A new book never feels real until I tell you about it. Which means I’m always both unbearably excited and even less bearably terrified to finally introduce you to the characters and story that have been consuming me for the last year.
When I started writing this one, I was fresh off of editing Happy Place, and while I had assumed at the start of that book that I’d be writing a screwball comedy, the book of course had other ideas. The whole time I was working, you were in the back of my mind. Usually, this isn’t a great way to work. Plenty of authors will tell you that you have to forget about your readers while you’re writing, and overall, that’s been true for me too.
But I’ve been feeling this shift for the last few books. With every new story, you’re there in the back of my mind. I pretend not to see you all through the first draft, and sometimes the second, but gradually, as I’m honing a book into shape, I can feel myself letting the readers in closer and closer. I want to make good art, for the sake of the art, and for myself. But nothing has ever pushed me harder, challenged me more, than knowing I have this incredible readership out there. Of course I want you to love everything I make, but I don’t have control over that. The book’s going to be what it’s going to be. So instead I focus on making it the best version of itself.
For the book, for myself, and for you.
This one is different from the last, I think. Writing Happy Place, as much as I love it, felt like the burn of holding your breath underwater as long as you can. It wrung me out. And when I finally turned it over, let it go from me being mine to ours, I needed something that would fill me back up.
Funny Story is my personal breath of fresh air. To quote the great American poet, Taylor Alison Swift, it was the breeze in my hair on the weekend.
This is a book about how so many of the best parts of life only happen after everything’s gone to shit. How the best days are often the ones you didn’t plan and the best stories are sometimes the ones you didn’t used to be able to tell without crying.
Or that’s how I’d describe it anyway. Here’s how Penguin Random House would:
A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry
Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.
Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.
Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads —Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?
But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?
So that’s it. I hope you love Miles and Daphne. I hope you love Waning Bay. I hope you love this book, even a fraction as much as I do.
I’ll leave you with some preorder links, but before I do, I just have to say one more big thank you. I really couldn’t have done this one without you, and I am endlessly grateful for you.