I’ve decided that I’m not a fan of triangles.
A lot of authors include triangles into their work because it’s supposed to increase longevity for that series, and that means more money for the author. As a reader, though, I’ve found that triangles frustrate me.
If you do a triangle where the heroine is constantly waffling, you get to the point where you can’t move forward. Period. You’re left treading water in the middle of the ocean and it’s fruitless to swim in any direction. If the heroine is torn between two men she can never achieve true intimacy with either one of them.
I started the Avery Shaw series first. I was a reporter and that was what I knew best. I love the character. She is the most like me. As for love interests, when I first started writing the series I thought she would end up with Jake. Eliot was only supposed to be a distraction.
As time progressed, though, some things became evident. When looking at the characters as real human beings, Avery and Jake could never work. He’s a politician. She can never be a politician’s wife. Fans of Avery wouldn’t want her to try to fit in that world for more than a book or two (granted, it would be funny at first). It would be excruciating by the end, though, because she would suffer. Fans of Jake might not realize what she would have to give up to be with him, but it’s practically everything.
I’m not sure when I realized that Avery and Jake couldn’t be together. Whenever it was, though, things got easier when it came to the narrative. Letting go of the idea of Avery and Jake was freeing. I didn’t have to work to mature Avery at an unreasonable pace. Maturity is important. Doing it in a reasonable manner is more important. Eliot would never ask her to change and Jake would never be happy with her if she didn’t change.
That doesn’t mean Jake and Avery can’t be close. They ARE close. Eliot and Jake are good friends, too, and I look for that to move forward. There is no realistic world where Jake and Avery could be together, though. One of them would have to give up everything. That doesn’t seem fair to either character.
When it comes to Covenant College – the only other series where I had an ongoing triangle for more than a book – I always knew it was going to be Aric and Zoe. In fact, when I envisioned the series, it was because I could never understand what a centuries-old vampire would see in a teenager. If he has endless knowledge, what does a shallow girl have to offer?
I like that Rafael can love Zoe for what she is. I also like that they recognize they have nothing in common. Aric is Zoe’s soul mate. They understand each other and are on an even level. Rafael and Zoe could never be equal.
The final Covenant College trilogy revisits that relationship one more time. You never worry about Aric and Zoe’s marriage, but it’s fun to have individuals looking back on a relationship that never had a chance to work. It’s even funnier when the 12-year-old child develops a crush on the vampire.
For me, as a writer, I am willing to go to “out there” places as long as I feel the emotions are real. I love soap operas (Sonny and Brenda forever!). Absolutely. Positively. I never believed the Cassidines were going to freeze the world on General Hospital. I always wanted Luke and Robert to stop them, though.
That’s what is important to me.
What’s important to you?
When I was a kid, I was torn between whether or not I was going to grow up and be the Incredible Hulk or Wonder Woman. I flirted with being a Jedi Knight for awhile, but I wasn't up for the intense travel associated with the gig. In my teens, I settled on being a writer -- although I had no idea the effort that would entail.