“Write what you know.”
My book FRIENDZONE, which comes out on September 01, 2020, is loosely inspired by two separate people and events in my life. It is NOT an autobiographical or true story. I simply came up with the story of FRIENDZONE after meditating on these two events.
When I was a kid in elementary school, there was a little boy that I spent a lot of time playing with. He was always in the same classes as me, we played basketball together, and rode bikes together. My parents always teased me that he and I would grow up and get married since we were always together. But when we moved on to middle school, we ended up in separate friend groups and drifted apart.
Then, the summer before my senior year of high school, a boy that I had recently started dating died suddenly due to an electrical accident. I was devastated and not prepared for the death of someone my age. It was very unexpected, and the loss changed and reshaped me and my future.
I decided to write a story that covered these two different events and topics: changes in friendship and grief, because they are very real and hard lessons to learn as a young man or woman. In your teen years, your friends and the people you have relationships with feel like your whole word and it’s devastating when you lose them in a way that I don’t think is the same at any other age.
I chose to set this story during the end of the characters’ senior year. At the transitional period of graduating high school and beginning college. This time and age is my favorite to write about because every single decision and action you make is monumental and affects your future. It’s an exciting and scary time in teenagers’ lives. They’re excited to grow up, become adults, and take charge of their futures, but at the same time are scared. Suddenly they’re responsible for themselves. Suddenly they have to be adults. They’re out on their own for the first time. Many leave behind everything they’ve ever known as they move away for college, move away from their families, move away from their friends. They leave behind the familiar faces and places that they have known their whole lives. They’re no longer attending school with the same people they grew up with and saw every day for twelve years of school.
At this age everything feels bigger, more vivid, more real, more life and death, bigger stakes. That’s why I love writing stories like FRIENDZONE.
Because I was inspired to write FRIENDZONE based upon my own experiences, it’s been such a real labor of love to write. It’s very much a piece of my own heart and soul in a way my Kiss Series books weren’t, even though they were special to me too because they’re the first books I published.
With FRIENDZONE I talk about the struggles of grief, guilt, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and living up to the expectations that other people place on you. All things that I’ve personally struggled with in my own life.
I hope that when you read FRIENDZONE you might be able to find small pieces of yourself in the characters and the story too. That you find you are able to relate to the characters and see yourself and your friends in them too.
I hope you enjoy reading FRIENDZONE when it releases on Amazon on September 01, 2020.
P.S. Fun Fact: September 1st is my birthday, and because this book is so special to me, I decided to share my birthday with it! That’s what made me choose September 1st as the release date!
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Until next time,
Write on, Writers!