October 17, 2011

Guest Post: Author Rhiannon Paille

Rhiannon Paille
We are starting the week in great company. Author Rhiannon Paille is here today to talk about happy endings, or in her book’s case, the not-so-happy endings.

Her debut novel, Flame of Surrender, came out a couple of weeks ago and it’s the first book in The Ferryman and the Flame series, so be ready for more books to come. 

Please help us give her a warm welcome! 

Why my books don’t have happy endings 

The old adage is that good fiction isn’t happy. Characters that get what they want are flat 2D creatures on the page. They’re boring, they’re uninteresting, they’re pointless. Any good author knows that if they want a reader to care about the character, that character has to go through some heartache. 



I think there’s a fine line between giving characters challenges and plain old being cruel. 

I am cruel. 

I defy the laws of fiction by killing off main characters, I leave my books on cliffhangers and I find the worst possible scenarios and play them out over and over in my head. You’d think I’m some sort of masochist, but really, these characters came to me this way, broken, and bruised with a horrific story to tell me. I spent years watching the bad endings in my head, knowing that when I began writing the series, the books would end badly. 

I always knew there were no happy endings. 

The reason I began? Well, the bad endings were better on paper than in my dreams. 

Admittedly, the first draft of the first book was horrifying. I never intended to get the book published, but I did need to write it. 

Look up “worst book endings ever” and you’ll see my name in the fine print. I feel like it couldn’t have been worse if I tried, and that made me terrified to write the book and even more terrified to get it published. 

My facebook posts around the time I wrote the first draft of Surrender were all about reaching the next chapter and not changing the plan for the ending. I could have easily altered course, made certain things happen that would save the day, but then I knew that would be cheesy. I knew that wouldn’t be real. That wouldn’t be the way my guides told me it happened. 

When I was finished Surrender, I was physically sick. Rewriting it twice didn’t help either, but I did it because at that point I felt like this story couldn’t stay tucked away in my computer, never to see the light of day. Sometimes I thought it would be better left untold, better left unpublished, but as I began to write books two and three, I knew that I would eventually have to let people read the books. 

Even if they hated them for the bad endings. 

Even if they hated me for the bad endings. 

I promise that by the end of the series it will end well. I have plans for a bittersweet ending that won’t rip your heart out and shred it into little pieces. I can’t say it’s going to satisfy every reader out there, but it will do justice for the characters. 

I hope you stay with me for the long haul and I hope you’re prepared for some of the worst cliffhanger endings you’ve ever seen. My endings are worse than Mockingjay, City of Fallen Angels and Forever combined, if you can imagine that. 



About the author:

Rhi was never a normal girl. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. She's married to a chef/comic book shop owner and has a fondness for architecture. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her website.

About the Book:

Bloom the weed of temptation and expire the great garden of life. Bloom the flower of sacrifice and sustain the great garden in strife. 

The boy who follows death meets the girl who could cause the apocalypse.  

Krishani thinks he’s doomed until he meets Kaliel, the one girl on the island of Avristar who isn’t afraid of him. She’s unlike the other girls, she swims with merfolk, talks to trees and blooms flowers with her touch. What he doesn’t know is that she’s a flame, one of nine individually hand crafted weapons, hidden in the body of a seemingly harmless girl. 

Nobody has fallen in love with a flame until now. She becomes Krishani’s refuge from the dreams of death and the weather abilities he can’t control. Striking down thousand-year-old trees with lightning isn’t something he tries to do, it just happens. When the Ferryman dies, Krishani knows he’s the next and a lifetime of following death is his destiny. 

And Kaliel can’t come with him. The Valtanyana are hunting the flames, the safest place for her is Avristar. Krishani can’t bear to leave her, and one innocent mistake grants the Valtanyana access to their mystical island. They’re coming for Kaliel, and they won’t stop until every last living creature on Avristar is dead. She has to choose--hide, face them, or awaken the flame and potentially destroy herself. 

Coscom Entertainment. October 6, 2011.


  1. Wow! Sounds like Rhi is a one-of-a-kind author!
    To tell you the truth, I shy away from unhappy endings.. Cliffhanger endings I guess I can handle to a certain extent, but not when the book makes me feel like ripping the book off its pages.
    But, I truly understand the vision of telling a story as it needs to be told and totally applaud Rhi for the guts it must take to do so! :-)

  2. Hi MBR!

    I agree with you. I love happy endings, and obviously this is a touchy subject among romance fans because happy endings are the norm and an important part of romance novels, but it takes guts to go against that and I also appreciate that she’s telling us up front what we’re getting into. Also, not-so-happy endings are more realistic IMO, we don’t always get what we want in real life, but sometimes what we get is exactly what we need, and obviously real life is open-ended, so you never know what might be around the corner…

    What’s curious to me is that YA books tend to be more into these bittersweet endings and I wonder why that is, it might be because teenagers aren’t as bothered by them (although I don’t think that all YA readers are really YA…) or maybe because rebellion and going against the norm is THE norm amongst YA readers, who knows? This is an interesting subject and I would love to know more about it…

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'm a sucker for happy endings, but a realistic one here and there, especially if done right, is cool too. And definitely a break and change from the norm of what I read. But I love that she wrote the books as they came to her and didn't try to altar what her muse had given her. Makes it more authentic. And the concept for surrender sounds good and a bit different from anything I've read before. So congrats to the author for releasing her first novel!

  4. Hi Jade!

    I agree, I like that she stays true to her original idea and that she’s writing what she wants and not what other people want. Besides, I’m sure that lots of people out there like more realistic or bittersweet endings (and just because it’s bittersweet doesn’t mean that it’s unhappy or sad).


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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.