Today, I have a guest on the blog! I’ve followed KT Grant (@katiebabs) on Twitter for ages, but recently met her in person at a conference in Rhode Island. We had a great conversation about cliffhanger endings and I asked her if she’d like to write about them for you guys. I’ll be giving away her most recent erotic romance, The Gate at the end of the post.
As a reader I’m a big fan of the cliffhanger ending. This usually happens in a book series, where one of the ongoing stories continues into the next book. Sometimes a cliffhanger can be small and not that shocking. Perhaps a character hasn’t made a decision about something, or a certain plot is unresolved. Some cliffhangers can be jaw dropping shocking, just like the one cliffhanger for Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Two of my all time favorite cliffhangers that had me wanting to tear my hair out is the heart breaking emotional one in Paullina Simons’ The Bronze Horseman or the, “oh no she didn’t!” Carolyn Crane pulled in Double Cross, the second book in The Disillusionist Trilogy. JR Ward always has some sort of cliffhanger in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series or rather I should say the “to be continued…” device that I’ve noticed more authors use instead of an old fashioned cliffhanger.
Back when I outlined The Gate, the first book in the Dark Path series, I knew the end of this book would be unresolved. My plan wasn’t to have a traditional cliffhanger. I treated it as more of a “to be continued…”, which is used on television, usually when a show goes on hiatus for the summer, and the audience has to wait until the fall on how certain stories would be resolved. In some cases, the story would continue with no solution in sight, or create new unresolved stories to keep the viewer interested. The very popular show, Lost that aired on ABC is a perfect example of having a cliffhanger at the end of every episode. Each week I would end up screaming (a few times I threw something at the television) because there was always a, “to be continued…” for some storyline or character. Even the series finale left some questions unanswered, to the dismay of the viewers.
The Gate has two continuous storylines, featuring five characters, which will span the entire series. The main storyline is that of Max, the millionaire media mogul who owns The Gate, a BDSM sex club, and his on again, off again romance with Erika, a sweet and sometimes naive woman who writes children’s books. There’s Chris, the man Erika has had a long time crush on and once fantasized about marrying. Chris and Max are bitter enemies who want Erika for their own purposes. Then there’s Catherine, Max’s best friend and partner in The Gate, and her relationship with Bryan, a twenty-one year old virgin who turns to her to help heal his inner demons be introducing him to what some may feel are questionable sexual acts that Catherine is skilled in. Since I’m planning on writing four books in this series there’s a good chance I’ll have a “to be continued…” at the end of each book.
Why would I do such a thing? An obvious answer is that I want to keep readers coming back for more. But there’s always a possibility that I may give one of the characters an HEA earlier than planned.
In the immortal words of Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew mysteries: “Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more.”
Are you a fan of cliffhangers or “to be continued…”? Do you hate them? What are some of your favorite book cliffhangers?
KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. Under her alter-ego, she is a well-known book blogger who doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion. A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and writes Gay, Lesbian and Straight romance. KT has been a top ten best-selling author at Amazon, as well as being a multiple All Romance Ebooks best seller and a Night Owl Reviews Top Author Pick.
You can find KT at these fun places: