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This author had originally conceived a series with the heroine having a solid Linear Love Progression (my term) in the first book. This means the MC had a love interest when the first book began that shifted and settled in a different direction throughout the same book. The guy from the very beginning was supposed to be left behind at this point, and in book two and three it would continue to be all about the second "real" love interest, with no love triangle in the mix. (Ex. Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson has a Linear Love Progression).
However, this author's editor had a different opinion on the matter and wanted the first guy to be featured throughout the second book as well, essentially bringing back a love triangle. The author has obliged this request and mentioned having to juggle more people and more romantic drama than anticipated in book two. Though the author is attempting to keep the focus off the romance, at least in the heroine's mind. The author compared it to The Hunger Games series in that sense. (I have mixed feelings about that comparison.)
Some specific comments/reactions to this conversation:
1) It makes me sad to hear a change like this was made when a love triangle wasn't the original intent of the author. I actively avoid triangles, so I will likely not read this series now. I know I'm just one person, but I'm still disappointed.
2) I didn't get into a conversation with this author about why the editor requested this change, but my guess is it has something to do with audience-selling potential. As much as I hate to admit it, love triangles sell. But does adding a love triangle really bring in more readers? I don't have an answer to that.
3) BUT there are amazing - and popular - series out there that do not have love triangles at all. Why does it often seem like non love triangle books are the exception instead of the rule? How much is this a reflection of the author's planning and how much is it an editorial decision by the publisher? Maybe it doesn't really matter in the end, but in my mind it makes a difference. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Going back to my Love Triangle Red Flags, chances are that second hot boy who's just shown up in the book you're reading was requested by the editor and he'll be staying around for the duration.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!