What’s Wrong with a Cliffhanger?

Today we’re excited to welcome New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters, who talks about the benefits to leaving readers in suspense… at least for a little while! Be sure to pick up a copy of LEAD ME NOT, the first book in her Twisted Love series, out now from Gallery Books! And stay tuned for the release of book two in the series, FOLLOW ME BACK, out Summer 2015!

Lead Me Not

Have you ever been reading a really great book, you get to the end and BAM! It ends with a “to be continued.”

Frustrating, right?

So maybe I’ve wanted to scream because I then have to wait for the next installment but guess what? When that next book was released, you bet I was reading it as soon as possible. Because knowing there was more to the story left me excited rather than murderously frustrated.

Cliffhangers aren’t a new thing by any means. You can expect them at the end of every television season. It’s expected when watching movies and of course reading books.

So why do readers get so upset when they reach the end of the book and realize that there will be another installment?

Personally I love knowing that at the end of it all, the story that I’ve enjoyed so much will continue. Even if the cliffhanger leaves me anxiously waiting for the next book, I can appreciate loving the journey so much that I don’t want it to end.

I’ve seen people leave harsh reviews for books, marking them down because they were left on a cliffhanger. They were angry and upset because they didn’t want to wait for the next book. They felt taken advantage of. I don’t personally understand this thinking. It’s entertainment. It’s meant to leave you wanting more. And personally I think leaving a negative review for this reason is extremely unfair.

It’s not as though the author had purposefully deceived their audience. As a reader, I don’t necessarily want to know what’s going to happen when I reach the end. The surprise is part of the experience. And for the most part a story can take a long time to resolve. There’s so much that needs to happen before the author or the reader is satisfied with those final words, The End.

Lead Me Not, my recent release from Gallery Books, most definitely ended on a cliffhanger. When I wrote Maxx and Aubrey’s story about love and addiction I purposefully went into it knowing this was a two-part journey. Lead Me Not tells the story of this couple on a crash course to rock bottom. It’s all about the fall and these two people losing everything.

Follow Me Back, the sequel to be released in 2015, tells the story of Maxx and Aubrey as they try to crawl out of the wreckage that transpired in Lead Me Not. It’s the aftermath. It’s the healing I needed and I think the readers will need as well.

But when I concluded Lead Me Not, I made sure to finish with some closure for the existing storylines. But I ended knowing it was a stepping off point and it was just the beginning for these characters that I had sent to hell and back.

I knew that I couldn’t wrap up everything in one book. Because that’s not life. Things aren’t tied up in happy bows and that’s not how I wanted to portray Maxx and Aubrey’s story. I wanted the messy and ugly. But I also wanted to show hope and resilience, which can only be told by continuing the story in Follow Me Back.

The Twisted Love series depicts two people who have been destroyed by a love they can’t stay away from. It shows these individuals desperately trying to make the best choices for the people they love and for themselves.

So yeah, I ended the first book on a cliffhanger, but at the end, I hope it’s worth it. Because sometimes the best things are the ones you have to wait for.

I hope you fall back into the crazy, dysfunctional love between Aubrey and Maxx as it continues in 2015 with Follow Me Back (Twisted Love 2)!

 

Even when he was gone, Maxx was everywhere. 

His art.  His love.  His chaos.

I couldn’t escape him.

And I was terrified that in the darkest recesses of my heart I didn’t want to.

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