Sunday, February 13, 2011


by Sarah Ballance

As an author, it feels a little strange to admit I've never thought much about what happens after the end of a book. Every now and then I'll meet characters I wonder about, but for the most part I'm sold on the Happily Ever After and I'm content with where the story ends.

This week, that all changed.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Cupid himself sat down with Wyatt and Mattie, the leads from my new romantic suspense RUN TO YOU. As a chaperone of sorts, this meeting forced me to really think about what happens after the HEA. Needless to say, it was a memorable experience.

As it turns out, Wyatt and Mattie have the same sort of chemistry my husband and I share. I had to laugh over a couple of comments about Mattie being mean to Wyatt because that interview is a window into the heart of my 15 year relationship with my husband, the last 13.5 of which have been spent in marriage. The H and I trade quips and one-liners almost non-stop, sometimes so rapid-fire it's as if we were scripted. And jabs? Boy, do we ever take jabs at one another – good natured ones – and that banter is one of the things I love best about us.

But, truth be told, it made me wonder. Am I mean to him? If I asked, he'd probably say yes and offer to punish me later, mischievous grin firmly in place. And as fast as I realized that, I came to a fabulous conclusion: whatever it is, it works for us. I love how – after 15 years and six kids – he's totally cozy in closing his eyes as if he's horrified when he says they've been "long, long, LONG" years. There's a certain amount of trust in being able to do that – not only trust in our relationship, but also that I won't injure or impair anything important while he's standing there with his eyes closed.

Of course, there's a balance there. As quick as he is to joke with me, he's passionate and sweet and as romantic as can be. (He'd kill me if he knew I put that in print.) We're more like scheming cohorts than we are an old married couple, and like a couple of teenagers when it comes to the excitement of seeing each other at the end of a day. All of these "long, long, LONG" years later, my heart still flutters like it did in the beginning. In fact, things are better now than they've ever been. It's safe to say he's stuck with me, and – poor guy – if you asked him, he'd tell you that's about as "mean" as it gets.

And every bit as lucky. Safe to say we'll both attest to that.

Back to Wyatt and Mattie, I think it's equally safe to say their take on Valentine's Day pretty well sums up our personal stance. Here's a snippet of their interview:

Cupid: Have the two of you had time to settle into any Valentine's Day traditions?

Mattie: Just one. If he wastes a bunch of money on flowers for Valentine's Day, he's dead. He's supposed to express his undying gratitude for me because he can't help himself, not because th
e calendar says he must.

Wyatt: Let me translate. I'm not on the hook for Valentine's Day - I'm on the hook EVERY day.

All I've got to say, Wyatt, is when you've got it this good, that hook isn't the worst place to be. ;c)

Readers, if you'd like to check out the full interview to see what the fuss is about - not to mention get an earful of the type of fun you can have with a ten foot pole - click here.

AUTHOR BIO: Sarah wrote her first novel in 2008 because she told someone she couldn't. Her first query went to Noble, and the rest, as they say, is history. While the thought of writing fiction initially intimidated her, it has morphed into a favorite pastime since her characters, unlike her kids, actually listen to her … most of the time.


C. Zampa said...

Ah! I was on of those blog readers who indeed thought---very jokingly---that Maddie was mean. LOL..But...but...prior to their post-HEA interview, she hadn't been so.

Most couples, like you and your husband, DO playfully jab---both physically and verbally. Just a sign of comfort between them.

MY ulterior motive was to convince Wyatt that Maddie WAS being mean so he would move and take up a Sheriff's job in Galveston---near Me. LOL.

So the 'mean Maddie' comments were purely in jest.

And what a good point you made. I'd never thought about it myself. We really don't often think beyond the ending of the book, do we? What are like like afterward? Like those follow-ups of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. LOL...

Good post.

Sarah Ballance said...

@CZ, OMG! Laughing SO hard! Look at you luring my character away ... tsk, tsk. I'm going to keep my eye on you! (I'll just have to keep the other one on Wyatt. Professional courtesy, of course.)

Thanks so much for your comment, m'dear. And more thanks for not feeling the need to rescue MY hubby. (Poor Mattie, LOL.) ;c)

AllureVanSanz said...

Hi Sarah!

I trade jabs, insults and the like with my SO, too. I think it makes things more fun. It can also relieve some stress I think and turn frustration into a verbal wrestling match...and then evolve into a physical match and weeee. As long as the intention isn't to emotionally harm, I find it healthy. If I kicked my SO's ass as often as I threatened I would, I'd be in jail constantly for DV. LOL

Sarah Ballance said...

Totally agree, Allure. Everyone always says things are better if you can laugh about them, and darn if laughing through marriage/relationship doesn't make it a good one! >> Obviously not talking about bad situations - gotta throw that disclaimer in there b/c I know there are plenty of them. :c(