I never saw that coming…
My guest today, Terry Tyler, talks about the importance of endings. So please grab your cup and one of these scones with jam and clotted cream, and have a seat.
When I got to the end of Terry’s The House of York, I had to read it again. Right away. While I’ll never know where the stuff in her head comes from, I was delighted that I could retrace the breadcrumbs she carefully planted as a trail leading to that amazing and completely unexpected ending. (see my review here)
Most writers focus a disproportionately huge amount of their attention on their book’s opening pages. “It’s all about hooking the reader,” we’re told. But… when is the last time someone raved to you about the beginning of a book? What we remember is the ending, how it tied all the story threads together, satisfied our curiosity, and earned the right to those precious words, “THE END”.
When History Needs a Helping Hand
–Guest post by Terry Tyler
So I just said to my husband, “No, I can’t come and watch the next series of ‘Hannibal’ with you because I need to write a guest post for Barb to go with her review of my new book.” He said, “Can’t you write those things in your sleep by now?”
The answer to that is hmm, sort of, if I was going to churn something out about how it’s a dark contemporary family drama inspired by the Wars of the Roses. I could re-hash my original blog post. But nearly 5K people have already read that; are they going to want to do so again? Answer: I very much doubt it. So I put my husband and Mr Lecter on hold and searched my blog-befuddled brain for another angle, eventually deciding on this: why I abandoned history for the last three chapters of The House of York, turning the story into something completely different…. and gave it a twist that’s proved a surprise to all who’ve read it so far. Quote: “I’ve just read the end! Bloody hell!”
Many ‘how to write’ articles stress the importance of a beginning a novel with a punch, so that people keep on reading. I think it’s equally, if not more, important to make sure the ending isn’t an anti-climax, so I try to make the last few chapters of my books more than just a winding down.
My last two books are modern day stories that retell Tudor history (*no knowledge of history necessary, can be read as just contemporary dramas*). The star of Kings and Queens was property developing magnate Harry Lanchester, (my very own Henry VIII), so the all important end of the novel was decided for me—he dies, a whole bunch of people cry alot, and a few see it as an opportunity to move their seat nearer the top of the boardroom table. With Last Child, I did something that goes against the grain a bit, for me: I gave it a nicely rounded off happy ending, with nutty Isabella (Bloody Mary Tudor) nicely despatched, and Erin (Good Queen Bess) queening it on the throne of Lanchester Estates. When I was writing The House of York, though, I wanted to do something more. Something unexpected. Something a bit sinister…
I decided on my super-duper twist about half way through the book, had great fun setting it up, and even more fun writing it. Anyone who is reading The House of York (especially if they cast an eye back to the Wars of the Roses) might expect the baddie to get his just desserts, and that be that. Indeed, just desserts are duly received. But something else has been going on behind the scenes, all the way through….
…. enough said! So thank you, kings and queens and lords and ladies of York and Lancaster, you provided me with some great material—but, this time, I felt history needed a helping hand. I hope Barb approved.
Note from Barb: I do approve! Please click here for my review of Terry Tyler’s new book, The House of York.
The House of York ~ a contemporary family drama, spanning the years 1993 – 2014.Widowed single mum, Lisa Grey, and wealthy businessman, Elias York, are young and madly in love. A recipe for happiness? But Lisa is marrying into a complicated family. Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her. Middle brother Gabriel’s marriage suffers under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence. Lisa and her mother are bonded by their powerful intuition, but dare not voice their fears about York Towers—or certain members of the family…. Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, to bring forth a shocking outcome. History lovers may be interested to know that The House of York is loosely based on events during the era of the Wars of the Roses.
- Book Title: The House of York
- Author: Terry Tyler
- Genre: Contemporary Drama
Length: 443 pages
Release Date: October 19, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon UK| Amazon US