? I'll have to ponder this a little more. I'm definitely with you though on having slow endings. They seem so much more satisfying.

Annie West said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks so much for your lovely comments, and your faith in my endings! See, this is why I MUST get the ending of this ms right! It is a warm glow at the end of a Presents, or any romance, isn't it? That's one of the reasons I love them. One of the reasons, too, I want to reach out for another good romance again and again. I'm sure that feel good sensation is addictive!

Annie West said...

Hi Problem Child. Yes, I read romances more and more these days, because I want that HEA. I just read some mysteries which were beautifully written, real gems, but as they were part of a series and the hero was a lone wolf investigator, in each book he fell in love and each time the woman was doomed! Couldn't have a lone wolf for the next book with a woman in tow!

'Scandalous' sounds interesting. I'll have to look out for it. Yes, I get edgy if I'm nearing the end and there's no sign of a resolution. Wrapping everything up in a couple of pages doesn't usually do it for me.

Ah, interesting that you're an epilogue girl. I've come to them more slowly. Generally I like to end a book on a high point and sometimes an epilogue doesn't achieve that. They have to be well written. Maybe I was scared to try one? I've just written one for my 11th book (though I didn't call it that) and now one for the current ms.

Annie West said...

Hi Smarty Pants. It's lovely to be here. Yes, we Aussies started early here. I posted news of this blog on Facebook.

I'm fascinated that you sometimes avoid the scene where the hero realises what he's done wrong because it's like pulling teeth, then skip to the conclusion. If anything, I'm the opposite. I love diving in to the meaty emotional stuff usually. It's the very end I need to be careful with. Once I know so much has been resolved, it's too easy to skim the ending. I've trained myself not to do that - except this time (G).

Great point about epilogues adding some value through a further resolution.

Annie West said...

Ooh, Playground Monitor, 5 years to work out the ending and finish the book? That's hard! I hope the current one picks up pace for you.

I sometimes don't know the ending when I start a book. Ha! With my 'Blackmailed Bride' I had no idea! I was writing an article and got an idea for an example I could use to illustrate a point. I used the example - a bride who felt sick with distress going to her wedding - then got distracted wondering why. I hypothesized she had a fear of marriage because of something in her past but HAD to marry. Being a writer, I then thought about making it worse - what if she'd organised an arranged marriage with a man she trusted so they can get the inheritance she needs, only to find he's stood her up? What if instead, waiting her her, is the one man on earth she absolutely never wants to see, talk to, associate with, much less wed? Of course by then I knew I had to write Alissa and Dario's story but I had no idea where it would take me.

I hope this time your ending is a breeze and that it comes to you early in the book.

Annie West said...

Hi Lynn Raye,

It's lovely to see you. Great too, to have another 'galloper' to keep me company. Actually, it always used to be my long suffering crit partner who'd pick up this problem in my mss. Then I learnt it was an area I really had to be careful of so I'd take my time writing the wind down to the story. For the last several books it hasn't been a problem at all! This time I knew I had troubles as I raced to get it down and she confirmed it. At least I know where to put my energies!

Annie West said...

Kathy, thanks for the welcome. It's a very friendly place to visit. Thanks too for the kind words on my books. I'm so glad the HEAs are up to standard!

You drag out the writing? Do you mean you avoid writing when you get near the end or that you write too much? Hm, I've never had that problem (G)! When I'm near the end I want it done. In my head the problems are sorted so I want it all down on paper.

A couple of things come to mind. One is having another story you want to write. There's nothing like having a gripping new story to tell, to make you want to finish. The other is having a deadline. If not to get the ms to an editor or agent, then to submit it to a contest, or if one doesn't suit, just a date on your calendar by which point it will be done. Of course there's always bribery. 'If I get this book finished by date x I get the massage I've craved for so long' - or the new shoes or the week reading your tbr pile.

Some times that feeling of attachment to characters can mask a fear of finishing because hey, if you've finished, you have to do something with the ms, AND you have to dive into a new story. If you truly love them, you'll wrap up their HEA so they can go off and enjoy themselves. I know it's crazy, but I know all my heroes and heroines are happily living in their worlds, growing a bit older together, maybe expecting children, and so on.

And you can always revisit them in a follow up book. They might make an appearance or be a friend of someone in a later story. They needn't be completely gone!

Annie West said...

Hi Kathy, you asked such intriguing questions that my response got too long. Thought I'd start afresh with another question. What do I like most about Presents? The emotion. Absolutely. I guess it's that emotional punch editors refer to.

From my first days of reading these books I was drawn by the fact that I FELT so much. I experienced the heroine's highs and lows and when she got her happy ending, I felt that warm glow Margaret mentioned. I read lots of different romances but I come back again and again to Presents as a reader because of the intensity of the experience. Plus there are other things that appeal. Strong sexy heroes who are used to success but are flummoxed when faced by one special woman who gets under their skin and in their way. Heroines who face terrible situations with honesty and grace and strength. Exotic settings, a touch of glamour, but of course above all, a love story that's all high stakes. Miranda Lee once described Presents as the grand opera of romance. It hones in on the really powerful emotions and it goes straight for the jugular (my words there, not hers). I think that experience of living through such emotion and getting that satisfying ending is cathartic and, as I mentioned before, wonderfully addictive.

Annie West said...

Hi Marilyn, it's great to see you here! Hey, you found the end of BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE a tear jerker too? So did I. But in a nice way! I was really pleased with it when I wrote it. But of course I had no idea if others would feel the same way.

Thanks for the Christmas wishes. I've tried to be good so hopefully Santa will leave a gift or two. Preferably readable gifts! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well.

Kathy said...

"Some times that feeling of attachment to characters can mask a fear of finishing because hey, if you've finished, you have to do something with the ms"

Busted! And it's more like avoidance because I know that once I'm done, I will have to face rejection. But I'm getting better with this as I go along.

Also, the pull of a new book is hard to resist. I have plenty of ideas. That's not the problem. What stalls is wanting to leave a project to start another.

I like the idea of rewarding myself with shoes! And I've used contests to help motivate me.

Thanks, Annie!! You've given me food for thought. :D

Kathy said...

I love Alpha heroes! That's what appeals to me with Presents. I incorporate Alpha heroes into my historicals. ~sigh~ If I did write contemporaries, however, I would chose Presents. Love 'em.

What I really love about an Alpha hero is a man with deeply hidden scars. Introducing a heroine who can heal those scars makes for fine reading, indeed. You do that so well, Annie!!

Annie West said...

Hi Virginia, you sound like a woman who really savours her endings! Good on you. I have to say in films especially I don't mind a twist, so long as it's something that's been seeded through the story.

Annie West said...

Ah, Kathy, so it IS avoidance? In that case let me say tritely that if you really care for these characters you'll let them go (G)! At least don't talk about being too attached to them. That just feeds your excuse mechanism. Gee, it's fun giving other people advice!

As for the pull of another story interfering, then why don't you write the idea down in a book so that you've saved the snippet of dialogue, the plot outline or whatever then come back to it when you've finished the current project. That way, after some time has gone by, you may find also that you see the potential holes in the plot before you start it.

I often used to find that as I neared the end of one book I had another opening I just had to write. It threatened to distract me. Often I found that the best way out was to allow myself time off to write the first chapter of the new idea then put it aside. Yes, I had to be strong not to continue. After I'd given myself that treat (see, obviously I'm into bribery) I'd go back and finish my original story. I didn't have that fear niggling at me that I'd lose the new idea and, after a little break away I felt refreshed and ready to finish. The time away meant I could see more clearly where I was going with the almost-finished book. Plus, when I went back to the new chapter, I saw that with fresh eyes too and could more easily improve it before I moved on.

I don't do that as much now as my deadlines mean I have to work hard to get each book in on time. But I do have a chapter of another book written that I had to put off while I wrote a continuity story. Every so often I think of what a treat it will be to explore that story too.

Annie West said...

Kathy, I'm with you on the alpha heroes. The ones that really are heroic. As you say, those deeply hidden scars work so well too. My current hero has them, poor dear. Actually, now I think about it, Dario in my current release has them too. The scene where Alissa finds out about them is really wrenching (at least it was to write).

Alpha heroes go so well in historical stories. I think with a setting in the past it can sometimes be far easier to show the take charge, leader side to a hero. Lots of scope there. Do you enjoy writing them as much as reading them?

Annie West said...

Kathy, I just realised I hadn't answered one of your questions. Sorry. You asked about where I get ideas. I wish I knew!

I mentioned in one of my comments here about how the idea for BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE came out of an article I was writing. Other times characters or situations pop into my head. Or a title. I've written a few because I had a title and I wanted to find out what the story was. For ages I had the title 'The Unwanted Wife' in the back of my head. It took me ages to work out why she was unwanted. I asked friends too and it was strange how, whenever they answered I knew that wasn't right for my story even though I didn't have the story. Fortunately I finally worked it all out and wrote the book. Of course the title changed (The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife) but that didn't matter.

Occasionally I've written a book because I wanted to try a particular theme, like my first sheikh book or a reunion story.

Yes, I definitely draw on places I know as settings for my stories. Or if I'm writing a fictitious place, then I draw on a range of places. But I also do other research too. Right now I have gorgeous postcards of old libraries and European castles and gothic churches with stained glass windows on the cork board beside me - places I've been that help bring my current setting to life in my head.

Hey, thanks for the compliment. I love the idea of writing hunky heroes and spitfire heroines!

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,

I enjoyed your interview...would enjoy reading this wonderful book...thanks for the opportunity.

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Annie West said...

Hi Karen,

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. It was fun to do. Glad you enjoy the sound of my latest release too!

Malvina said...

I need a happy ending, a good solid wrap up with all ends tied up and a firm optimistic future ahead. I even love (gasp) epilogues with schmaltzy fast forwards with the hero and heroine gambolling around with their children in a few years, and such. But really, all I ask for in an ending is to be able to put the book down with a sigh and a smile. That means the book's worked, LOL.

Annie West said...

Hi Malvina,

Oh, yes, the promise of an optimistic future! That sums it up, doesn't it. And as for the sigh and the smile - absolutely! I'm sure that's why we read romance. Surely something that makes you feel so good is actually good for you!

Thanks for taking time to comment.

chey said...

Hi Annie. Congrats on your latest release!

I like not knowing how the story is going to end.

I enjoy epilogues and long slow, endings.

Michelle Douglas said...

Annie, you're a girl after my own heart, I utterly adore long satisfying endings. I love luxuriating in them as a reader... and weirdly enough as a writer too. After all of that will-I-ever-finish-this-book angst, suddenly I'm there and I love to wallow in it for a bit :-)

As for epilogues - well, I adore the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice which is, in effect, an epilogue.

I will admit I love shock endings too. Funnily enough I've just finished reading Rebecca, and the image of Manderley burning at the end is unbelievably powerful.

Annie West said...

Hi Chey!

The way you say 'long slow endings' sounds so relaxing. I wish I could enjoy one right now. Isn't it good when you're not sure how the story will work out? As long as you get that HEA, of course!

Annie West said...

Ah, Michelle, you're a better woman than I am - I don't want to linger writing and ending. I want it done! Sometimes I feel I should make a list of all the points I need to include and the issues that need to be wrapped up but I find I work better if I just concentrate on the character's emotions and then go back to check I've got it all.

I wonder if Manderley burning is so powerful because it's almost a character in the book?

Hope you've got a long, lovely ending to enjoy right now.

Annie West said...

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say what fun it's been visiting you here. Best of luck with your writing, and of course with choosing great books to read!

Annie

Merri said...

Well I’ve already been lucky enough to read Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife and as you know I absolutely loved it. It was perfectly balanced with a very satisfying ending. I’m definitely someone who loves the journey, to begin at the beginning, savour the build that carries me to the middle and sit back and relax while the author delivers the ending she envisioned for her characters. Reading the ending first would totally ruin the journey for me, but I do like an epilogue, especially for pregnancy/baby stories. I always like to know how it ends for the couple when they become a family.

One of my favourite book endings is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Not very original I know, but it IS a great ending. And another book ending is Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant. As a child, I cried when the Selfish Giant died, but my tears soon died when I learned he went to heaven. For a film ending, Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr comes to mind. It was very sweet, very romantic and very satisfying…very much like the ending in Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife.

I don't doubt you'll find the perfect ending for your latest book, which I'm looking forward to reading :)

Annie West said...

Hi Merri,

Thanks for the lovely words about BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE. It's great to hear such feedback, and especially that the ending worked for you. Let's face it, if you enjoy a book and the end lets it down, it spoils the experience.

Great collection you've got there of good endings. I haven't seen 'Hope Floats' so I'll keep my eyes open for it. As for the Selfish Giant, that was a tear jerker, definitely. Must go back and reread.