Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Secret Agent #10

TITLE: Yours in the Light
GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction

Dear Roberto,

Do I start this e-mail with “Dear?” It feels a little intimate for someone I’ve never met before. Or perhaps a little cold for someone to whom I intend to disclose my deepest darkest secrets.

I’m not much of a people person, which is why this setup is perfect for me. It’s not that I’m not good socially. In fact, I’m quite good. But I’m also tired. And the very act of locking eyes and finding the perfect words, of saying the right thing and not saying the wrong thing, it drains me. There are no backspace keys in life, but there is one on my keyboard.

And anyhow, I am, by nature, a writer. It feels fraudulent to say when, in reality, I’m a failed, failing, writer. But I heard someone say once that if you want to be a writer, you should say you’re a writer. Claim it. And so I do (though obviously not without the necessary disclaimers, and never, ever publicly).

I see the first prompt says to discuss what brings you to therapy. That’s a ridiculously huge question, don’t you think? Can’t we start with something smaller? Like, tell me about your childhood. Ha! Just kidding. Is there literally anything more exhausting than attempting to summarize one’s childhood?
So what brings me to therapy? I guess I’ll give you a simple answer to an entirely too complex question.

My daughter Kira.

You see, her best friend’s Grandma died recently and, as children do, she had questions.


  1. OK, so I am hoping this whole book is epistolary because I love letter exchanges/journals etc. If not, it may be better to start with action first, show her writing the letter. Sorry, I assumed a she, but not sure. I do get some sense of the narrator, and fully understand the writing-not-talking thing. I wonder why Kira's reaction to death would bring someone else to therapy but assume that will be answered. Good start!

    1. It is! Letters, emails, post-its, etc. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Love the idea of writing therapy. Intrigued for sure!

  3. Is this an entire epistolary novel, or is this just a letter for the opening scene? I do like how using the letter format has allowed the author to bring his or her writing voice to the forefront so quickly. It's informal but clear, setting up a nice pace and creating a solid foundation to be built upon. If this is an epistolary novel, I'd want to see more, but if it jumps out of the letter, I'm not sure I'd want to go back and forth, as it appears that the therapy sessions are taking place during email? (Question mark intended.) Nice structure, though, and I like the voice. Like I said, if the structure stays unique throughout and the authenticity of voice is maintained, I'd love to read more.

    Things I liked:
    • nice voice
    • unique structure

    • speaks about being a writer within a book (something I used to love, but has become so commonplace in submissions, it feels too clichĂ© to me now)
    • I'm not sure how realistic emailed therapy would be, for confidentiality (and/or client's sense thereof) reasons

    1. Yes, the novel is epistolary. This first e-mail is introductory, and from here on out therapy continues in an online chat style. The rest of the novel is told through letters (old and new), e-mails, texts, post-its, etc. Thank you for the feedback!