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Why sad endings are important

We’ve all seen that movie. We’ve all read that book. The one where our protagonist doesn’t “get the girl (or boy)” or their happy ever after. Maybe they learn from the story, maybe they don’t, but either way, the end isn’t hopeful or positive.

Before we go any further, let me just say that happy endings are my favorite thing. They’re incredibly important to me personally for the sense of closure provided. If I fall in love with the characters in the story, all I want is for them to be happy by the end. It’s satisfying to me, especially in a romance, to know that these characters have found happiness together.

Which is why I’m here to talk about how important sad endings are. Sure, there are people who say that sad endings are important because “life isn’t all sunshine and roses, cupcake, so get used to it”, but that’s not what I think.

Life is hard enough. We deserve happiness in the media we consume because real life can be a bitch and sometimes we need a reminder that good things still happen.

So why are sad endings important?

One of the reasons is because for me as a creator, sad endings inspire me to fix what went wrong in the story. They drive me to explore what could have been, the different avenues that would lead to an eventual happy ending in one way or another.

“Fix-it fic” is one of the most important aspects of fan culture there is, for me. There are so many ways to change the story, massage the ending, give these characters we love the happiness we feel they deserve. Not only that, but working within a known universe can give your own writing a boost. It’s a safe way to flex your writing muscles and play with prose, and you have a built-in audience if you decide to share it with the world.

But it also bleeds over into your own original work. “X didn’t get a happy ending in ___ so my character will.” We can be inspired to create joy even when what you saw or read has no bearing on your own story.

So go ahead and watch that sad movie, and when it’s over, wipe your eyes and sit down at your computer and tell us how it should have ended.

 

When I’m Not Writing

As much as I would love to, I can’t write 100% of the time that I’m conscious. It takes a lot of brainpower to make the words go, and having a full-time job as well as children tends to cut into my writing time.

When I’m not writing, I’m usually watching a movie, either with friends or on my own, baking, or reading. If you want to write, the very best way to do that is to read. Not just good stuff, either. Good writers are essential to helping you carve out your own style, but quite often a bad writer can be just as helpful in teaching you what not to do.

So for good authors, I’ll read Chuck Wendig and Maggie Stiefvater and Stephen King and Tanya Huff, and I also try to find a new author I haven’t read at least a couple of times a month. I’ve discovered some really great stuff this way, and reading other people’s stories is a wonderful way to recharge my brain so that I can come back to my own writing rarin’ to go. And even when I read a real stinker, well… that can be helpful too, in a different way.

Interview with author Heidi Belleau

Michaela

Thank you so much for talking to me today, I’m super excited to sit down and get to know you a little better! To get started, would you mind introducing yourself for my readers?

Heidi

With pleasure! I’m Heidi Belleau, a queer romance author from Edmonton, Alberta. I’m the author of DEAD RINGER, the REAR ENTRANCE VIDEO series, and THE BURNT TOAST B&B among others.

Michaela

DEAD RINGER is one of my favorite gay romances, I have to say it. What are you working on now that you’re really excited about?

Heidi

Thank you!!! That book is full of some of my favourite tropes and themes and I’m still in love with the leads. Right now, I’m working on an F/F called FALLEN STARLET, which is a book in the upcoming multi-author series Rose & Thorns, all about a secret society of sapphic/queer women celebrities. Which I’m writing with the same co-author as DEAD RINGER, coincidentally!

Continue reading “Interview with author Heidi Belleau”

Interview with a beta

Today I thought I’d give you all a treat, and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes into writing my books. To that end, I’ve gathered my two primary betas to share their experiences with you.

Michaela

Thank you both for joining me today! Rowan, Aaliya, why don’t you introduce yourselves?

Aaliya

Hello, I’m Aaliya! I’ve been a beta reader on and off since high school for friends and the like, and I’ve been yours since 2014. And I write on my own time, too!

Rowan

Hi, I’m Rowan! I’m a college student based in Southern California, majoring in creative writing. I’ve been a beta reader since 2015, though I’ve critiqued my friends’ work since 2011. I also write on my own time!

Michaela

So we’re here to talk about what goes into being a beta reader. Can you both give us a quick rundown of what it means to beta for me?

Rowan

Snark.

Aaliya

Lots of crying.

Continue reading “Interview with a beta”

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue

I went into The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee with only a hazy idea what to expect. Still, historical English queer romance? Sign me right the hell up.

From the very first chapter, which opens with Percy and Monty waking up after a massive party with the hangovers to prove it, I was in love with Monty. He’s so precisely my kind of catnip: broken, sad, and snarky and careless to cover the fear of how he’s constantly fucking up his life. Everything he did made me want to shake him, and Percy wasn’t much better, although at least Percy had common sense. The amount of pining these two idiots did throughout the book was absolutely delicious (and agonizing).

Percy is half-black and disabled, and I loved that Lee didn’t hand-wave away his ailment. She made it part of him, and he learned to live with it with grace and dignity, while Monty learned to accept it and came to terms with what it meant for Percy at the same time, all while dodging murderous Frenchmen on the run throughout Europe.

Mackenzi Lee created a lovely world with deft characterization, intriguing plot, and wonderful pacing that kept me reading at a breakneck speed because I couldn’t bear to wait to find out what happened next. Her writing is graceful, funny, and heartbreaking in turns, and I found The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue exactly the right amount of angsty with a satisfying ending.

Five out of five stars. You can buy it at Amazon and follow Ms. Lee on Twitter here.

Who I am

Welcome!

My name is Michaela and I’m a writer. Specifically, I write M/M romance, both of the BDSM/erotica variety and the more vanilla kind. As of writing this, I have three books published and a fourth coming out in July.

I started writing seriously in 2013, having only dabbled in it for a while before then. I’m represented by Saritza Hernandez of Corvisiero Literary Agency, who’s a wonderful agent and endlessly patient with my inability to stay focused on one task for any given amount of time.

I currently live in central Texas with a couple of cats and an equal amount of children, and struggle to find quiet time to write.

(What’s with the kingfishers, I hear you ask? My real name [Michaela Grey is a nom de plume] means “kingfisher” in Greek.)

Please be patient, I’m updating the blog to make it ready for visitors!