A question that I keep getting, all over social media and email, is “Will Sashi and Will get an HEA?” I’ve seen this so often that I thought it was time to write a little blog and address it. If you haven’t read the story, though, please, please stop reading here so you don’t spoil anything for yourself.
Okay, first of all, I have to say that I am honored that so many of you cared enough about Bloodsick to write me about the characters. A little background on the story: I created this novella after I was asked to participate in a box set called Shifters After Dark. In order to fit with the box set’s theme, I had to write a story that focused on a werewolf, rather than a null, as in my previous books.
I jumped on the excuse to focus on Will’s background, because it was a story that I’d been wanting to tell for ages. I’ve set some pretty specific rules for werewolves in my novels, and I thought it would be interesting to explore how a good man becomes a werewolf on purpose in my world. I knew that Will would have cancer, that he would have a contentious relationship with his oncologist (I’d already written Hunter’s Trail by then), and that he would lose a love – from the beginning, it’s always been unusual that Will doesn’t have a mate. I wanted to write about why he never chose one. That’s where Sashi came in.
Before I started Bloodsick, I’d already written three female protagonists: my private investigator Lena Dane, plus Scarlett and Lex from the Old World. I needed to create a new main character who was different, in her way, from all three of them, and it seemed like a really daunting task— right up until I got started. To my eternal surprise, Sashi just kind of jumped into the text fully formed: cheerful, hopeful, fun-loving, a little naïve and immature, and with seemingly insurmountable issues with her mom. I had written a younger character already, but Sashi was my first really carefree (at least in the beginning) protagonist, and she was so much fun to write. Which I wasn’t at all expecting. But she made a good match for responsible, grounded Will. I could see the two of them as the fun couple at dinner parties: with Sashi teasing and always smiling and Will putting in a quiet, thoughtful opinion while never taking his eyes off his wife.
Of course, another thing I knew going into this was that they couldn’t end up together. Bloodsick is a prequel story, and Will doesn’t have a mate at the beginning of Dead Spots. Plus, Sashi is a witch, and species rarely intermix in my universe (short explanation: my magic system is based on evolution, and evolution leans heavily on the idea of propagating the species. You can’t make new werewolves out of witches and vice versa). If I’m being completely honest, I kind of loved the idea of them falling in love but never being able to be together (I thought a lot about the TV show Pushing Daisies as I was writing this). It was romantic, and tragic, and although I don’t usually go for tragic, I’d never written unrequited love before, and the challenge was appealing.
But—and this is very important to me—although Will and Sashi don’t end up together in the end, I’ve never considered Bloodsick to have a “downer” ending. Will and Astrid go to Los Angeles, where we know Will is instrumental in bringing peace not only to his new pack, but to the entire supernatural community in the city. He couldn’t do that if he stayed in Minnesota with Sashi. And Sashi severs her unhealthy relationship with her mother and finds herself a new place with Will’s family and the baby. She finds a direction, which is what she was really needing all along. They may not get each other, but they do get a new family, and to me, that’s at least a bittersweet ending.
Now, I’ve said before that both Will and Sashi will be back in my series, and I promised to address the big question: will they eventually find their way back to one another? I don’t usually answer questions about future events in my books, but in this case I don’t want to give anyone false hope. According to all my current plans, Will and Sashi will never get an HEA, at least not with each other. The chemistry is impossible: Neither one of them can stand to be with the other romantically. They will always love each other (That’s why Will’s never been able to bring himself to choose another mate), but they just don’t get to be together.
I know, it’s sad, but please remember that their relationship was also fifteen years ago, and a lot has happened since then. They’ve both built themselves very full and interesting lives (and yes, we’ll get a glimpse of Sashi’s) and they’re both content with their choices. As an author, that’s not something I hand out willy-nilly.
So, there you have it: I’ve crushed your hopes. I truly am sorry if you were hanging in there hoping for an HEA, but all I can really say is thank you for caring. And I’ll leave you with one little present, a tiny spoiler about Will and Sashi’s baby:
Her name is Grace.