“Neither man knew it, but it was the only goodbye they would be allowed that day.” (page 142)

Day Ten of the Cock Fight Dailies crests the hill with the sound of a thousand thundering hoof beats… or am I lost in a delusion of grandeur again?

Well, either way, welcome!

Goodbyes. They are many things to a writer.

They are often the lynchpin to a hardy, robust romance.

They are a surefire fix to any dragging storyline.

And they’re usually guaranteed to up a scraggly word count by at least twenty-five percent.

Goodbyes are an author’s finest weapon. The threat of them alone casts an uncertain pallor to every romance, be it historic, contemporary or paranormal. I’ve heard them described once as a guillotine writers force their readers to walk through for the privilege of joining the party.

The blade could fall at any time… and on anyone.

In the best suspenseful yarns of romance, it’s like sitting in the room with a ticking bomb. There’s no nifty timer, however, to tell you when or if it’s ever going to blow. The constant tick-tick-tick may fade into the background behind sexual “Oh!”s and “More!”s, but the tick-tick-tick is still ticking away in the afterglow.

Is it a power trip? Do we feel like the Greek gods of old javelining thunderbolts at our mortal characters at our every whim?

Well, no.

At least, I don’t. Once I’ve spent the time, energy, emotion and imagination to create a character the very last thing I want to do is kill them.

Does that mean I won’t?

Of course I will. The storyline must come first.

But does it mean I won’t miss him or her?

Of course I’ll miss them. I’ll mourn them right alongside my readers. Perhaps, even more since I will know sides to them that the audience has never seen… and now, thanks to me, will never have a hope of seeing.

If the guillotine falls, it always falls for a purpose.

Bottom line to all of today’s rambling?

I much prefer hellos to goodbyes.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe