by Hollis Shiloh
Two young men start to correspond—one a civilian, the other a soldier struggling with his life in Vietnam.
Pen pals become something more as the boys discover things about themselves and each other through their letters and their lives.
A love story.
Length: 12,400 words
Heat level: low
For sale here: http://www.amazon.com/Yours-Johnny-ebook/dp/B00DV8TZ5O
Review copies available - please contact me! :)
Cover art by the amazing http://www.goonwrite.com!
About writing the story:
This was an intense story for me, even though in many ways it's written very sparely. (That seemed to be the style required.) I love the characters, but it took me many months between writing the opening words and the ending ones.
I generally feel a little sad when a story ends, even if it's happy, because I feel like I'm saying goodbye to characters I adore. This counts for me as a reader and as a writer.
No matter how happy writing 'the end' makes me feel, it is often a mixed feeling, because I know I may never write about these characters again. (Sometimes, you just can't force a sequel, you know?)
But I don't cry about it or anything.
With this story, it was a little different. I cried during one scene, not even a particularly sad scene—they were just talking; it was great actually—and I realized as I typed frantically away, crouching on my bed, that I was sobbing, those sort of chest-shaking, trembling-handed, noisy sobs.
I mean, I'm not a big crier. I don't really do that a lot, especially while writing. I love writing! Sometimes it can frustrate me, but overall, it makes me very happy; that's why I do it. I can count maybe a handful of times I've actually sobbed while writing, and I've written a lot of words of fiction in my lifetime. Maybe I tear up a tiny bit during the occasional emotional moment, but nobody can prove it, and I don't always remember if I do or not; I'm focused on the story, you know?
But with that scene? Oh my goodness! I was doing the noisy, messy cry, the weird-little-sounds-like-a-wounded-animal sobs, the leaves-your-face-red-and-gross sobs.
It was that big to me, just hit me in the gut. Not a thing of logic or contained, quantifiable mental energy, but simply pure emotion.
I'm still a little awed that a story of mine could do that to me so unexpectedly. I sort of hope it makes somebody else gross-cry so I'm not alone, but I suspect the scene in question mostly had meaning for me personally, and may pass others by quite unexceptionally.