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Reader Question: Romance

Do you feel like not putting the main characters in a romantic relationship in GIVE UP THE GHOST affected your book’s reception?

Excellent question!

No matter what a writer does with his or her story, some readers will love it and others will wish it were some other way. As I’ve talked about before, you can’t please everyone! And the same is true for my decision to keep Cass and Tim’s relationship platonic. I’ve read some reviews where the reader praised the book for not going the traditional route of having the two main characters fall in love, or who liked the idea of a romance but could see that it wouldn’t have felt believable if I’d tried to include that. I’ve read others where the reader was disappointed by the lack of romance and enjoyed the book less because of it. I think some readers even felt there was a romance, and I just never let the characters act on it. :) A lot of that has to do with perceptions: almost all the paranormal YA out there has a strong romantic element in it right now, and so many readers came to GHOST with certain expectations.

But would more people have been happy if I’d had Cass and Tim get lovey-dovey? It’s impossible to say. I think it’s likely that for every reader right now who wishes there was a romance, there’s another who’d have complained about it being predictable or unbelievable if I’d written one in.

And even if more people would have liked a romance than not… Ultimately I have to do what feels best for my characters, in my story. I don’t believe that Cass or Tim were ready to get romantic with anyone, even at the end of the novel. They came a long way, but they still have a lot further to go. I also didn’t want to give the impression that people have to be in love to help each other. Cass and Tim are just two people connecting as people, like so many other friendships out there.

So that’s the way I wrote it. I’m much happier writing what feels right than trying to predict what the greatest number of readers will want, and I think it makes for a better, truer story, too.

My question for you, blog readers: When you were in your teens (or right now, if you currently are), did you get more emotional support from your friends or from your romantic partners?

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
I actually liked that they didn't act on it. The chemistry was there but I liked it didn't take a turn to Romantic City. People can have both ways. That they eventually did fall in love or just a platonic love.

Yes, I did expect there to be a love story but I felt like your writing style, the plot, pace... etc was so excellent that I never felt like it was missing something or that the book would've been better if there was romance.

My boyfriend. I was smitten with him since grade 7 and it took two years before he finally came around. I never had any close GF until I was in HS and by that time I already had him, Lee. Been together ever since, married with a daughter. In JR I never had one friend that I could count on and mostly because I had trust issues. Then in HS I found a GF that filled that roll for my emotional support. Still, I found myself counting on Lee more than the GF's. Just from past history I knew that I could always count on him.
Jun. 1st, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
It makes sense that you'd count on your boyfriend if you didn't have any close friends. Especially once you got serious. I'd mostly depended on my friends as a teen, but after I got together with my first boyfriend, I turned to him more often than anyone.
Jun. 1st, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
Oh, hey, my question! Thanks for answering it. :)
Jun. 1st, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
I definitely got more emotional support from my friends. They were there before the boyfriends, and several years later, they are still here!

And I loved your book! By far it was the best YA read of 2009. I hope Give Up the Ghost is the first book of a series. If not, well, you still have a very grateful fan, and I look forward to reading all future works.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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