On Writing The Solitary Tales

            Sometimes writing is really all about letting go. And I’ve spent a lot of time these past five years as a fulltime novelist saying goodbye.
            Now that the dust has settled and the death count has risen and my four-book teen series entitled The Solitary Tales is finished, I can stare at it from afar with a bit of perspective. The fourth and final book, Hurt, isn’t out yet, so I don’t know what readers will think of it. I only know what I’ve done. And now that it’s been almost a whole year since I finished Hurt, I can try to evaluate some things about this series.
            One of the things I know is that this really is my ode to my teenage years. That doesn’t mean I won’t do another teen series in the future. Doesn’t mean I won’t dissect some of those days during one of the four different high schools I went to.
            But in a weird way, The Solitary Tales are my way of saying goodbye to that kid I knew. The lonely and sometimes awkward kid. The rebellious guy. The angst-filled soul. The romantic and poet. The lover of John Hughes films and Depeche Mode (okay—that guy isn’t going away anytime soon). The teen who grew up fast yet refused to be boxed-in and labeled.
            Don’t worry—The Solitary Tales are far more interesting than I am. But they still have big chunks of me throughout them. I can’t help it. Every novelist does that in some way. I think I found a cool balance between storytelling and soultapping.
            I knew if I didn’t write something like The Solitary Tales, I’d eventually forget. I wouldn’t remember being a teenager because I might have them walking around my house, being awkward and rebellious and full of angst. I might actually forget what it’s like.
            The Solitary Tales are my way of remembering.
            They are also my way of saying goodbye.
            It’s the best—and only—way I know how. 

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