My new book (coming soon) Sid and Teddy has a lot of texted dialogue. I think there’s something kind of fun about adding this way of communicating to a novel, like adding diaries or letters back When that was how we communicated.
The other day I was texting a friend, from whom I’m seperated by distance, and they were excited about my new books and I thought the exchange was fun, so I’m adding it here. (Not screenshots, transposed and edited because: writer;o)
She had just finished Leveling 1 and texted me:
Friend: All I can say is OMG!!!!When will you be done with part two???
Me: Hee hee, it’s done! Already published! I’m so glad you liked it!
Me: And I started writing Leveling 3!
Friend: Did you ever read “The Green Mile” by Stephen King? When it was first published it was a serial, sold in chunks. I loved Leveling 1, I’m buying part 2 today. So excited!! Picked up Violet’s Mountain to read next.
Me: I used to read a lot of Stephen King but somehow missed that one and had no idea it was a serial, cool that I’m in good company. Thank you for loving the books, it makes me super happy.
Also, I can’t decide who I love more, Edmund (Violet’s Mountain) or Beckett (Leveling)
Friend: At the Moment, Beckett.
Me: He is super hot. I’m impressed with myself that I could make a scaredy cat that is so hot. (I used that party horn emoji)
Friend: Lol, I’m a super fan of back tats and sleeves.
Me: Have you checked out my Pinterest boards? My daughters send me photos that remind them of characters :o) User name: hdknightley
Friend: I was sort of visualizing Luna to look a bit like Moana, but with short hair, and you know, not a cartoon. Lol.
Me: Man, wasn’t Moana awesome? And yes, exactly.
Friend: So are the Hawkes brothers (Violet’s Mountain) sort of the Hemsworth brothers?
Me: Yes. Sheepish grin. I joke that all my characters are based on Liam Hemsworth’s smile.
Friend: Look what came!!!!!
And then a few hours later: Oh my god! Book three comes out when??
Me: I’m beaming, I’m so excited, you liked?
Friend: Loved it! I’m almost done with Violet’s Mountain too. I’m at the point when Lala visits Edmund near the end of the book. Loving it as well.
Such a great idea for a story, makes me think about the stuff we hang onto as a culture. What we see as important. Also Emily being the exact opposite, so minimalist.
(The Emily character of Violet’s Mountain is based on Marie Kondo of The Art of Tidying Up.)
Me: You’re at my favorite part. When I was writing that novel I was surprised that Lala showed up.
Friend: I love hearing authors say that. Like the novel just uses them as a medium to get itself out in the world.
Me: It so does. When I started writing that book I thought Benjamin was going to win Violet, but guess what? Hee hee.
Stephen King said authors are like archeologists digging up a story, I kind of love that.
(Stephen King actually said, “I’ve never seen novels as built things. I have a tendency to see them as found things. I always feel a little bit like an archeologist who’s working to get some fragile fossil out of the ground. The more you get out unbroken, the better you succeed.”
Friend: That is a cool image and I finished Violet’s Mountain! Next I’m going to start on the three Bright novels! Apparently you will be a big chunk of my reading for the year.
Me: Did you like the ending? And I’m honored that my books are so high on your list.
Friend: I did. I love when I finish a book and want more of the day to day life of the characters. Life without the drama. Like what happens now that everything is calm. I want to know…what happens.
Me: I happen to have a glimpse on my site: Paperweights (tiny story three) This is Christmas with Violet and Edmund.
Friend: I love it.
Friend (later): I’ve been ruminated about Violet’s Mountain…I really liked that Ben and Lala didn’t get together. I liked that they could have a close loving relationship without dating.
Me: I’m really proud of that theme, finding family and making it your own and that Benjamin and Lala can have a happy ending that’s different from the normal boy meets girl falls in love happily ever after. That they found each other and became sister and brother. Also, that the mountain is not just the literal physical ‘mountain,’ the mountain was Edmund. And perhaps less noticable, the mountain that kept them all safe was actually Benjamin. He’s the true hero.
Me: That’s why it’s one of my favorite stories. My others are more straightforward but I wanted things about Violet’s Mountain to be more complicated and hidden and special. For instance, Benjamin and what he did for his older brother, isn’t the main point of the book, but he held the people together while Edmund climbed the mountain and solved the problem. It has so much about family and friendship behind the scenes of the love story.
Friend: You do a good job of describing your characters without over explaining them, which I think can be challenging. You’ve got a little JK Rowling going on, just enough info but leaving it open for the reader to see them in their own head.
Me: Thank you, you’re awesome.
If you like this behind the scenes glimpse, you’d probably also like what I’m doing over on Wattpad. I have a new story, Sid and Teddy, that I’m writing now, and I’m posting a chapter every few days. You can leave comments and tell me what you think as I go. My handle is @hdknightley See you there!