Friday, March 02, 2007

About Love and Braces

Now that Love and Braces is available (at Lulu and Amazon and I hope soon everywhere else) I want to write more about why you might want to read it.

Love and Braces is about a woman in her mid-twenties dealing with braces. She makes a good friend who is going through the same thing, but finding love is more difficult. I guess it is a sort of chick-lit novel, describing Sylvia's struggles with her career, friendships, family and personal life - with braces on top of it all! Her time in braces is the main part of the story, but it's the rest that makes it a good read, I think.

I only realized when I had written a lot of it that even though Sylvia is an adult her story is more like that of a teen going through having braces. I didn't think I wrote that much from my own experiences, but being a braced teenager is "what I know", and you always hear that you should write what you know, and apparently I have a difficult time writing anything else. Even though Sylvia is an adult her parents play a big role in her getting braces, which I think makes her different from most adults who get braces. And looking back on it some of her reactions to wearing braces may be more childish than a grownup's would be. But I'm not unhappy with how it worked out. I think having her be an adult also gives a different feel to the book, and might make it more appealing to older teens dealing with similar issues. Showing that she is independent - living on her own, with a job - and still struggles with so many things a thirteen-year-old does makes it a universal story.

I think having it be the story of a grownup might also make it more appealing to adult readers, reminding them of their experiences with braces when they were younger (or now) but also providing more adult subject matter. So when Sylvia worries about a sleep-over her worries are about very different things than Lauren's were in Retainer Girl. Even though one of the things I think is so great is how similar all those concerns turn out to be, regardless of what age they are!

It feels weird trying to tell people You should read this book! I'm not sure who should, or who would like it. What I can tell you is that I had braces when I was in my teens and it made being a teenager even harder than it had to be and I would have loved to have had books like Love and Braces and Retainer Girl to help me get through it. Even afterwards - even now! - I think they're helpful. Writing them has helped me, and maybe there are readers who need books like this too.

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