Title: 53 Letters For My Lover
Author: Leylah Attar
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 23rd 2014
53 Letters For My Lover
by Leylah Attar
- The idea for 53 Letters came to me when I was watching a music video. I started to wonder about the couple being portrayed, and what had brought them to that point in their lives. I used that as the ending for the story and worked my way back. The entire novel was inspired by music. Sometimes I would listen to a song and picture the same couple at a different stage in their relationship. I strung the evolving vignettes in my head into different scenes and then tweaked them to fit the story. All the songs are included in the story, except, ironically, the one that got me started. Reader feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of an alternate ending, so it never made it in the published version. So here it is – the missing song that inspired the novel:
- The original version of 53 Letters was a real tear jerker – it slayed everyone including me. I wrote a happy ending for a particularly impassioned reader, but when I put the two stories together, side by side, the happy ending just ‘felt’ right. I decided to change it a few weeks before publication and let me tell you, it was pure madness, but I am so glad I did it.
- I am often asked why I chose to tackle a love story that involves infidelity. It’s like the kiss of death, particularly for a debut novel. For me, this book is not so much about infidelity as it is about what happens when we are denied the opportunity to make our own choices, or when we make choices out of external pressure, circumstances or expectations. Although Shayda was not forced into her marriage, she entered into it out of a sense of duty and obligation. This is not something that is specific to any particular culture, country or generation. People override their dreams for whatever reasons, every day, everywhere. Sometimes it takes exceptional courage to stand up for them; we risk being labeled as selfish if we do, and cowardly if we don’t. It’s a dilemma everyone faces at one point or another.
- Ultimately, this story is about love, an epic love that refuses to be denied – a love that demands, destroys, rebuilds, and redeems itself, and all the people it touched. Right or wrong is something best left up to the reader, and that’s what makes reading such a beautiful, personal experience.
Leylah Attar writes stories about love—shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she’s not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.