April 19, 2018
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  • Brigid Kemmerer has published Young Adult stories ranging in genre from romance to paranormal to mystery.
    Brigid Kemmerer has published Young Adult stories ranging in genre from romance to paranormal to mystery.
  • “Letters to the Lost” is a romance centered on two people who feel misunderstood.
    “Letters to the Lost” is a romance centered on two people who feel misunderstood.

Brigid Kemmerer Hits Her Stride With “Letters To The Lost”

Zach Sparks
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April 19, 2017

From vampires to police officers to brothers with supernatural powers, there has yet to be a class of character Brigid Kemmerer won’t tackle. Her seventh novel, “Letters to the Lost,” hit bookshelves April 4. The story follows protagonists Juliet Young and Declan Murphy, and while neither Juliet nor Declan dons a badge or controls the wind, they both have enough depth to enthrall readers.

“The basis is that Juliet is coping with her mom’s death and leaving letters at her grave,” Kemmerer explained. “… Decan has been court-ordered to clean up the cemetery, and he starts writing letters back. They both understand grief and feel like no one understands them.”

The characters eventually realize that they’re not strangers; they know each other from school but weren’t exactly friends. Their preconceived notions of each other soon become scrutinized under the lens of their new connection.

“Especially in this day and age with Facebook, we see these posts – ‘Look at this cake I made for my kid’s birthday,’ or we see someone got arrested and think they’re a bad person,” Kemmerer said. “We make these snap judgments based on one or two things that we know about someone. So the idea is to look deeper.”

Kemmerer started taking writing seriously in her senior year of high school. “When I was young, I always liked to read,” she said, citing Christopher Pike, Lois Duncan and L.J. Smith as some of her favorite childhood authors. “This was the day of brick-and-mortar stores. When I ran out of books to read, I wrote my own stories.”

By 2011, she published “Storm,” the first book in the “Elemental” series, which follows four brothers with special powers. Although she loved her story concept, she wanted more emphasis on the characters than their abilities.

“A lot of times with supernatural stories, the focus is on the powers more than the people,” she said. “I’m interested in how families form and interact.”

One of the most gratifying aspects of being a writer is reader correspondence, and Kemmerer recalled one instance in which “Elemental” spurred a heartfelt discussion.

“One of the brothers in the ‘Elemental’ series is gay, and there is a scene about coming out,” she said. “… I got one email from a mom who had been trying to talk to her son. That was one of the most personal correspondences. She saw he was reading the book and she read it, and it helped her understand what he was going through. As a mother myself, that was incredibly moving.”

After the “Elemental” series, Kemmerer penned “Thicker Than Water,” an open-ended murder mystery. “I don’t read a lot of murder mysteries; the book just transformed into that,” she said. “I just try to make sure people have a reason to turn the page, that there is conflict on every page.”

As for future plans, Kemmerer is already working on other fiction. A companion piece to “Letters to the Lost” is set for a March 2018 release. “It’s not a sequel, but it has some of the same characters,” she revealed.

A new book, “A Curse So Dark and Lonely,” will come out in 2019. Readers can catch Kemmerer at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 20. She also plans to be at the Baltimore Book Festival in September, and she often speaks at local schools.

Kemmerer lives in Pasadena with her four sons and her husband, Michael, whose support and encouragement “cannot be overstated.” To learn more about the author, go to www.brigidkemmerer.com or follow her “Brigid Kemmerer, Writer” Facebook page or her Twitter account @BrigidKemmerer.

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