To Kiss… or Not to Kiss?
This seems to be the hot question of late, at least in regards to Interrupted. For those of you who haven’t read the book, I really don’t want to spoil the ending for you, so stop reading right now if you don’t want to know what happens! I mean it—just shoo!
Okay, for those of you who are still reading, you obviously either have finished Interrupted and want to hear what I have to say about the ending, or you were just so intrigued at the idea of me talking about kissing that you decided to read on anyway. Whatever the case, prepare to be disappointed.
There was no kissing in Interrupted. I don’t know why this never seemed like a big deal to me. Maybe because, at the time I wrote it, I was fourteen years old and the idea of kissing couples was nowhere on my radar. That seemed kind of gross, and unnecessary, and not like something that I wanted my precious Allie and Sam to be doing. They were infinitely above anything like that foolishness, at least in my mind.
However, I’ve gotten a lot of questions, both from readers, bloggers, and friends/family, about Allie and Sam’s relationship. Why did they never kiss in the end of the book? It was supposed to be a romance, after all. If I was as smart as, say, Nicholas Sparks, that book would have ended with a good and thorough kiss, just to put the icing on the cupcake and the bow on the present.
But I didn’t. So I thought I’d take a few moments to address why, in the end, I decided to leave out a kissing scene between my main characters. This will be brief and concise, because, really, I don’t wish to go into all the details, but here’s a quick summary:
- Kissing is an awkward thing to write about. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Maybe it would be easier if I was a romantically inclined person, but I’m not, and it’s pretty awkward. I can do Allie throwing a shoe at Sam and running away from her feelings when she realizes she loves him. I can even do a semi-sappy proposal scene. But I don’t know if I have it in me to write even a brief kiss. Sorry, but it’s true. I’m a failure to females everywhere.
- I didn’t want to offend any Christians who might not approve of a book with kissing in it. My goal with Interrupted was to provide a well-written book for Christian teens with a strong Gospel message and a clean romance. The problem is, everyone has a different definition of the word “clean”. I don’t have a problem reading books or watching movies that have kissing in them, but some Christians do. And I don’t want to alienate anyone from reading my book just because of that.
- Age-appropriateness is also an issue. Since I’m a homeschooler, I realize many fellow homeschoolers will be reading my book because of that. Lots of homeschool families encourage their young children to read higher level books that they think will be of value for them. My every hope is that Interrupted is the kind of book that a nine-year-old child, like my sister, would be able to read with the parent’s full consent and trust.
- It just didn’t seem necessary to write in a kiss. I’m sure that Sam kissed Allie, you guys. We may not have seen it, but you’d be crazy not to believe he did. Every reader is free to guess for themselves when that might have happened. Whether it was two minutes after the story ends, or on their wedding day, I’m sure he kissed her. The point it, that’s where the story ends for me. With that assumption. So feel free to guess for yourselves when that might have happened, because I basically left it up to your imagination after I closed the story!
So that’s the short and sweet of it, I guess. To be clear, I’m not upset with anyone at all who was wondering about the kissing! I’d probably be wondering myself, if I were a reader. I just thought I’d clear up the air about the topic.
So I guess the answer to “To kiss, or not to kiss?” would have to be not. At least for Interrupted. But I’ve heard all of your questions and comments on the topic and it’s definitely something I’ll put a lot of thought into about the next book. So you’ll just have to read that one for yourself to see what conclusion I come to…
(Oooh—a mysterious way to end the blog post)