In 2011, I was in the middle of writing Chasing Forever Down, and I was pretty much at a standstill with it. So for NaNoWriMo that November, I decided to write another LGBT YA because, let's face it, I like writing those.
Breaking Saint Jude. Obviously I failed NaNo that year, and it took a long time to get back on track with this book - which is crazy because I LOVE THIS BOOK.
This book is darker than my other books, but this book is so very me. Jude and I are very much alike (except I'm a straight girl....) and his voice was so easy for me to write because it's similar to my own in a sense. The characters in this book are the kinds of characters that made me want to be a writer. I like my characters more gritty, edgy, messed up... REAL.
If you know me at alll, you know Hawthorne Heights is the band that changed my life, and if you *really* know me, you know all about Casey Calvert and his life and his death in 2007. Jude's last name is Calvert because of Casey, and Jude is an animal lover, just like Casey was. Jude's pet of choice in this story is the black cat.
I was pushing through finishing this book in November. I set up pre-order on Amazon to force myself to finish and let this book go. And on the seven year anniversary of Casey's death in November, I sat in the living room working on this book. I took a break shortly before midnight to go with Emily to check the mail. We were discussing this book and Casey's death-a-versary and how it finally felt right to publish this book.
When we stepped outside into the open hallway between 3105 and 3106, there it was - a black cat. I'm not sure what you guys believe, but Emily and I believe that cat was sent here that night - on that anniversary - for a reason. So while I'm terrified more about this release than any other, I know it's the right time for this book. If I never publish again, I'll be satisfied knowing this was my last.