At the end of my last two weeks, there was a wedding. The first one, I knew it was going to end in a wedding. There was no other way that I could close out the trilogy than to finally show off the absolutely badass love my main couple had than with a Goth wedding. The second one, though, took me a little more by surprise. I hadn’t intended to write a wedding into researcher & librarian, but the deeper into the story I got, the more it made sense to tie a bow on the duology with a wedding, and I will readily admit that my CP gave me some side eye for it. Why? Well, I’m an every ship sails kind of person, and I know that’s not most people’s cup of tea, but I really love it.
I am never going to go in for anything less than a happy ending. You can count on me to kill at least one character that’s not the villain, I’m a big fan of angst, and I’m always down to make people fight, but I’m never going to break up relationships that I’ve already established, and I’m definitely not going to leave you feeling upset or unfulfilled at the end. I promise you, that no matter what bad happens in the middle of one of my books, it will end well. And that doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with every ship sails, but, for me, it does.
Life is rough, y’all. I mean, we know this, I don’t have to say it, but life is hard. There is no neat ending where two characters get together, the book ends, and you can just dream about them living happily ever after. We constantly have to get up and live another day, and there’s something really relaxing about not having to think about what comes next at the end of a book. Sure, I love to daydream and wonder where characters might be and what they might be up to, but, even more, I love not thinking about that. Their story has ended, they’re happy, and I’m off on my merry way to meet some new characters.
Part of that, for me, is seeing people together. I love community and friendship and romance, and it’s damn near impossible for me to write a book without slowly pushing characters closer and closer together. Sometimes, like Zariah in sister witches, that’s just finding new friendships and digging deeper into the ones she already has. Sometimes, like in researcher & librarian, that means a throuple thriving in the background that no one expected. Sometimes, like in Saintsverse, that means that every single character ends up in some kind of romantic relationship with another one. Because that’s a happy ending to me–people paired off in whatever way that’s not alone.
Which is strange when I think about it because I love being alone, and I thrive on my time spent away from other people, but that’s also partially not true. When I leave work, where I’ve been interacting with my boys all day and having an absolute blast being their friend, I go home and talk to my best friends, who I love more than life itself, and I’m still surrounded by the people I love. Perhaps one of my favorite things is when I don’t have to say anything at all to a person, when we can just exist in the same space as each other, and I think that’s really the thing that makes all of my ships sail.
I don’t want my character to be alone, yes, but I also want them to be so comfortable in themselves that they can exist alongside other characters without needing to do or say anything. I want them to feel lived in and well-loved. I want readers to look at them and feel validated by their relationships when Florence & Vicente don’t speak to each for a full page, but instead move around each other as they work. I want them to feel real.
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Heck, I think I’m probably in the minority in this one, and that it feels like an insta-love kind of trope where it’s like ugh everyone’s together how predictable, but I really don’t care. At the end of sister witches, not only is there a wedding, but everyone’s been paired off, and there’s these giant Sense8 worthy scenes where there are a dozen different people dancing and laughing and just existing together, and I love that. I love that Theodore and Finn, that Henley and Luciana, that Ileana and Kiran, that Mason and Lukas, that Andrew and Rafael all get to be present and overflowing with joy together.
Sure, maybe it’s predictable. Maybe people will get to the end of my books and be like, oh, how shocking, every single main character’s ship sailed, but you know what? You’re all also going to say that about how many bakers and motorcycle drivers and tea drinkers I have, too. There’s a redhead in every story, an excessive amount of freckles on at least one character, and someone who is oddly obsessed with one highly specific thing, and that’s just my vibe. My characters are going to get on a soapbox about Satan, and their ship is going to sail. And honestly? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
The world is such a terrible place most of the time, and real life is a lot, but we escape into books to imagine a better world and a more joyful life, and part of that, for me, is seeing people come together. I probably could have just neatly summed this up with telling you to always expect my characters to get together and stay together, but this works, too, because they’re almost all slow burns, so buckle up and come along for the ride. It’s gay, and it’s always happy at the end.