I recently read Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars in light of its intriguing premise and very meaningful content. You can check out my full review here. I hope that this interview will encourage you to read LTTL when it comes out on April 4, 2017 (next week).
1. What was your inspiration for LTTL? Were you guided/motivated by a particular experience in life?
“I remember sitting on the couch watching You’ve Got Mail and thinking, “I wish I could rewrite this as a teen story. But darker. Like maybe if someone was leaving letters in a cemetery…” And then it just kept evolving from there until it became its own story.”
2. If you were in Declan’s shoes, would reply to Juliet’s emotional letter? If yes, what would you tell her?
“Well, I’m a 39-year-old mom, so I would probably write back to her with a mother’s perspective and tell her how her memories of her mother are nothing anyone can ever take from her. And I would tell her that grief takes time, and it wasn’t something she could rush. And finally, I would tell her to come over to my house for dinner and cry on my shoulder and it would all be OK.”
3. Both Declan and Juliet have big problems to overcome. With that in mind, which character was the most difficult to write about?
“They were both difficult to write about. Their stories are so emotionally charged. I sobbed over Declan, I sobbed over Juliet, and in Rev’s book, More Than We Can Tell (coming March 2018), I sobbed over him too.”
4. LTTL explores the repercussions of the human tendency to be judgmental or presumptuous. What do you think should we do to overcome it?
“I think that we’ve gotten to this place with society where everything is expected to be fast and immediate. We make snap judgments all the time, based on an incredibly small sampling of information. I think that’s beginning to take a toll on interpersonal relationships. I mean, a lot of people date using an app where you swipe left or right if you’re interested in someone. You’re making a dating judgment from a thumbnail picture! I’m not saying that’s wrong, but there’s no way it can’t bleed into our personal lives and how quickly we judge and react to others around us, and we should be aware of it.”
5. In LTTL, Rev is depicted to quote a verse from the book of Proverbs. How would you react if readers would classify your novel as “Christian”?
“I’d be surprised, since Rev is not the main character, but I’d be okay with it too. I was raised Catholic, and while I’m not religious now, I consider myself a spiritual person, and I love learning about others’ faiths. I find faith and religion to be fascinating, and I love hearing different people’s interpretations of it and learning about their relationship with God.”
6. If you became a teenager again, would you be able to fall in love with someone through an anonymous, pen pal relationship?
7. Briefly describe Declan and Juliet’s perfect date.
“Oh wow. Probably somewhere quiet that they could walk and talk. I live near Annapolis, Maryland, where the book is set, and there are a lot of beaches and waterways here. (We’re on the Chesapeake Bay.) I can see them going to one of the local parks to walk by the water and talk. Holding hands, of course. 🙂
“Thank you so much for having me!”
About the Author:
Brigid Kemmerer is the author of Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; Thicker Than Water (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.
Visit Brigid’s website