As writers, we have an insidious enemy. People believe what we do is easy. If we are good writers, we make it look effortless.
–Kristen Lamb on the difference between authors and musicians.
True story time.
So the ending to LIESMITH is, um. Well, without giving too much away, I’ve been told it’s a little bit twisty. In fact, I’ve been told this by pretty much every single person who’s thus far read the book. It’s not always negative feedback, but it is pretty, um, consistent feedback, shall we say?
I was lamenting this to mum in an off-handed way at one point, as you do, to which she sort of nodded and said, “Uh-huh.” As mums do. Fast forward a week, and we’re sitting in a cafè when she says to me:
“I’ve been thinking about what you told me. About the ending to your book.”
Uh oh, I think.
“And I think,” says my mother, in a voice of abject certainty, “if people are confused by it, you should drop some hints. Earlier on in the story. So people can figure things out for themselves.”
And I give my mother the flattest state imaginable and say something like, “Foreshading. Oh, of course. Why didn’t I think of that before. Wow. Thanks, mum.”
In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m a terrible daughter. And no, mum hasn’t read the book.
I’ve had similar conversations with my husband, who has read LIESMITH and who is absolutely convinced that the Number One Bestest Thing to do for Book 2 in the series is to re-write Book 1 from the point of view of the antagonist. (I haven’t told him about Midnight Sun.)
Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother and I love my husband, and I know they’re just trying to help.
Writing is easy, right?