When I first met you in 2017, my only aspiration was to dabble in children’s stories. Here we are, five years later, and oh — how so much has changed. It feels surreal that my YA book will be coming out in late May with Penguin Random House, and I know it couldn’t have happened if not for the community, growth, and camaraderie I found in you, Gotham. You gave me the greatest gift of all: my writing group, without whom I’d feel the cruelest sense of loneliness in an otherwise rich world of storytelling.
I miss my Master Class with Kody Keplinger so much; I miss Kelly Caldwell; I miss the wine; I miss Kody’s dog; I miss running to Wok to Walk for a late dinner with our group. We found our way to each other by being committed to our novels by way of retaking classes, eager to keep fueling our wells through recurring 10-week programs. Since the pandemic, we’ve been meeting twice a month to exchange stories, but through the years, we’ve also been able to celebrate milestones, uplift one another, and share meals and libations in good company. And I owe it all to you, Gotham, for bringing us together, because without them, my book couldn’t possibly have come this far.
My book is called I Guess I Live Here Now, and it’s out with Penguin on May 24, 2022. It’s about a teen that’s forced to relocate from NYC to Seoul, Korea, and the culture shock, family secrets, and restitching of hearts that happen overseas. I wrote the very first draft of it with you, and it’s come a long way since then. It’s been written then rewritten, edited then re-edited, and it’s finally entering the world soon.
Thank you, Gotham, for providing the safest space to write our stories, for filling your walls with imaginative friends, food and wine, encouraging praise and constructive feedback. I owe so much of my journey to you, and I can’t wait to take more classes soon.