Dear Booked Up Readers,
A lot of people ask me where the idea for Love, Aubrey came from. Many of them are worried that what happens to Aubrey in the story happened to me in real life. The book is entirely fiction, so nothing in the story actually happened to me or anyone else I know. There are little snippets of things that are from my life, of course, like my sisters secretly transporting their pet fish on trains…
When I had just finished Love, Aubrey and people were starting to ask where the story came from, I really thought it came from nowhere. I had needed to hand in something for my writing class and while I had several ideas floating around in my head, I was most captured by a “missing” character named Savannah and that my eleven-year-old narrator seemed to be on her own. I wrote from there to find out why Aubrey was alone, which is the same way you start to read the book today.
It’s an age-old question, isn’t it: where do stories come from? I think the real answer is not just nowhere but also everywhere. Even the most fantastic of fiction comes from somewhere, even if just from the wondering heart of its author. Only after I thought about it for a while did I realize that there are emotional reasons that I wrote Love, Aubrey: real, specific things in my life that sowed the seeds of the story in my mind. One is that I always worry about my family when they travel on the mountainous roads in Virginia. Two months before I started writing Love, Aubrey, my grandmother lost her sister, whom she had never lived without for even a day. I have two sisters and a brother myself, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose them. I was concerned about my grandmother’s sadness and admired her strength, and, well…I think that is where Love, Aubrey really came from. While I thought I was just writing to write, the story is a mirror for my fears. Aubrey ended up teaching me that even if it’s true that sad and scary things can happen to us, we can learn to be okay again and keep going.
I hope that Love, Aubrey helps you, too, and I wish you well.