Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's talk about love... (and HEAs in lesbian fiction)

The interpretation of love and the truth differs depending on who you ask.

 I’m a hopeless romantic, believe in love at first sight (or the second, or third, but early on in the process), in soul mates, two people made for each other. It’s a theme that you will find often in my books. Of course, for the sake of fiction (and because I enjoy it), there’ll be drama thrown in, but eventually, the characters will get their happily ever after.

The only reason why they won’t stay together is when they weren’t meant to be, but in that case, there’s another end game waiting.

The Interpretation of Love and the Truth follows some of those ideas, and the question, what is love in the first place? Can it mean different things to different people, and where’s the common denominator? It also brings in another important aspect: Timing.

Chelsea meets Tonya when she just made it out of the closet and is quickly attracted to her, for her confidence and many other reasons. Tonya is a player, a woman with unsolved commitment issues—a recipe for disaster and heartbreak.

In the aftermath of this experience, Chelsea decides that she won’t give too much importance to flying sparks, when she can have something that seems a lot less dangerous: A relationship that’s warm and reliable, without the danger to get hurt. A little boring maybe, but it’s safe—and maybe safe is the best you can hope for. She is planning her wedding with her girlfriend Gail when Tonya comes back to town, chastised, changed—has she really?—and determined to make up for the lost time and past mistakes.

I follow discussions about romance novels and requirements for the characters’ relationship--especially in lesbian fiction--with interest. I often hear they fall in love too quickly (I’m guilty, sometimes, no apologies), and that one aspect or another is unrealistic.
When you look at the lives of real people, how they meet and fall in love, there’s hardly anything that’s too far-fetched. I bet you my own story would sound unrealistic to you, and it would have to me, had someone told me in younger years. As a psychologist, I heard many stories that confirmed what I believe about love and the possibilities—that you can find The One, and no other relationship can compare. It’s somebody’s life experience—that makes it true.

There are many ways to tell a love story, and there’s something for everyone out there. Just like in real life.

Besides, our stories have been hardly visible for so long—I believe we deserve all the happy endings we can get, and then some.

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