The Story Behind Matt’s Story

I didn’t plan on writing a companion story for THE NIGHT WE SAID YES.

In fact, in between writing TNWSY and MATT’S STORY, I finished two other manuscripts. Seriously. But while editing the book with my editor, it just felt, I don’t know, lovely being back in that world. With my Ella and Matt and Jake and Meg. So I kind of wanted to dabble. For fun.

At first I started hanging out with Meg. I was writing her story, after TNWSY ended. What happens with her as she approaches college. But nothing felt right. I love Meg, and the story wasn’t doing her justice. And it wasn’t fun. So I scrapped it.

And then I woke up one morning with a vision – Matt in a classroom, alone. So while eating breakfast I started writing that scene. And I enjoyed being with him – and these other new characters he interacts with – so much that I brought my laptop to work and kept writing during breaks. And then I went home and kept writing. Even when S interrupted so we could talk to one of his friends in the UK via Skype, I had one eye on my laptop.

And by the end of the day I had nearly 8,000 words. It was INSANE. I had never written that much in one day. Ever.

The next day I read it over and didn’t hate it. I changed a few things here or there, elaborated, deleted,, but still felt good. So I sent it to my agent a bit later, asking if something was maybe, possibly there. To my utter delight, she saw it too, and told me to write about 10,000 words more. Okay.

Interestingly, those extra words weren’t that hard, either. I worried I’d hate it, would push it aside, but no – on the contrary, I loved elaborating on his time away. I loved creating this little world for him that his friends didn’t know about. And it was great timing, really, because it came as I was doing some final edits to TNWSY. I knew so much more about him. It added so much to the story.

After some back and forth edits between my agent and I, we gave it to my editor and, oh man, she saw potential in it, too. Which was so incredibly amazing to hear.

Because here’s the thing – I love writing, I do, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s absolutely brutal getting out 10 words. But Matt’s story was fun. It was different and weird and cool and I don’t know. There was no pressure, it was all for myself. And now it’s going to be something. And, yeah, it’s totally not necessary for people to read to fully get TNWSY. But to me, it’s important. To me, it makes Matt so much more whole. And it’s kind of cool knowing that writing doesn’t always have to be a struggle.

I’m so excited it’s going to be out there.

So if you decide to check out the ebook, I hope you like reading his story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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