Storm Moon Press is hoping to spotlight some of our authors in our monthly newsletter and on the blog. This month, we have Lydia Nyx!
The Ambiguously Happy Ending: Sometimes Life Gets In The Way
My story, In the Pines, was included in Storm Moon’s anthology Weight of a Gun. It almost wasn’t, from what I’m told, because of the ending. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say it wasn’t the happiest of endings, though I’d argue the way it ended not only suited the story but was a happy ending of sorts, given the circumstances the main character was in. I’ve read several reviews of the anthology in which the reviewer said my story was the most disturbing of the lot and ‘stuck with them’ after they read it. I was invited here to talk about why I gave it the ending I did and what I think of happy endings in general.
I’ve written a mish-mash of horror, romance, and erotica for a long time. I know that sounds like a strange combination, but I enjoy putting it together. Most of my work, no matter how romantic, has a darker side. That’s why I like Storm Moon Press and plan to submit to more of their anthologies this year; they aren’t afraid to take a chance on the kind of stuff I write.
Sometimes character development, especially when you’re working with twisted themes, dictates you can’t give your brain children a traditional happy ending. But, maybe you can give them an ending that’s satisfactory, and in a roundabout way, what they were trying to get at. I did this for Tyler Maxwell in my story. Tyler is a down-and-out injured cop who tries to escape to Alaska to lick his wounds. He quickly finds out, of course, that he can’t run from himself. Then he becomes tangled up in a sinister mess that makes him feel better about himself and simultaneously drives him crazy. In the end, he gets his man, just not in the way a traditional romance reader might hope for. I didn’t think giving Tyler that sort of happy ending would ring true. And while it may bother readers… that’s sort of what I was going for.
That’s not to say I don’t ever write light, happy stuff that ends well–because I do! But someone is always struggling in my work, because struggle is a part of the human condition. People don’t always make the right decisions and have to live with the consequences of their actions. I like writing about those people because they’re interesting. Tyler makes a lot of bad decisions in my story and also let his libido overcome his brain. In the end he suffers for it, though again, not entirely. He gets something he wants because he pays the price for it. I consider that a happy enough ending, especially given the tone of the story.
I know people would tell me if I don’t want to write happy endings, then I shouldn’t write romance. However, I think there’s a niche out there for everything, and publishers like Storm Moon Press–and their awesome readers–have a place for me. I’ll keep cranking out the darkness if you keep reading it, and I promise not to hurt anybody too badly. Or if I do, I’ll make sure they get a satisfactory, if not happy, ending.
Lydia Nyx is from Cleveland, Ohio. She writes everything from contemporary to historical, as well as paranormal, horror, and urban fantasy, and she prefers all her fiction with a male/male twist. She currently resides in a little apartment with her teenage son and a crazy cat and spends countless hours of the day entertaining the dirty fantasies in her head. As a ‘day job’ she works as a waitress, which gives her lots of free time to slack off and plot stories. Writing since the age of 13, she has always wanted to be an author, and hopefully one day writing will be her only ‘day job.’