Triangles frustrate me
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?
2/21/2017 07:15:36 am
Do you see Jake finding the right woman?
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:31:29 am
Yes. In fact, you will see some movement on that in the next book. The next book will have big roles for Jake and Grandpa. You need to have a little fun with Avery looking for a girlfriend for him first, of course.
2/21/2017 11:33:48 am
I really can't wait to see what kind of dates Avery tries to line up for Jake.
2/21/2017 07:18:33 am
Reading your stories it is clear you write what you know. There is a consistency with your characters. I think that's why I love your writing so much. I can tell you put your heart into your stories and a lot of thought into your characters. In the beginning I thought the same. I thought Aric was going to be a going and Jake was the long term goal but you are right it never would have worked. Avery is such a head strong character. I love tasting where you take these characters.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:32:53 am
Once I let Avery do what seemed more natural and made more sense, it freed up a lot of things when it came to writing her. That doesn't mean she can't be close with Jake, it simply means they cannot be together in a romantic way. She'll still always find trouble, and he'll still be there to help when it happens.
2/21/2017 07:19:48 am
I absolutely love you... You have become one of my all time favorite authors. My favorite series is the Witches. What made you decided to give all three girls a significant other?
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:36:22 am
I tend to believe that a character's actions and words give insight into them one way. I also believe that how other characters feel about them, look at them even, also helps make characters more well-rounded. Clove has always been the hardest of the three younger witches for me to write. Giving her a love interest eased that need I created for her to find love. Marcus, for example, makes Thistle more likable because she can be mean when she wants to be. I like the mean side, but she occasionally needs a softer side, too. As for Landon, he helps lighten Bay up a bit. It can't all be slapstick all of the time. There has to be real emotion in there if you want to invest in the characters.
2/21/2017 07:21:05 am
I agree. I loved a certain popular series but the triangle went on to long. The main characters never grew and the series stalled for me. Thank you for writing such great books. They are always my first reads when they come out.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:37:42 am
I'm pretty sure I know what series you're talking about. The end point for me was when the main heroine slept with both "heroes" in the same book. I didn't find that likable or root worthy. A little flirting never hurt anyone. Sleeping with two men in the same book when we're supposed to be rooting for a character seems counterproductive to me.
2/21/2017 07:25:06 am
Its nice to know how you see things. I'm one of the ones who sees Avery with Jake but that may be because I'm with someone total opposite of me and it works so well for us.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:39:43 am
I have no problem with opposites getting together. The problem is that Avery would have to give up everything to be with Jake OR Jake would have to give up everything to be with Avery. They are in a position where they cannot compromise to a point where they'll both be happy. That doesn't mean there won't be fun stuff with Jake. I think everyone will be happy with his story arc in the next book. Something very big will happen in that book and it will cause a lot of funny -- and sometimes poignant -- interactions.
2/21/2017 09:20:51 am
I'm looking forward to reading it! I will be sad when the series ends!
2/21/2017 07:27:31 am
I love to read your books, They make me laugh out loud and sometimes cry out loud too. My most favorite characters are Avery and Aisling! Personally, I'm not a fan of love triangles either. I love Avery and Jake together, but more as a sibling/life long friend way more than romance. Sometimes high school sweethearts just don't stand the test of time, and its wonderful to see them celebrate it, but at the same time let it be for what it was.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:40:47 am
I think you'll really enjoy the next book (which doesn't come out until the fall) because there is some hilarious stuff along that vein happening in that book.
2/21/2017 07:34:13 am
I have to say I agree, I am an avid reader books and books are also my escape and have never been a fan of a triangle. I read a scary amount and my ulitmate pleasure is a happy ending, don't get me wrong I love a battle and don't want things to come to easy, I like characters that are strong and in a romance give everything they have to that and find it very hard to comprehend how you can be spilt between tow people and give yourself completely, its just not how I work, I find them tiresome and in some books as the reader your rooting for a certain out come and if the author see's that out come different it can completely turn me off a series, but that is my personal opinion.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:42:18 am
Whenever I start a new series going forward, I have no intention of doing triangles. There might be some "will they or won't they" push and pull but it will be pretty obvious who the love interest is right from the start.
2/22/2017 09:34:32 am
That's one of the many reason's I love your books, you can see it coming but know it isn't just going to be plain sailing, with lots of snark added in aswell. Having just realised you aslo write under another name (thank goodness) I have in the last week started with your Harper Harlow series and now waiting on the next instalment to come out in May!! Please keep doing what you are doing, I am completely in love with everything you write, maybe because I am not the most sociable person and have such a strong habit of sayin what comes into my head without a filter
2/22/2017 10:06:56 am
Also after going through the comments on here, I am now even more excited to see what you have in store for Jake, Avery helping to vet his next girlfriend, oh my just thinking about that makes me chuckle
2/21/2017 07:35:57 am
Thank you for sharing. I understand your point about Avery and Jake, but at the same time the thought of them never being together makes me sad. Eliot is great, but whether he is or isn't is not really the point. It's the whole idea of Jake being there 1st & being the long lost love. But just like in real life, sometimes love isn't enough. Just because you love each other doesn't mean it will always work out.
2/21/2017 07:44:52 am
I must say that I am not a fan of love triangles either to be honest. However I love the "triangles" with Jake & Avery & Zoe & Aric because you can clearly see the line that wont be crossed. Its more like real life than "just a story". I am now rereading the Covenant College series & counting the days to the final set although I will be extremely sad to see them end. They feel like family to me.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:45:02 am
I will miss them, too, but the ending in The Dying Covenant Trilogy is very large in scale. That being said, I know for sure that Aric and Zoe will visit the Mystic Caravan Circus. It should be next year (hopefully). I'm considering having them visit the new Charlie Rhodes series, too, although that will be a bit in the future. That world opens with a visit to Hemlock Cove and I think there's plenty of room for the characters to stumble across Aric and Zoe, too. I don't want simple cameos, though. I want the characters to have big roles in the books so that's further down the line.
2/21/2017 07:59:16 am
Thank you! Love triangles are frustrating! I spend more of my time thinking, "Just pick one of them" than I do reading the darn book. I expect it at the beginning of the series--or at least a small one, but if it goes on past the third book I usually stop reading the series. That is one trope I do not care for.
2/21/2017 08:11:21 am
I love all of your books. Your characters are strong women who know what they want and they get it. The men in their lives are amazing and let their women do what needs to be done. I look forward to every month and new releases. Thank you for amazing stories into make believe land. Sometimes we all need a break from reality.
2/21/2017 08:11:37 am
I totally agree. Triangles are so overdone in books. I suppose they maybe happen in real life, but to me that's a sign of a relationship that's on rocky ground. I'm sure others will argue with me, but that's how I feel. With that said, I love how you've handled the whole Avery/Jake/Elliot situation. It works. I just finished the most recent book and it was fantastic the way their relationship (all three of them) has evolved and they've all come to accept it.
Amanda M. Lee
2/21/2017 08:46:49 am
I think you'll definitely enjoy the next book. A situation arises where the three of them are on top of one another for an extended period of time (Grandpa is involved, too) so it gets hilarious pretty fast.
2/21/2017 11:36:05 am
I look forward to that!
2/21/2017 09:10:24 am
I HATE a series that centers around a triangle! SO frustrating for me. Doesn't matter how well written the author is, and I have droped several book series because the stupid main character could not make a choice. What a waste of time!
2/21/2017 09:41:29 am
In my opinion, Love Triangles never work out well. At least half of the fans will be sad because the heroine did not choose "her favorite" man. Love is a fickle thing , and some may fall in love with more than one. But not in my world, or i assume in the world of most readers. (Really ? Another guy now fawning at her feet ? Reaaally? Get a grip girl and decide ! I would be glad to have just one of them! ....thats me ranting when i read a (to) long drawn out Love Triangle. )
2/21/2017 11:19:45 am
I love your books I have read. A love triangle is okay to start out a story line but they should be solve fairly quickly otherwise the characters can't grow. The story line also gets to boring in my opinion when a triangle last to long.
2/21/2017 11:26:11 am
I'm so glad this was your topic of choice. I hear a lot of people talk about their fondness for love triangles but for me, that kind of drama gets really old really quick. I love how you build your characters throughout your series and while they each have their own flavor and continue to have that humor I can get enough of, they also grow and develop as only a real person would. The characters still tend to get dragged into shenanigans but they're better at the end of every experience and their relationships with people grow and change as well.
2/21/2017 08:15:50 pm
Oops! That should say *can't* get enough of the humor.
2/21/2017 03:06:50 pm
Thank you! I hate a triangle!! I don't mind a little well deserved appreciation for someone other than the main love interest (involved, not dead) but these heroines that can't make a choice drive me off the deep end! I have also stopped reading a series or two because I just want to plant my boots on their behinds! Keep writing - I'll keep buying and reading!!
2/21/2017 04:51:54 pm
I 100% agree with you, I just can't get behind love triangles. That trope has ruined so many series for me. In fact, I actually wasn't sure if I was going to like Avery Shaw for that reason. I even peaked ahead to the synopsis of future books to see if she kept flip-flopping between Jake and Eliot, because that would have been a deal breaker for me.
2/21/2017 05:32:53 pm
I completely agree and it is one of the reasons that I love your books! There are so many books that I have started and could never get through because of love triangles and that drama and characters doing or being things they could never be. I also tend to like there to be something in the characters and story lines that is consistent and that you can count on so that all of the different issues or disasters or chaos that comes up I know that I am not going to end up irritated lol so I say you rock and I love your books. I have read quite a few of your different series and I have not once had to put one down from irritation.
2/22/2017 05:11:50 pm
I have really enjoyed watching Avery and Jake learn to accept that their past was past, but that they could build in a different direction using the foundation they'd built. I appreciate Elliott's ability to let them do that. While I could see Jake and Avery, one or the other, would lose himself/herself if they got together, I still find it difficult to see how Elliott can be so unconditional in his love for Avery. He's almost too good to be true! You have a great way of showing his patience, understanding of her, and unconditional love are the very pouysh she needed to mature. I really enjoy the stories you weave.
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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.