What if I kill him after chapter 15?

The office

For the last–oh, I don’t know–three years, I’ve been thinking about a woman who was adopted as a baby.

She and I have had many conversations, mostly when I was trying to sleep. Because that’s how she rolls: quiet and unreachable during the morning hours when I have my fingers poised on the keyboard and am gazing out the window with a pleasant, open smile on my face, just awaiting typing orders…but then she comes out at bedtime and likes to sit inside my brain and muse about her situation. WHY, WHY, WHY was she put up for adoption? Where is her biological family? Why does she even obsess about them, when she had a perfectly happy childhood being raised by two quiet, lovely schoolteachers who adored her? Those are some of the questions she and I ponder while the rest of the world slumbers.

One night she told me that she’s falling in love with a guy fifteen years older than she is, the divorced father of two terrifying teenagers. Should she move in with him? Maybe he’s too old. Maybe the teenagers should go live with their mother.

Once I agreed to take on her story (frankly there didn’t seem to be much choice), she brought some other people along, too: a biological sister she finagled her way to finding, their two adoptive mothers, and even the biological mother, who turned out to be a huge surprise for us all.

So I have just spent two intensive months finishing this book, being all one-track-minded, distracted, sleepless, jumping up in the middle of the night or the middle of a conversation to rush off and write something down. And my dining room, bedroom, iPhone, purse, and files on my Mac all contain little scrawlings like:

* Victim extraordinaire
* Purple hair makes statement
* What if I kill him after chapter 15?
* You love until you don’t
* His marital crimes are NOT SMALL

Yes, my family and friends are nervous. These can be scary notes to find.

But I’d just like to say, WELCOME TO THE WORLD, Nina, Lindy, Phoebe, Indigo, Carter and Tyler! And stop waking me up in the middle of the night.

Your debut, in a novel titled THE SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO FAMILY HAPPINESS, is scheduled for Oct. 25th, 2016!

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