A Spoilery Story About the Ending of THE FIERY CROWN

A reminder that tomorrow night is my rescheduled event at Mysterious Galaxy. Come on by and hang out!

For those of you who listened to the Beastly Books interview with Melinda Snodgrass for the release of THE FIERY CROWN – and if you didn’t, you can watch it here – you’ll know that we discussed the ending. (Also, Beastly Books is a great Indie Bookstore where you can buy signed books from me.) Melinda asked me why I ended the book where I did, instead of where she thought I would. I explained that I did waffle on the ending, and my editor ultimately weighed in and I went with her suggestion. After we stopped recording, I asked Melinda where she thought I would end it – and it was an even worse point than I’d contemplated! Then she told me how she’d frame the closing shot in the screenplay. (Melinda started out writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation and still writes a lot for Hollywood, along with her excellent novels.) And, damn people – I want this woman to write the treatment for the miniseries! Because it’s such a cool idea, I wanted to share it.

But, obviously, this spoils the ending. Read on forewarned and so forth.






Okay, so!

What I waffled on was, I very nearly had Con go back to the citadel after delivering Lia’s corpse to the boat. He’d go on his suicide mission and Lia would awaken on The Last Resort thinking him dead. Very Romeo and Juliet – which, tragedy, I know – and because I had book three to fix it all again, right? But Editor Jennie said, weeeeellllll…. since it’s a Romance, we need a happy ending in this book, too. Since I wasn’t committed to my tragic R&J ending, I agreed.

But Melinda!

SHE thought I would’ve ended it when Lia dies! That’s where she’d end the season, she said, with a closing shot of the orchid ring on Lia’s finger withering away as she dies on the wizard’s slab.

There’s a reason this woman is besties with George RR Martin!

Also, I can totally picture this closing shot and how I’d be bouncing out of my chair about the ending of Season 2 and how I had to wait forever for Season 3. Clearly she also knows her business.

What do you all think of these alternate endings? Would you have come after me for either of those? 😀


8 Replies to “A Spoilery Story About the Ending of THE FIERY CROWN”

  1. I would jave been upset (probably very upset) but have enough trust in you as an author to believe you would actually fix things in book three.

    But if this had been the first or second book by you I’d ever read that trust wouldn’t be there. Also I would have not been able to recommend the book/trilogy to other readers until after things had been fixed in book three and even then would have had to add a caveat about the ending.

    I could see it working as an ending for a tv season or even more so the winter hiatus of a show the way networks do nowadays. Where you have to wait, but not too long. But what if it wasn’t renewed? So many shows have been canceled after cliffhanger endings that I am still mad about.

    That said I still think that type of thing works better in tv than with books. But why intentionally alienate your audience in either medium?

    Please give Editor Jennie my thanks 🙂

    1. Was finally able to watch the interview with Melinda and wanted to add if the book had ended in either of the spots indicated above that would have undermined your stated goal of the second book being a complete story within itself.

      Also, I disagree that Lia’s standoffish and distant relationship with her father because he was hard on her wasn’t clear enough in the first two books. I think it was well contrasted against Con’s close relationship with his father. And though readers may have to guess as to some of the other reasons, the way Lia thinks about her unrecognized half-siblings and the horror of what her father did to the morning glories makes that clear.

      Also happiness/optimism is not weak. *thehilliwilldieon*

      1. I agree on your hill! And thanks for that on the father. I was surprised she thought that, too.

    2. I will tell her. 🙂 But it wouldn’t be a case of “intentionally alienating” – just of what story dynamics make sense.

  2. I would have been PO’ed at either of those endings, especially since we have to wait a year, and that’s assuming, you know, that nothing goes wrong b/t now and then, and *gestures at world.* I know some self-published authors do that kind of ending, but their readers don’t usually have to wait so long for the next book. I’m not really a fan of TV shows that do that kind of ending either, the much better cliffhanger endings, IMO, are when they show someone we thought was dead, isn’t. I’d rather have something to look forward to instead of something to dread or be angry about (if I ended a show with Lia dying, the closing shot would be her hand twitching, or the vines growing, or some other sign that she would live, somehow. This is in fact what the first season of Stranger Things does, in essence). If you’d ended it after she was captured, but still alive, that would have been tolerable, and was what I actually expected.

    (Also, I utterly despise Romeo & Juliet)

    1. Ha! I totally get all of this. And interesting thought to have ended there… but def no. And OMG, book 3 is *already* so long. I can’t imagine if I’d had to include all of that!

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