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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Dexter

The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch

Seven years is an awfully long time to work on a book. Then again, I would have hated what I would have published should I have agreed to send it off in the world sooner. Some books need more time. That time is spent with story and character development. It is required to really understand the novel’s purpose—and even though I always knew what I wanted to accomplish with this series—it still didn’t make the writing process any easier.

Initially, this book came with the idea of writing individual short stories inspired by my journal entries. I thought about throwing in poetry, thoughts, and ideas that I had scribbled onto those pages, but the book felt broken after all was said and done. Nothing cohesive was tying it all together so that it could reach that purpose I so desperately sought. Not to mention, I noticed a pattern that some of the characters featured in my short stories kept repeating. And if they kept repeating, shouldn’t that mean something? Maybe they deserved much more.

I then humored the idea of using myself as the main character and this series as a love/dating-themed memoir. But as I quickly learned, there wasn’t much creative license for me to alter and change significant events and/or people while remaining true to the facts. I also came to terms with knowing how much I loved fiction too much to abandon it altogether. I wanted to control the storyline with my creative hand and not entirely on life itself. I also wanted to make sure that the people in my life didn’t feel like I was exposing them for the mere desire of publishing these books.

So, I grouped all my characters and realized that out of the twenty or so people I would have featured; I realized it was too much (This isn’t Game of Thrones). I separated them all by personality types and combined the characters into a small group while fictionalizing them to the best extent possible. But then came my MC. Because she would be breathing life through my past emotions and experiences, I wanted her to resemble me to some degree. Although we share many similarities, we are not the same person. What I quickly realized with developing Rachel is that Rachel is all of us.

We have all gone through and experienced—to some degree—the love and heartbreak that she did. It was no longer about me fearing how I would draw a line in the sand between fact and fiction, but more of using true situations, experiences, etc., as inspiration for what each of my characters will go through.

Book one was indeed a labor of love. And I place heavy emphasis on the word labor since I started aggressively working on it a week before I actually went into labor. I spent the first year adjusting to becoming a new mom, working a full-time job, and working on this book whenever I found the chance. Did it take main priority? No. But it took priority, and it was through that writing grind and hustle that I reached the finish line and got this book baby into your hands.

Each month, I plan on releasing behind the scenes look at each chapter of Stupid Love, so if you haven’t read it, don’t read ahead as there may be spoilers!

In addition, I will be releasing exclusive content through Kindle Vella. So, stay tuned for that!

Lastly, will there be merch? Absolutely. So, if you have an idea, or have a favorite quote from the book, drop me a comment, and I will consider it when we start planning the merch line.

Above all, THANK YOU for taking this journey with me. I love you all.

<3 Danielle

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