As childhood pen pals, Griffin Quinn and Luca Vinetti couldn’t have been more different. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, they became best friends, sharing their deepest, darkest secrets. Until one day it ended . . . An all-new standalone romance is out this week from authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, and I got a chance to ask the authors about their latest collaboration.
To start off, can you tell us a little about Dirty Letters?
Vi + Penelope: Two childhood pen pals are reunited when Griffin has a bit too much to drink one night and writes to Luca, the girl who suddenly stopped writing him eight years earlier. When he realizes why she stopped writing, they rekindle their relationship from afar and resume writing back and forth, this time as adults. Of course, now their letters are a bit steamier. Things get complicated when Luca suggests they meet in person.
What about Griffin makes him totally unique and different from all other book boyfriends?
Vi + Penelope: Not only do we get to experience parts of Griffin from all stages of his life (childhood, teen and present) but we learn that even though he is rugged on the outside, he has a heart of gold on the inside. But perhaps what makes him stand out the most is his quick wit, humor and the fierce way in which he loves Luca.
What is Luca’s best quality? Her worst?
Vi + Penelope: Her best quality is her fierce loyalty to her friends, like Doc and of course Griffin. Her worst? Probably all of her irrational fears, but those are necessary for her own personal growth.
Doc, Luca’s elderly therapist-turned-father figure, is quite an important person to your heroine. Tell us about his entrance into your writing world? Is it ever awkward coming up with things to say from a 70-year old man’s POV?
Vi: I actually love writing older characters. I love making them be blunt and still be active. We gave doc some “lady friends” and a bird watching hobby. Aging doesn’t have to mean boring.
Penelope: I feel like I have an old, quirky soul. So in some ways, writing Doc came more natural to me than writing a 25-year-old girl.
What was one of your favorite scenes in Dirty Letters to write and why?
Vi: My favorite scene is when Griffin stops the car and gets out and has an intense conversation with Luca. I loved his response when she tried to break things off.
Penelope: All of the early letters were my favorite parts to write. I also loved writing when he incorporated the ABBA songs into the letters.
What do you want readers to take away from reading this book?
Vi + Penelope: That anything is possible if you put your mind to it, even overcoming the most crippling of life’s fears.
What are you working on next?
Vi + Penelope: We are co-writing another standalone romance for Montlake that will release in October 2020. A certain type of “letter” will also have important meaning in that book although the story couldn’t be more different than this one.