How Brene Brown’s research influenced my novel

Over the last few years, I’ve become enamored with Brené Brown’s research, specifically with regard to empathy, vulnerability, and shame. On campus, I’ve executed workshops about Brown’s wonderful book, Dare to Lead. If you haven’t read this book, I strongly urge you hop to it. It’s a wonderful dissection about daring leadership, and what factors play into what kind of leaders we admire and what kind of leader we, ourselves, want to be.

In the course of preparing to teach others about Brown’s findings, many of her assessments were illuminating, and as I began to figure out what my next novel was going to tackle, I landed on all three of those things, with empathy at the heart of it.

The premise of the novel is simple: It’s about a young bookstore owner named Meg who wants to put something good out in the world, and so she writes 10 letters a day that she tucks inside customers’ books, specifically inside books of those she believes need a sort of “pick me up.” Inspired by a letter she received herself, she ends up carrying on a tradition and bringing people together, namely the four other characters in the book, Eva, Lily, Reid, and Dimitri.

I’ve loved using what I’ve learned to help write this story. As well, I read a book about empaths that gave me a deeper understanding of what one is, and Meg is certainly an empath.

Promo for book

While it’s a story about triumphing and leaving the past behind, it’s also a story of friendship, love, and understanding. Once again, the novel is set in my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland, and I did my best to bring it to life for those who have never visited, and to make it feel like home to those who know it well.

We’re two weeks to launch, and I’m so excited to share this two-year project with you. I really hope you like and and that you’ll take the journey with me.



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