(Uni Files #1)
Publication date: September 25th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?
When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.
Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.
With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.
With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?
It’s funny, when I wrote The Art of Letting Go, the first novel in The Uni Files it never crossed my mind that it would make readers feel so many different things. That’s a crazy thing for someone like me to think but I did nonetheless. By someone like me, I mean a person of an imaginative persuasion who has been obsessed with books since they were eight years old.
I mean of course I always knew that when I read a book the way it made me feel, happy, scared or sad would not be the same as another person but it never ever occurred to me when I typed The End on the last page of my manuscript that people would find something different to me on the pages I was binding together with my tale. I mean, I’m the author right? If I say it should read one way then surely it should??
Not so much, and a big fat raspberry to me for forgetting the power that the written word has. And a second big raspberry to me for forgetting that perception is the key to everything.
Some readers have found it laugh out loud funny and have related to the fun aspects of the book. For others it has brought back happy but blurry memories of a misspent youth. Others have found it tragically sad and cried buckets at the end.
I’m going to share a little personal experience with you before I tell you how it made me feel, and that is what my most feared reader felt when she read it. My mum.
Now this is quite a sensitive subject because I was quite scared about my mum reading The Art of Letting Go, and I think she was just as worried herself. I mean, what if my mum hated it? Or what if she thought her daughter’s debut literary release was a complete pile of rubbish? That would be a bit awkward around the family dinner table next time I saw her.
Anyway, Mum refused to read it in draft form, not even the final version, she was determined to wait for it to come out so she could buy it. And she did. Then I heard nothing. Nooooothiiiing for days.
Well that’s great!
Finally my dad rang (my parents live abroad) and I answered Skype with fearful trepidation. “Your Mum has been face down crying on the bed for twenty minutes,” he told me. PANIC it was that bad I made her cry! Eventually mum shuffled into view on the computer, still sniffling. “That was so sad, but beautiful,” she said and then started to cry all over again. That was possibly one of the shortest conversations I have ever had with my mum.
My mum was definitely in the ‘Sad’ camp, and I’ll tell you a little secret, it actually made me really proud that I had managed to reduce my own mother to tears with the tale that I had to tell – and yes I know that’s a bit wrong.
So what did I feel when I wrote it? Well I felt it all. I laughed, I reminisced and I cried. I had my heart in my chest when I wrote that scene at the end, but more than all of that I felt this incredibly uplifting feeling in my soul that you can learn The Art of Letting Go and survive it.
It fills me with delight that every person who picks up my book has the ability to read it a different way. I wonder what you will feel when you read it?