Author On the Bookcase: Teresa Medeiros, author of Goodnight Tweetheart
Author On the Bookcase
I'm excited to welcome Teresa Medeiros, author of Goodnight Tweetheart, to On the Bookcase. Goodnight Tweetheart is a look (very humorous look, at times) at modern communication and the love game. The main character, Abby, is writing her second novel and is at an impasse. Will this new fangled social media site, Twitter, release her writer's block and find her love, as well? Told almost entirely in tweets and DMs, Goodnight Tweetheart is a truly modern take on a classic tale of love and loss — a Griffin and Sabine for the Twitter generation. But, no spoilers here!
Teresa writes that her "brain 'tweets' all of the time" so it was natural to write Abby and Mark's story. Twitter away, Teresa!
Can the human heart be mapped in 140 characters or less? That's the question I decided to explore when I wrote Goodnight Tweetheart, the story of a man and woman who meet and fall in love on the social media site Twitter.
I was dragged kicking and screaming onto Twitter in 2009 by my friend and fellow writer Connie Brockway. We had just ended our very successful blog Squawk Radio and I was looking forward to living my life on the private stage for a while. Despite my initial skepticism, it was love at first sight for me!
Twitter immediately became about more than me just promoting myself as a novelist. It was like the biggest cocktail party in the world where there was always some interesting conversation going on. My brain "tweets" all of the time anyway so it was wonderful to have an outlet for all of those observations, both ridiculous and sublime. If I had a burning desire to say, "Aging is God's way of making us look forward to death," then there was someone who would listen.
Before long, Mark and Abby started "tweeting" in my head and instead of having me locked away, my editor at Simon & Schuster offered me a contract to tell their story. At first I thought the book would be written entirely in tweets. But I quickly decided the story needed a "frame" so Abby's life became that frame. While the relationship is at the heart of the book, it's really the story of one woman's journey and the impact this encounter has on that journey.
Writing the tweets themselves felt very organic, like eavesdropping on a conversation between two very dear friends and potential lovers. Mark and Abby start out basically flirting but the intimacy between them deepens as they reveal more and more about themselves with each encounter. Then we discover that Mark is hiding a major secret that becomes a game-changer for them both.
As I was writing, Mark and Abby's story began to mirror so many themes I'd been exploring in my own life since cyber-communication became the norm. Do sites like Facebook and Twitter enhance intimacy or make it more difficult to achieve? Is it easier to bare your soul to someone when you're not face to face? Do people tend to wear "masks" on-line—to present themselves as the person they would most like to be? Have we become a generation that communicates primarily in pop culture tidbits? Is it possible to fall in love at first sight…or first tweet? Is it possible to forgive someone for doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons?
Writing Goodnight Tweetheart sometimes made me squirm because it's also my most intensely autobiographical novel. Abby is a writer who sometimes finds it easier to write tweets and Facebook updates than make progress on her latest novel. (I hope my editor didn't just read that!) Just like me, she's dealing with a mom who has had early onset dementia for years. I even gave my cats Buffy the Mouse Slayer and Willow Tum-Tum cameos in the book!
Am I glad I bared my own soul in Goodnight Tweetheart? Absolutely! Because I wouldn't have sacrificed a single moment I spent with Mark and Abby. I hope you enjoy eavesdropping on their relationship as much as I did.
Thanks so much, Teresa. Goodnight Tweetheart has many good discussion topics for reading groups. Intimacy on social sites -- an oxymoron? The whole idea of social sites and what they mean for future relationships and communications? Betrayal? Forgiveness?
Praise for Goodnight Tweetheart
"Goodnight Tweetheart is exactly the book to warm you up on a cold winter's night. Tender, funny, and poignant, this novel will make you laugh out loud one minute and reach for the tissues the next."—Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of Winter Garden
New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Teresa Medeiros wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one, introducing readers to one of the most beloved and versatile voices in women's fiction. She has appeared on every national bestseller list, including the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly lists. She currently has over ten million books in print and is published in over seventeen languages. She is a two-time recipient of the Waldenbooks Award for bestselling fiction who lives in Kentucky with her husband and her cats Willow Tum-Tum and Buffy the Mouse Slayer.