Breaking the Rules in a Series by Safari Spell & Long Live Dead Reckless Giveaway

Long Live Dead Reckless (Long Live Dead Reckless #1)

by Safari Spell
Publication date: July 19th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Talor Gardin may be a princess, but her life is no fairy tale.
A year ago, her mother died and her father burned down their house. Now with a father in and out of a mental ward, she’s working a minimum wage job to finish her last semester of college. To make matters worse, she gets itchy every time a guy makes a move on her. The itch could be anything, really: a desire to escape her haunted hometown, a financial windfall, the name of some vampire…or all the above. Whatever the reason, she thinks the answers are written in the freckle constellations of her cute new coworker, Sage Talis.
Sage is the quiet, polite type with plenty of secrets – like fangs and a price on his head – and Talor can’t figure out what makes him so irresistible until she hears him sing. But when cryptic letters appear on her wrist, Talor is thrust into a world where fantastic creatures lurk just below the skin, strangers keep calling her a princess, and everything she’s been through is nothing compared to what’s coming.


Guest Post: Breaking the Rules in a Series

by Safari Spell

I think every writer can agree that putting your work out there is the hardest thing to do. But now that I’ve published a few books, I know there’s something even riskier than sharing your work with the world, and that’s breaking writing rules. Because whether they know it or not, there are rules readers trust in when they crack open a novel. They don’t know the story they’re about to read, but the genre tells them what to expect in some sense. For example, in romance, they get a HEA (happily ever after). Rare exceptions there. And in any series in general, they need some sort of closure by the end of the book, even when they know it’s not actually the end.

When I finally finished Long Live Dead Reckless, I was so proud of myself. I’d done the impossible and written an actual book! After deciding I wanted to publish and share it with readers, I realized I had a major problem. The ending was a cliffhanger.

In a romance novel.

In a series.

Uh oh. I kind of panicked. For the record, I didn’t break rules because I’m a rebel or anything cool like that. Being my first novel, you could say I was more naïve than anything. But really, I’m just the writer who told the story, and that’s how the story goes. Sometimes stories don’t play by the rules no matter how much you want them to. Long Live Dead Reckless is one of those – cliffhanger in a romance series and all.

Still, I knew it was a major gamble putting that kind of book out there, so I spent several months trying to figure out how to fix it. I tried rewriting the storyline and I hated it. I considered ending the book in a different chapter, but that didn’t work, either. I came up exhausted and empty.


Because the story is the story is the story. So before I published, I had to make a choice: was I going to change the plot to accommodate generic genre rules or was I willing to do something dangerous as a debut author?

I knew it could cost me readers. I knew it would even get me a few negative reviews. People don’t like cliffhangers endings in general, and mine is a doozy. But in the end, I stayed true to the story. I chose conviction over comfort. That was one of the luxuries with going indie publishing over traditional – I had the power to make that call. While I won’t pretend I haven’t gotten heated messages from readers about it, I will say that I’m glad I didn’t try to bend to fit what was safe. I just broke, and sometimes that’s the only way to keep a shape as true as it should be.

(Follow up reader question: “what are your thoughts on a cliffhanger ending?”)


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Author Bio & Link:

Safari Spell is a native of Albany, Georgia. She has a BA in Journalism from Valdosta State University. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband, hilarious daughter, and a backyard jungle harboring all the dinosaurs everyone thinks are extinct. Her dreams include chasing autumn around the globe, owning a wallaby, and riding a camel for at least nine seconds.

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