Thursday, 31 May 2012

Guest Post with author L.M. Pruitt


Will You Still Love Me…In The Next Book?

Keeping the Romance Active Throughout a Series




Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. Jeanine Frost. Charlaine Harris. What do these three ladies have in common? Besides being amazing writers and even more amazing individuals (seriously, do you ever hear a mean thing about one of them? Because I don’t.), they all have the enviable skill of keeping their main characters romantic lives both active and applicable through the arc of an entire series.

Roberts/Robb has so many book titles I couldn’t even begin to list them all. One of her most popular by far is the In Death series featuring Eve Dallas and Roarke. The setting may be futuristic and the crux of the action may be said to be police procedural, but the core of the books is the relationship between Eve and Roarke. These are two troubled individuals who through the most random of circumstances find each other and fall in love. But Roberts/Robb doesn’t end the story there. Through the course of the series she shows us what happens after the “I do”, both the good and the bad. Problems don’t disappear after you get your happily ever after, and it’s Eve and Roarke’s commitment to working through their problems that keeps their relationship both realistic and romantic.

While Jeanine Frost’s characters Cat and Bones also do their best to work out their relationship difficulties, it’s a lot harder for them. That’s understandable, since one is a 200+ year old vampire and the other is some sort of strange hybrid who hasn’t hit thirty yet. That kind of age difference can make for a lot of relationship problems, simply because of a difference in life experiences. In spite of these issues, which usually result in massive shows of temper from one or both parties, Cat and Bones managed to work things out. And there’s usually some form of make-up sex, but I guess that’s expected, too.

Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse gets to have make-up sex too, but she tends to have to go through a helluva lot to get it. Almost dying, being attacked by a possessed boyfriend, almost going crazy, being attacked some more, being used a chew toy—Sookie’s path to true love has not been easy. This probably has something to do with the fact that even though she’s an “extraordinary” human, her boyfriends have all been straight up supernatural individuals. Vampires, weretigers, werewolves (okay, that was an almost boyfriend, but still). And while Sookie does her best to talk things out with her significant other, it’s just a little harder for a human of any variety to really get a point across to a vampire. It’s kind of like talking to a brick wall that may or may not get offended and decide to stomp off mid-conversation.

So, having looked at these three examples, what can we infer about making sure the happy ending doesn’t go stale? Communication. Yes, it may sound incrediably boring and depending on the topic it probably is, but it’s what’s truly at the heart of making or breaking every relationship. Sookie may be having phenomenal sex but every relationship she’s been in through the course of the series has suffered a lack of communication, some of it on her side, some of it not. Contrast that with Cat and Bones or Eve and Roarke, where the truth always comes out, even when it’s painful and harsh and brutal. They get to have heart-pounding sex and long-term, meaningful relationships. All because they talked to each other.

A little conversation now and then is a small price to pay for that, don’t you think?


 
About the Author:
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She is the author of the Jude Magdalyn Series as well as New Moon Rising, featuring Cari Gravier, and Taken, featuring Frankie Post. She is currently at work on the next book in the Moon Rising series, Harvest Moon Rising, due out April 2012. Ms. Pruitt makes her home in Florida with two cats--one smart, the other not so much.

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