Writing Wednesdays: Why I Write HEAs
July was hard, folks. I don't mean that in any euphemistic ways. It was busy as hell at work. Day Job is crazy in the summer because everyone's on vacation, half the office is not around, it's high convention season, and the workload seems never ending. Still I should have been making time to blog. But I'm getting back on track now with this new Writing Wednesday post: Why I Write HEAs.
If you're a romance fan I don't need to tell you what an HEA is. But for those who are sick of having to Google acronyms and feeling old, it just stands for Happily Ever After. An alternative is Happy For Now or HFN, which implies that while the story ends happily at the moment, in the future there may be a change in relationship status. If I write HFN, I rarely imply it, so almost everything I write front-faces as HEA.
Note those qualifiers. I never say never.
So why do I write HEA? There are a few reasons.
First, I'm sappy and love a happy ending. I was raised on Disney, so I'm a sucker for true love stories and everyone finding someone. (Note: that doesn't have to be romantic. Platonic relations can also be HEAs.)
The second reason is the more important reason to me, and it's something I directly address in my upcoming novella, A Honeyed Light. (More to come on that soon!) Queer media is on the rise,but when I was younger, it was really, really difficult to find queer books or movies that ended happily. Someone was killed for being who they were, for whom they loved. Someone contracted HIV, died of complications from AIDS. Someone was kicked out of their family and home, forced to live on the streets and often, that also ended in death or violence.
I clearly remember But I'm a Cheerleader, as one of the first movies I saw where despite the unfortunate decisions of the teens' parents (sending them to a conversion therapy camp due to their sexualities) love prevailed. It ended with a happy couple.
|God they're adorable.|
I was shocked and confused that this wasn't more common. Why shouldn't we have happy endings? So I started looking for more positive media, and found it in some anime, few books, and few movies. It wasn't enough. And I always follow the edict of 'Be the change you wish to see in the world." If I wanted more positive queer representation in the world, By gum, I was gonna put it out there myself.
So that's why I do it. And because often queer media tends to not include a lot of people of color, I make sure they have prime roles in more work. It's the representation I needed, so I'm doing my part to put it out there.
What about you? Can you think of a time when representation really mattered to you? Tell me about it!