It was last November, during NaNoWriMo. I had a really cool idea about this guy who is doing work on the second floor of the house his mother owns. She’s really old and he’s just kinda old. He’s a Boomer, actually. So he’s doing this work and as he’s demoing some of the spaces in the rental upstairs, this letter floats down and catches his attention. It’s a suicide note from someone who once lived there. His mother kept all the records, but he has no idea what happened to this person. He goes on a quest to find out who it is, what was so bad, and what happened to them.
I really liked the idea because he was on a quest to find this anonymous letter writer. He tracks down a few other previous renters and follows the clues to to figure out who this person was. As he’s tracking down the clues, he finds out a bunch about her life and what has happened to her. His chapters are in the present and the alternating chapters are her in the past, going through what he’s learning about.
I love this story because the time jumps feel awesome. The reader is tracking his life in the present, on this quest, at the same time they are learning about this girl and who she really is. And what happens to her. So the reader knows the past, the present, but still can’t connect the past girl to the present quest. And this guy learns about himself as well. I try to connect her stories from the past to his about the present. Like she goes through this terrible relationship in her early 20s and his wife is about to leave him in his 60s. He finds a new love, we watch her go through all kinds of love.
And then the ultimate twist…as he’s just about to find her, the story goes silent on what happens to her next so the reader has to follow him in the present. He eventually finds her and she has actually transitioned and is now living the truth. He is blown away, but feels like he actually knows this person, even though this was s huge, unexpected twist in the story.
They become friends and I started a second book about them that I just can’t get traction on.
But I swear to god, if my way long ago landlord’s son ever comes looking for me, I am calling the cops. Weird stalker.
Haha, just kidding. It’s sort of autobiographical in a lot of ways, although I never left any letter there. I picked pieces of my life that were interesting and spun them in a fictional way. The guy and his family all exist, although I made up a TON of details about them. I think his mother was Ukrainian and I sort of ran with that in the sequel.
I really want to be published one day. I love making up stories in my head and I never run out of cool ideas for books. Now to just get myself to finish them…