Why Write About Love? A Guest Author Post by Mary Pearson
Armies have marched for it.
Wars have been waged.
Taj Mahal’s built.
Oh. And I can’t leave out the asps clutched to chest. It’s been a driving force in history for thousands of years.
So really, why NOT write about it? Is there really a more important topic? Is there anything else that makes us as crazy, hopeful, driven, strong, weak, purposeful, sick, delirious, brave, or as satisfied as love?
It can be risky and devastating too—but it’s in our DNA. We can’t escape it. And damn, if it isn’t fascinating for all those reasons.
Oh yeah, and there’s also the hormonal factor.
Not that we quite go to these extremes, but sometimes there’s the chemistry thing that happens that we can’t quite explain. It is not all contained in our heads, or our hearts, but also in those chemicals racing through our veins. It’s complicated! Hots and true love can be two different things. As it turns out, we don’t always get it right the first time, or the second time, or even the third or fourth time, but boy, when we do, it’s amazing.
I fell in love the first time when I was six. Sure, go ahead and scoff. But he was dreamy with this bright shiny smile—an older man. Ooh-la-la. And he wore sunglasses in the pool. Is there anything more cool than that? He was my swim instructor and his name was Norman. Well, maybe the name wasn’t so cool, but trust me, he was. I swooned when he smiled. I swear his teeth sparkled. Until he dunked me the first time. That ended my love affair. Dunked, dumped, there’s little difference. They both leave you gasping for air.
But I didn’t give up on love. A string of loves came along after that. Third grade. Dumped. Seventh Grade. Dumper. Ninth grade. Dumped. Eleventh grade. Dumper. I learned it’s just as painful to be the dumper as the dumpee. Well, maybe not quite as painful, but it’s an ugly thing.
And of course, there were an endless string of flirtations, almosts, and maybes in between those. You may be rolling your eyes and asking, what does a six, twelve, fourteen, sixteen year-old know about love? True, not a heck of a lot. But then, neither do a lot of thirty and forty year-olds.
My point is, love is a focus from a very early age. Crushes happen. We are feeling our way toward that someone, hoping to find that one person who gets us, that one person who can make it last. True love.
Twelfth grade. Bingo. I was sixteen when I met him. An older man again. In college no less. He was nineteen. Oh, the scandal. But oh. My. God. No, it wasn’t all bells and whistles the moment I met him—I was nervous. I was shy. I was cautious. (Because of the dumping, dumpee factor, ya know?) But boy, it has been bells and whistles ever since. (Okay, we know how to rumble now and then. We’re not dead.) But I still light up every time he walks into a room.
THAT is why I write about teens in love. Real love. Because it can and does happen.
Do I also know that at least half of those who fall in love, will fall out of love? Of course. We all know the statistics. That doesn’t make me stop believing it’s a powerful force in our lives that deserves exploration in books.
I’ve written nine novels now, and a love story has been in every single one—even if it’s not at the forefront, even if it is sad and devastating—because love is a subtext in every story, just as it is in every life.
And then there’s that pesky flipside. Hate. But that’s for another post.
Now, go forth and conquer, and avoid asps.
Mary E. Pearson is the author of bestselling, award-winning novels for teens.The Miles Between was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was listed as a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an IRA Young Adult Choice, NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of A Room on Lorelei Street, David v. God, and Scribbler of Dreams. Pearson studied art at Long Beach State University, and worked as an artist before earning her teaching credential at San Diego State University. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Her newest book is Kiss of Deception coming July 15.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles.