I handed in my final revision for The Summer I Wasn’t Me to my editor today. It’s such an exciting, nerve wracking thing, letting go of THE version of the manuscript, the one that readers will actually get to see (after copy edits and proofreading, of course). It’s easy to go through about a million and a half emotions during that split second where you hit “send.” I love this book. I hate this book. What if it’s not good? What if readers don’t identify with it? What if readers love it and I’ll never be able to write anything to live up to it again?
So, instead of driving myself insane (It’s DONE. It’s getting published. It’s out of my hands.), I decided to listen (a few dozen times) to Lady Gaga’s acoustic version of her amazing song “Hair,” as she performed it on the Howard Stern Show. I can say with 100% certainty that if this song didn’t exist, I never would have written Summer.
“Hair” was so incredibly inspiring to me — after listening closely to its lyrics, I knew I wanted to write this book. “I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am … I just want to be free, I just want to be me, and I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties. Don’t want to change, I don’t want to be ashamed.” I wanted to write about that girl. I wanted to write for that girl.
And that’s why Gaga is getting a giant shout out in my acknowledgements. I would kiss her if I could.