Mailbag #1: In Which the Author Catches Up on Her Much Neglected Correspondence

Lindsey W. writes:
“If there was one character [in MEMOIRS] you’d like to change, who would it be?”

Lindsey, how dare you! Are you implying that the characters in my books aren’t perfect?

But, if you’re asking me what advice I’d give them if I ran into them as actual breathing people in life, then that’s another story.

For instance, here’s what I’d say to James: Yes, it’s true. You’re rather moody and depressive, but on the positive side of things, you’re very handsome and women seem to find you attractive. So, lighten up, my dear. Life isn’t so bad as all that. Love and let people love you, and life will get so much easier, I swear.

Or Will: All right, you’re not at your peak attractiveness to women just yet. But wait about ten years…

Or Naomi: Avoid stairs.

Malena M. writes:
“MEMOIRS kind of confused me a little bit around the time Naomi got her memory back. So was she a stuck up snob or not?… Oh, and why did she go out with Ace in the first place????? he was such a brainless jerk. And does Naomi end up getting reattached to her mom????”

Ah Malena, I think Naomi was both a stuck up snob and not. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s entirely possible to be two things at the same time–to want to change but to have no idea how to go about that.

I didn’t necessarily think Ace was a “brainless jerk.” He isn’t as verbal as Will or James which might, at times from Naomi’s point-of-view, make him seem thoughtless/brainless/jerky. But the truth is, she underestimates him just as she underestimates her attachment to many other things in her life. Naomi went out with Ace because he was popular, good looking, and actually a pretty decent guy. Luckily, we don’t have to marry everyone we date.

Yes, Naomi is “reattached” to her mother. In a way, it would be impossible for her not to be — her mother is the keeper of so much of her history and life. I think we see this a bit when she goes to see her mother about the photography project.

Francesca R. writes:
“I was wondering, do you think there will be a sequel to [MEMOIRS] in the near future?”

As a reader, I can certainly enjoy sequels. As a writer, not so much. The joy of writing for me comes from discovering a new set of characters in an entirely different world. BUT, one of the main characters from Memoirs (not Naomi) may make an appearance in the book I’m working on right now.

Svetlana K. writes:
“[MARGARETTOWN] inspired me to create a tarot spread…. It’s at http://nitelitetarot.blogspot.com/2008/09/spread-margarettown.html

Svetlana, this delights me for several reasons. For one, Margarettown is, by far, my least popular book — except in Italy where it was called Frammenti di una storia d’amore which apparently worked a lot better than the title I gave it. For two, I certainly never thought I’d see a tarot spread on any of my books. Now, all my other books are jealous.

Catie W. writes:
“In ELSEWHERE, Emily talks about losing her baby after Owen died. What was the name of the baby going to be? I was thinking that maybe she was going to name him after Owen, but her nephew’s name was Owen so that made me unsure.”

Catie, I wanted this name to be a secret between Owen and Emily, and the name is omitted on purpose. In a way, I hoped the reader would be put in the same position as Owen: watching Emily every moment but still only knowing so much.

Gabrielle Z. writes:
“Did you really think you were going to get through all your e-mail in one night?”

Yeah, I kind of did. This was way too ambitious though. This will have to be in multiple parts. In the mean time, enjoy this terrific little book trailer for Memoirs from the good people at the Lansing Public Library: