This year marked my 20th high school reunion... which means, among other things, that I'm old. But while I didn't actually attend my reunion in person, I have reconnected with many high school friends on Facebook.
They've been very, very supportive of my writing and several have purchased my novel. However, their response so far has been pretty funny because everyone is asking, "Will I recognize any characters? Am I a character in it?" One friend, Greg -- who was in almost all of my classes and was a fellow band geek -- is currently reading it and had a lot of questions about my characters' origins. I sent him a long list of "Easter eggs," a.k.a., little funny in-joke type things that are hidden throughout the book.
It's a little surreal having this book read by people whom I grew up with. Greg knew me very well in high school and I'm sure is comparing Melinda to me as he goes through the story. The books means something to me because many parts are very personal and I'm sure he recognizes this more than the average reader would, just because he was there at the time. It's nerve-wracking, too, because the opinions of people I know mean more to me than a stranger's. I worry about my writing all the time, and whether it's actually good. I put a lot of sweat and tears into the book and just hope that people like it -- especially those who in some way inspired me.
Meanwhile, the husband of my childhood friend, Dina, is also reading it right now. I find it amusing that the two people I know who are actively reading my work are married men with kids. Not exactly my target demographic! But hey, if they enjoy it, great! Maybe I'll find a new audience.
Most of the time I feel like my age -- 38 -- but when I'm chatting with high school pals, it takes me back and I'm suddenly 18 again. Facebook is a lot of fun, but it's weird, too, because you get instant nostalgia. In the past, people would see their high school classmates maybe once every 5 or 10 years for a reunion, but now you can have a virtual reunion almost every day. Still, I guess it's good to be young at heart ... and perhaps being in a teenage mindset will help me with my writing!
Please check out my young adult book REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.