Emoting over Books

1f972Nicola here. I’m in deadline territory so I’ve dusted down and added to a blog piece from 9 years ago on a topic that really interests me – books that make us cry. This is intended to be a cheerful blog, not a miserable one. It’s not about the latest craze in what has been dubbed “sad girl books” which are apparently about millennial women who are unhappy in their lives. I haven’t read any and the present time isn’t the right moment for me to start. No, it’s about authentic emotion and the way that can touch us.

A while ago I spent a day on writing retreat with a very good friend of mine, also a romance writer. Over lunch, we got chatting about the books that make us cry. We weren’t talking about those books that drive us to tears of frustration as we’re writing them although there are plenty of those. Nor were we discussing “misery lit”. We were talking as readers about the scenes that can make us cry every time we read them, even though we know them back to front and word for word. Not all of our favourites were romance books although some of them were. Others were thrillers, crime stories, even biographies.

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What Happened Next?

Sneha Wikimedia Common

Sneha Wikimedia Commons

Christina here. I’m totally addicted to Happy-Ever-After endings and absolutely refuse to read books that end badly or even just so-so. I want the full-on fairy tale everyone-is-happy-and-get-what-they-deserve kind of ending in everything I read or write. That means I’m also the kind of reader who LOVES epilogues. I really like finding out that everything has turned out OK in the hero and heroine’s lives, and I enjoy knowing every little detail the author cares to add. But only in their immediate future – I don’t need to know what happens during the rest of their lives.

In real life, very few people ever do get a HEA.  Happy for now, or happy sometimes, with ups and downs, is more normal of course, but when I leave characters I’ve spent many hours with, I want to picture them at their happiest. What happens years down the line doesn’t matter, because I won’t know. Or will I?

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