Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dear Reader

When (Never) Again was coming out, I was asked to write a Dear Reader letter. Unfortunately there was a mix up and my letter never posted. Since we have been celebrating the one year anniversary of its release, I have decided to finally share it. So here it is. My Dear Reader letter that never went out.

Dear Reader, 

It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit, I’m a writer who used to hate to read. As a kid I loved going to the library and taking out the maximum amount of books, falling in love with the characters and relating to their stories. But when I got older, the only books I read were the ones they assigned in school, and to be honest, I was not a fan. I couldn’t relate to the characters or to their situations. Then one day I discovered contemporary and romance books. My life was changed. Finally, characters who were dealing with similar issues as me, living a life like my own, falling in love all while making mistakes. These were the stories that spoke to me. The stories I needed to write. 

When I sat down to write (Never) Again, I had so many different visions for Liz. Ultimately, I decided to let her take the lead. At times I hated her, wanted to reach into my computer and knock some sense into her. I even thought about rewriting the entire book so she could make better decisions. But why in the world would I do that? At eighteen I made some of the worst decisions of my life. Decisions that to this day I still think about. They may have been the wrong choices, but they are what helped define who I am today. How could I possibly take that away from Liz? 

Liz is flawed. Who isn’t? She’s na├»ve and at times can be immature. She dates a guy who is clearly wrong for her because while it’s the wrong choice it’s the easy choice. Deep down she knows she’ll never fully open her heart to him and because of that she’ll never hurt again.  Can you blame the girl? On a scale of bad to awful, breakups surpass bad haircuts and dental visits. And when the breakup is with your first love, it flies off the scale, landing in its own lonely world of misery. 

When Liz’s first love shows up after a year of no communication she did exactly what I myself once did. She dove in the girl’s bathroom and avoided him completely. I know you all have done this, or at least thought about it. Standing in that bathroom, I never felt more pathetic. Another bad decision.
The only person who is honest with Liz is her brother, Josh. Just like my own brother, he tells it how it is. He doesn’t sugar coat his feelings.  Josh is the ultimate player, but for some reason, you love him anyway. Probably because he’s just out to have a good time.   

Sadie is what best friends are made of. She’s sympathetic to a point, can tell what Liz is feeling from a simple gesture and has the ultimate collection of romcoms. We’ve all dated a Joe at some point in our life. The guy who has unrealistic dreams and no ambition, but makes you forget about your real problems.  Zach is the guy every girl wants. He’s sweet and funny and belts out songs in the car like no other. He is the only guy who can hurt Liz, but he’s also the only guy who can make her happy. 

While writing (Never) Again, I laughed, I cried, I even yelled at my computer screen. My hope is that you have the same experience reading it. 

Happy Reading!

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  1. I love your letter. I also went through a period of time when I didn't read. The people in my professional life frowned on fiction (it wasn't even real, they said, why bother with it). I was so happy to get back to a place where I didn't care what other people thought about my free time.

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