There she is. My sent-to-production brain baby. I remember when I finished the very first draft… I never imagined it’d get this far. I really didn’t. I had hope, but that was literally all I had. A hope! A wish!
Never underestimate hope. When that hope is lit up with the fire of *work* and a refusal to give up, *anything* is possible.
And the crazy thing is, this *feels* finished. After every draft—even the last one where I *thought* I was finished, but wasn’t—I was always worried that something was lacking, but that’s totally gone. I am wonderfully at peace with this. With the hard work of some truly *amazing,* creative and patient people, Paul, Kaci, Melissa and Holli, I know I’ve done my absolute best to say what was in my heart and bring these characters to life, and I can say that I am sincerely *proud* of it. And now I’m gonna cry lol.
When I first made Paul read this, he said he was surprised to learn that it’s actually a love story. And what was funny is that I thought to myself, “Psh. No it’s not. Not really… it’s about survival and friendship and finding your value and—“ and then I realized, “Oh. Wait… Yeah, it totally is.”
It’s as all love stories should be—dark and full of monsters.
I would like to share with you one of my favorite excerpts from this book, which are the annoyed ramblings of one of my favorite characters, Nothe, as he’s driving Emily Adams out to the middle of nowhere in an attempt to find “the box.” Nothe… I just love Nothe. He looks young, but he’s not. He’s also a grump, but you’d probably be, too, if you were Nothe.
I can’t wait to unleash these characters on the world. They’ve been waiting a very long time to build summer homes in your minds.
“It’s like Rain always says—truly loving others would fix about 90% of the world’s problems. Ever wonder why love stories sell so well? And I don’t just mean romantic love stories, but friendship, family, love itself. It’s because deep down inside, most everyone wants to be loved. Of course they do! Just imagine if the tables were turned. Imagine if people gave each other love as much as they desired it: in their marriage, in their friendships and families, when they greet strangers, and were just—genuinely kind? How many marital problems would be solved, eh? How many family disputes would end? How many friendships would be strengthened? How many strangers uplifted, maybe even changed forever? How many people would be healed? You know? Maybe it’s a stretch, but then again… maybe world peace is just that simple.”
I couldn’t help but smile. I’d had such a similar conversation with Rain not long ago.
He went on, “People focus too much on what they can get, on what’s missing, and not on what they already have, and can give. Then they wonder why they’re so miserable, and why all the crap they buy and the things they take, don’t fix it. But the solution is right in front of them. Give love, people!” He yelled at the dashboard. “The real kind of love, not the cheap crap that dumb songs talk about, that stuff’s garbage. But the real stuff. It really is that simple.” He pointed at the radio. “Like this song. This song is crap.”
“We can change it—” I offered.
“No, listen to it. It’s crap! Telling someone you’re the only one that loves them so much is actually called ‘manipulation.’ Real love isn’t manipulative, it’s magic. And real romantic love is knowing you have something special, and to have the audacity to believe you’re the only one who can see that is sick. Real love…” his eyes were alight with the truth of each word, “Real love is being able to give up what you want most, for the ones you love most.”