Friday, July 23, 2010

kisses are a better fate than wisdom

It's a month until the release of Wisdom. I've been working on it, getting it ready for the big day, and I thought I would give you a little insight into what's going on.

Here's the thing: I don't like "happily ever after." It's not that I don't like happy endings. I do. Everything should have a happy ending. But I don't like these blanket ones. (Side note: Just because I like happy ending doesn't mean I wrote one - but I might have.)

Take the end of Cinderella. She gets married after meeting the guy once, and even though he's supposedly so infatuated with her, he can't even remember what she looks like well enough to find her without relying on a shoe size? They have a shotgun wedding, ride off in the carriage, the music soars, Disney says "Happily Ever After," but I'm sitting there going, "And then what?"

How did the marriage work? Did they have anything in common? What kind of things do they do? Does Cinderella make a good queen? What does she do with her family? Did she take the mice with her when she moved out?

At some point, a story has to end, yes. But I don't want it to end with a "everything will be great every day on now that they have this one thing." I want a glimpse of what happily ever after will look like. Or maybe it's not a happily ever after even.

Maybe the Prince beats Cinderella. Who knows? We know literally nothing about him, except he is unable to recognize faces. Maybe he's autistic. I think I heard once they have a problem with facial recognition. And they can still have a happy life if he's autistic, but it's a different one than the one Disney always painted. A more interesting one, too.

So, anyway, I wrote the first three books in the My Blood Approves, and I left a few questions open. There's some stuff I knew I wanted to answer in Wisdom.

But I got thinking about it - happily ever after is a really  long time when you live forever. What would that even mean for vampires?

What would you really do with forever? I might go insane if I had forever and ever and ever stretched out before me.

All the titles of the books are taken from the e e cummings poem "Since Feeling Is First," but Wisdom is an especially apt title. Alice has made a lot of choices in the books, some good, some bad. But it's time for her to reap what she's sown, to grow up and understand who she is and what she has yet to become.