Halfway through writing I Unlove You’s first draft, I faced a writing dilemma after coming up with an idea I loved, but at the same time, hated. You see, I Unlove You is a character-driven novel, and although I like to think the plot is good, I hope you lose yourself in the characters above all else – to the point where it feels like you know them.
As I wrote the first draft, I wanted to share more of Aus and B (the two main characters), but didn’t wish to bog down the story, write a lot of fluff, or generally drone on-and-on-and-on. I had so much to share, but I couldn’t share it all in the novel. It would totally ruin the story. So, I came up with the idea for The Letters of Aus & B Series. I loved and hated this idea!
I Loved It because it meant I could dive deeper into Aus and B, share more of their love and relationship and backstory, and do so in the lead up to the novel (so awesome folk like you could be part of the story before reading the actual story).
I Hated It because it added a lot of writing to my already hefty to-do list of writing.
Being the workaholic I am, and always taking off more than I can chew, I decided to go ahead and write The Letters of Aus & B Series, and in today’s article you’ll uncover:
- WHY I wrote them – and why I consider this series of letters oh-so important to the main novel
- WHO these letters are for – and how a special group of people helped me write them
- HOW we did it – a step-by-step guide into writing, publishing, and sharing these letters with the world
Like I say, these letters offered me a chance to delve deeper into Aus and B. From a true writing standpoint, this was fantastic because it meant I could understand and appreciate them better whilst I finished the first and second drafts of the novel.
But to say this is the only reason I wrote these letters wouldn’t do it justice, because these 30 letters written between Aus and B are fundamental to the novel itself (let alone the entire experience we’re creating with I Unlove You and the forever free concept).
For starters, The Letters of Aus and B provide a few genuine hints and peeks into what lies ahead. There are things that happen in the novel (important things) that you can trace back to these letters. There are aspects we touch upon during the main novel that make greater sense after you’ve read these letters.
I like to think you can read the letters without reading the novel and still enjoy them. Just like you can read the novel and not read these letters. But they’re crafted to go hand-in-hand with each other, and whether you read the letters before the novel (what I recommend) or after you’ve finished the main story, they’re designed to further your experience with Aus, B, and the overarching tale.
From a writing and storytelling standpoint, these letters are huge. I’m not overstating things when I say I believe these letters make the novel better. I believe this. From the feedback I’ve seen, other awesome folk like you agree. When you have a character driven story like this, prequels and extended series, and peeks into their backstory… they come together to help you better appreciate their personas.
These letters are the real deal, and although they added more work to my workload and nearly drove me insane, I’m SOOOOOO happy I committed to them.
BUT there’s another big reason why I decided to write these, and it’s because I knew it would help improve the overall experience we’re on together. Each week I had new letters to share with those who receive my emails. I gathered early feedback, and it was an awesome member of the merry misfits who helped edit these letters (more on this below).
And as I Unlove You’s Launch Day nears, these letters invite you deeper into Aus & B’s lives. You learn about them. You uncover their love and their relationship. You set yourself up and the anticipation builds, and by the time you’ve finished reading these 30 letters, you’re ready to dive into the main novel.
At least, this is the plan.
I’ve written short prequels for my previous two novels, but nothing quite like The Letters of Aus & B. These letters form a huge part of the overall experience we’re on, not just for today, but for a long time in the future. Plus, letter-writing plays a large role within I Unlove You, so it’s fitting this series delves into a somewhat lost art.
The old fashioned approach of writing instead of texting personifies Aus & B’s relationship. They’re nostalgic and slightly romantic, and this leads us nicely into the WHO. Because I like to think these letters appeal to a special kind of person, and you yourself could be an ideal fit for them . . .
WHO THESE LETTERS ARE FOR – AND WHO HELPED BRING THEM TO LIFE
These letters have gone through a few iterations over time (we’ll go through this process below), but the final versions were published every few days as I Unlove You’s launch edged near.
During this period I received some wonderful feedback and comments, but the ones I enjoyed the most were from folk who said:
“I love how they’re writing letters to each other. I love how they hate to email and text. It reminds me of when I was a teenager, and of previous relationships. They’re so nostalgic, and offer a beautiful insight into who Aus and B are.”
When I talk about who these letters are for, this defines them well.
- Yes, these letters are for avid readers who expect more from the books they read.
- Yes, these letters are for those who wish to delve deeper into the story.
- Yes, these letters are for people who like to be ahead of the game and get sneak-peek access
Above all, these letters are for folk who reminisce about an arguably simpler time. A time before text messaging, Facebook, email, and the like. A time when you took the time to literally write to those you care about. It’s for the individual (are you one of them?) who appreciates the purpose it takes to write a letter, and how they remain special and more meaningful than a quick and easy text.
The Letters of Aus and B transformed into The Letters of Aus & B Limited Edition Shoebox. A simple idea that began life as a means for me to delve deeper into the characters transformed into a vital piece of the puzzle; an important player in the grander experience we’re creating with I Unlove You and this forever free concept.
The Letters of Aus & B Shoebox isn’t for everyone, but it’s an absolute must for some.
Some people can live without reading these letters and still enjoy I Unlove you, but I suspect a lot of awesome folk need these letters.
If you’re still reading this article, I have a sneaky feeling you’re part of the latter, and you’ll not only enjoy these letters, but appreciate the deeper undertones too.
Oh, and these letters also presented an opportunity to involve you in the process of writing & publishing, which was a further side benefit to something that began life as a quick idea.
That’s right, Michael Mardel (an individual like you, and one that’s helped and supported me so much in recent years) edited these letters. I sent them to Michael whilst they remained drafts and not quite ready. Michael helped edit these and take them from good to great.
I don’t know about you, but this extends the experience we share together, right?
I don’t see you as a reader. I see you as a contributor, and although you may not wish to help edit future books, that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute in other ways (design, ideas, marketing…). But this only happens if I open up the process and give you an opportunity to be involved.
I have to make a conscious decision to do this, and I’m trying to get better at it. I’m determined to get better at it!
Because this is our journey, and these books are our books – if you choose to be part of this, or course.
So, as you hopefully see, there’s an important who that’s part of The Letters of Aus & B. They’re not for everyone, but they’re an absolute must for some. I personally love these letters and I hope you do too. The fact so many folk like you have messaged me and spoken about the nostalgia… oh boy, it’s placed huge smiles upon my face :
All that’s left to do is focus on HOW we wrote, published, and shared these letters. You ready for your complete breakdown . . . ?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW I DID ALL OF THIS?
If you’re a writer or curious reader, you may like to know HOW I did all of this. I’m happy to share the complete step-by-step process with you, but rather than add everything into this post, I created a separate PDF for you.
No need to sign up or add your email. Just click the button below and you’ll get instant access to it. Enjoy.
THE LETTERS OF AUS & B – AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE EXPERIENCE WE SHARE
Writing these letters helped me write I Unlove You. It’s as simple as that. They allowed me to delve deeper into Aus and B, and to figure out quite a few questions that remained on my mind. As a writer, they played a very important role.
But it isn’t the only role they played.
These letters personify what we’re hoping to achieve with I Unlove You and the forever free concept. They make the experience we share together better. They invite you deeper into the journey. They offer a different perspective – not only on the story and the characters, but the bigger picture as well.
I’m proud of them. I hope you are, too. I hope you read them and share them, and I hope they lead you to bury deeper down the rabbit hole because we’ve only scratched the surface on this epic adventure. This is the beginning. There’s so much more to come.
Will you be part of it?
All that’s left to say is… be sure to ask me any questions you may have, or share any feedback swarming through your mind. Talk to me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK, and start a conversation so we can get to know each other better. I look forward to conversing, friend.
HAVE YOU GRABBED YOUR FREE COPY OF I UNLOVE YOU YET?
If you enjoy Coming-of-Age Novels that feature real moments you yourself can relate to, and love stories with a twist that leave you reaching for a tissue, you may like to introduce yourself to Aus & B.
And don't forget to share to this post with all those you know. It's time to help spread the (un)Love