Monday, April 11, 2011

Author Bites - JM Warwick on Endings

Some of you might know her as Jennifer Laurens if you've read her Heavenly series. Others, like me, know her as JM Warwick because of the fantastic A Season of Eden. Either way, she's one person with a great style and something to say through it. JM was awesome enough to write a guest post for Bites and she touched upon a subject that sparks a lot of us. I know I had it with A Season of Eden and there are a slew of other books out there that make us go 'what happens next?' But do we always want that spelled out for us? Or does letting the reader work it out for themselves make the reading experience all the better? Here JM tells her side with Eden. Thanks a bunch for stopping by, JM!

Will there be another book for Eden? I get asked this question a lot. In fact, as I send this to you, I received yet another email this morning asking if there would be a sequel. I have to admit, when I first started getting this question my first response was: “It was an open ending – you know, the kind that, depending on your interpretation of the book you decide: do Eden and James get together or not?”

As a writer, I’m fascinated that the ending left readers wanting more, while others’ responses are, “That’s the perfect ending for the story.”

I didn’t purposely leave the story at that moment to torture anyone or leave them feeling unsatisfied. I left the story at that moment because, in my writer’s mind, my lense closed there. When I write, I ‘see’ the story unfold in scenes and events. What I see in my head is what you see on the page.

For me, Eden walking into James’ church, hoping to find him there working with ‘teens in need’ is the perfect place for her to be. Seeing him do what he loves: teaching, sharing his passion for music, inspiring youth—continuing on in his life, just like she’s had to continue on in her life in spite of their ill-timed relationship—reinforces that life, even for Eden, goes on even if it’s not ( at that juncture) where she wants it to be.

The youth in the choir notice her entrance ( because Eden’s entrances are always noticed ) and James sees their distraction. He turns and sees her for the first time since she graduated. Eden is hopeful James will smile at her, come to her, speak to her. A reader can hope for the same.
What would showing the next few seconds of that moment do? What have the months in between done but made Eden more determined to pursue him? She’s there, in his church, isn’t she?

Where’s James’ head at this moment in time?

Eden’s taking a risk by going to see him. That’s not surprising to us. Like the reader, she’s hoping that maybe, this time, it will end differently. A reader wouldn’t be surprised if it did, end differently.

Eden always gets what she wants.
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