Today, author Renee Collins is discussing some of our favorite things here at YABC today: writing, Harry Potter, and her own book, Until We Meet Again.
Renee Collins grew up on a beach in Hawaii. Sadly, she never met anyone from the past on those shores, but she did go on to get a degree in History, which is almost the same.
Now meet Renee's book, Until We Meet Again.
They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time.
Cassandra is a headstrong teenager craving drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and new stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger named Lawrence shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.
As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence’s life—in jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history—or risk losing Lawrence forever.
With introductions in order, it's time for Renee's guest post!
I’ve always loved writing. When I was younger, I scribbled out short stories in empty journals and kept a running idea log, where I tucked away snippets of world building, interesting plot twists, or even cool names. I knew I wanted to write, but the idea of being an author felt like a farfetched dream.
To me, it seemed like “real writers” were an Other. Surely they were born with a special spark inside of them that everyone could see. I felt certain that you could pick out the people who were destined to be writers from a very young age. And as much as I loved writing, I knew that I was just an ordinary person with ordinary ideas. The thought of me as a published author seemed as outthere of an idea as me running for president.
Then came the summer that I read Harry Potter. Like so many others, my imagination was completely captured. I was later coming to the series, so several of the novels were out by the time I read the first one. I devoured each one, and then searched out everything I could find about the series and J.K. Rowling.
The more I read about Ms. Rowling and how the Harry Potter series came to be, the more it struck me that the author of these amazing novels had started off as an ordinary woman and mom. Just like I was. Something lit inside of me. A flicker of hope. An idea that started very quiet, but built stronger and stronger the more I pondered it.
I remember the moment that I decided to follow my dreams. I was sitting at lunch with my sister, talking about Harry Potter (naturally,) and musing over how amazing it would be to have a book that touched so many people. My sister looked at me and said, “But why can’t that be you? J.K. Rowling isn’t somehow different or better than you. She just went for her dreams.”
The flicker of hope suddenly switched into a solid flame. Right then and there, sitting in Cafe Rio with my sister, I asked myself: “Why not me?” At that moment, I realized that I didn’t have to feel like an Other or a special spark. All I needed was the heart and the hope and the willingness to work hard.
My path to publication hasn’t exactly been parallel to J.K Rowling, but I know it’s not over yet. And every day, I’m grateful that I dared to dream bigger.