by Megan on Monday, October 24th, 2016 No Comments
When I first posted the news that my novel, Lessons in Gravity, was going to be published, I called it “my beloved, Yosemite-set new adult novel.”
And beloved it is.
This manuscript has been with me for much longer than any author would want to spend on a single project, a true “work-in-progress as I revised, revised again, and revised some more over the years. In all, from start to publication day, it has been five years. Even longer if you count the pre-writing time, where I was sketching out plot lines, developing characters in my head, and brainstorming onto one of my trusty spiral notebooks.
But I suppose I have a few excuses. In between drafting, editing, pitching, and then preparing this book for publication, a lot was going on in Westfield family life.
It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I pulled Lessons in Gravity back out. By this point, I was already working on my next manuscript, but I really, really still loved Lessons and decided to give it one more chance. And I’m glad I did!
Lessons is beloved not only because of how it’s been with me through all these life changes—kind of like a good friend or the Little Engine that Could—the subjects are very important to me as well. As I mention in the book’s acknowledgements, my husband and I spent many weekends rock climbing in Yosemite during the early years of our relationship. Back then, I had just gotten out of the Navy (talk about a life change!), and I think that made me extra-receptive to the beauty of the park and the freedom I felt during those lazy but strenuous climbing weekends. Also, the park is a really, really romantic place to hang out with your future husband. J
When I wrote the first draft of the Lessons, I didn’t know it, but for kid-reasons and geography-reasons, our Yosemite climbing days were drawing to a close. (We still climb when we can, but a lot of things have to line up, namely, traveling to a location where we could climb and having family around to watch the kids so we can get away for a day.) So, in the end, Josh and April’s story became extra-beloved to me because it was a way for me to keep my own experiences in Yosemite alive, all with the hope someday passing a piece of that along to readers.