We have a divine guest blogger today. Debut author Renee Rosen is joining us to talk about endings and getting through them with your sanity intact. Renee’s novel, Every Crooked Pot is the semi-autobiographical, coming of age tale of a girl on the outside looking in.
Chosen a Hot Summer Read by the Chicago Tribune, Renee’s novel has garnered praise from NYT Bestselling authors like Sara Gruen and is currently on the top of Deb Kristy’s TBR pile. You can get it through Amazon or any other online venue as well as all the usual suspects like Barnes & Noble, Borders, and your local independent.
Hi ladies and thanks for asking me to dance and thanks especially to Deb Kristy for inviting me to guest blog today. When Kristy told me the topic on the table this week was endings, I immediately thought about the angst I went through while writing the ending for my debut novel, Every Crooked Pot.
Originally the novel had a different ending—a safe ending that didn’t challenge me and well, frankly was a copout. Among other issues, Every Crooked Pot deals with an intense father/daughter relationship and all along I suppose I knew there was really only one ending for the novel, but I was too afraid to tackle it. It’s no secret that this novel is semi autobiographical and without being a spoiler, let me just say that I knew the ending was going force me to relive some less than happy memories that I had been trying to dodge. Trying so hard in fact that I opted to write not one, but two different endings—both, which very conveniently sidestepped the real issues.
This is where having a brilliant and compassionate editor comes in mighty handy. Gina Scarpa at St. Martin’s came to my rescue. Her instincts were spot-on and she knew exactly where I had to go, and so she pushed me—ever so gently—in the right direction. I remember I would work on the ending, digging down as far as I thought I could go. I’d show it to her and she’d reply with a “Hmmmm… it’s closer, but we’re not quite there yet.” We’re not?!! You mean I have to dig down even deeper? So I did. I know this sounds ridiculously dramatic, but when I finally managed to hit that place where all the truth was hiding, I literally sat at my computer and cried. And I’m not talking a little whimpering here—I’m talking serious, full-blown head-clogging sobs that formed puddles on my keyboard. When I finally reached the end, I felt an enormous sense of relief and lightness inside, like at last, I’d found a way to say a proper goodbye to that part of my past.
Now that you’ve heard my whole saga, aren’t you even just a little curious about this excruciating ending? Clever, aren’t I? Seriously, it may have been a painful ending to write, but I’ve been told it’s not painful to read.
Ladies, it’s been a pleasure being here! Thanks for having me and keep dancing everyone!