Sunday, February 16, 2014

I'd Never Do That To You

Picture me with a hand over my heart. Got it? Okay, now hear me say these words: "I will never, ever write a book with a cliffhanger."
   What brought that on? Well, I read a lot. I like action, mystery, romance. I like big names, and not-so-big names. I guess you could say I'm an equal opportunity reader.
   A couple of days ago I finished a romance by a new author. (New to me, at least). The book ended with a deliberate cliff-hanger. The author even went so far as to have a section at the back saying, in effect, nah nah na nah nah, now you'll have to buy the next book.
   Too bad I was alone at the time, because I'd be willing to bet there were little wisps of steam coming out of my ears.
   The result? I'll never, ever, buy a book by that author again. I've gone back and checked the product description in Amazon, and there was no warning that this book was not a stand-alone.
   Cliff hangers aren't necessary. Many authors, including myself, write delightful series, and each story has a satisfying ending. Sure, we'll offer you a look into the next book in the series, and if you liked the first one, we hope that you'll buy the next ones, but if you stop at one book, at least you aren't left hanging. My series The Women of Independence is a good example of that.
   I was so enraged that I swore off romance for a while. I bought a book by an author I hadn't read before and wow! Billy Kring knocked my socks off with Outlaw Road. Non stop action centering around a border patrol agent in Texas. And guess what, ladies? The protagonist is a kick-ass female. I now know of two authors who write kick-ass females. The other is Russell Blake with his Jet series.
   So something good came out of my disappointment. Two things, actually. First, it strengthened my resolve to never, ever write a story that leaves you hanging. The other is that I found a new author.
   Hey... it was a good day after all.

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