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fugly magsMan!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOVE my readers.  (Did I mention how much I love them?) They are so damned smart that I get to write stuff like FUGLY and know they are going to “get it.” I don’t need to spend two pages explaining stuff. They. Get. It. And they get me.

Okay, most of the time. (Sometimes I can get a little “out there.”) But a few of you emailed, messaged, or mentioned in your reviews about the fact that I did NOT describe Lily’s face.  Not until the end. Not until our hero Max describes her.

Many of you guessed why, and you were right!  Had I not done that, you would’ve spent the ENTIRE BOOK focused on her OUTSIDE, not her insides. Not the point of the book.

The second reason was that if I’d described the “Elephant Woman” the readers—or most of us, me included—would have immediately disconnected from Lily. We’d be reading a story about “that” woman.  So leaving the “imperfection” blank allowed us to walk in her shoes (insert your “fugly” here) and relate to her in a way that wouldn’t have been possible had we known what she looked like.

As for the ending, I had three ideas. One was a traditional happy ever after. Number two was from her POV and talked about their plans going forward.  Number three was what you got, because the other options would require another book.  If they were to get married, we would need to go into the family dynamics—how would Lily’s family feel about her marrying him? How would his family feel about him marrying her? How about the sister? Lily’s brother?  There was so much there to answer that we’d need another book, at least for me to feel happy.

Then there’s the question of children. No children? Yes children? Why one or the other? If yes, what would they look like, and how would Lily and Max handle it? Could I write a story about their kids that wouldn’t devastate me and the readers emotionally? And could I ensure it was a romance?

Anyway, you can quickly see how a traditional HEA led to more questions and situations we’d all want answered.  And maybe, someday, I will.  But the spot where we ended things felt right to me and left us with the ability to imagine their future—wide open and full of possibilities. It left me feeling so, so good and happy and sad, all at the same time.

But my readers are smart!  They “got” all that, and I know because I’ve read your touching emails, reviews, and posts.  Hundreds of them.

Thank you for so boldly sharing your own fugly stories with me.  You’ve changed my life.

With Love,