It’s a thrilling sensation for “Open” to be released into the hands of readers. Although this is not my first book, the emotions are the same—excitement, gratitude, fear. I’ve created this story world, conjured up these characters in my imagination, but I experience their problems and struggles, their joyful moments, as intimately as my own. They are flawed, yet relatable. Like a loved one, I am frustrated with them in one breath and defensive of them in the next. They are mine. It is hard to let them go.
But now, everyone will have the opportunity to step inside their world. And their world is fraught, as both Alex and Lila are grappling to find a way forward inside their marriage when the book starts. Open addresses sensitive topics—loss of a child, grief, infidelity. It’s raw; their emotional vulnerabilities bleed like open wounds. For those who have experienced fertility troubles, this might trigger uncomfortable feelings and painful memories. But in writing this book, in dealing with my own unfulfilled yearning for another child, I found in cathartic to see how others grow and adapt to the challenges of life. I hope you will benefit from this too.
There is the old adage that writing a book is like giving birth to a baby. Having birthed two children, I can say that while there are some parallels—the spark of an idea that happens in an instant; the mind, body, and soul work of writing and editing it; the way the characters obsessively court your thoughts; the anticipation of its release date—for me, it is more apt to say that in writing this book, I have given readers a piece of my heart. I know not everyone will love it, that there will likely be criticism along with praise, but my hope is that when everyone finishes the last page, they will have empathized with the characters’ struggles to let go of the past, forgive, and forge a new path towards happiness. And maybe, just maybe, with this empathy, we can all bestow a little more kindness on each other. After all, as another old adage goes, you never know what someone else is going through.