In some cases, readers tell me that they never liked reading until they read my books because my stories felt so real. Huge compliment and I always send them book recommendations so that hopefully they will come to love the world of books as much as I have. In other cases, since my books deal with issues like rape, drug abuse, depression, and self-injury, I get emails from readers who were inspired to confront their own personal demons or who found my books therapeutic and healing. Those are some of the most meaningful emails/conversations I've ever had.
And then I get emails from readers who inspire ME, which is super mega awesome. A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a girl named Kayla Spazz in Australia. She told me how she'd gotten I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE as a gift for her best friend, Acacia Pip. She explained that she'd done something that I definitely have done before when giving books as gifts--she read the book before she wrapped. She really loved it and she thought it was crazy how much my characters Emily and Regan reminded her of herself and Acacia, who were not only best friends but bandmates. She said their band, Smash Mystery is made up of three girls and a boy and they take a lot of guff for being a girl band, but she doesn't care because those folks will be eating their words when they are on the cover of Rolling Stone. I noticed a link to the band's website in her signature and clicked to check it out. You should click it too and listen to the song at the top of the page, "Dolls." I listened to it like five times. I ADORE it! I ADORE them! And Kayla and Acacia are 15! They will be taking over the world, I am sure of it!
That is what I love best about having written I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE in particular, meeting girls like Kayla and Acacia who are actually living it. I wrote that book because I always wanted a band like She Laughs to top the charts and through the book I discover bands like Smash Mystery who are posed to do it. Serious awesomeness.
And the story gets even cooler. Acacia got her Christmas gift and read it, and thank goodness, loved it, too! She sent me a picture she'd made of my main character Emily Black in photoshop. And as it turns out she imagines Emily pretty much as I do. She said I could share it with you so here it is:
So this, in my opinion is the best behind-the-scenes part of the writing life. Hearing from readers and discovering how amazingly talented they are! Enjoy Smash Mystery :)