Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you ever stop feeling 16.
Susane Colasanti feels that despite her status as an adult, she’s still a teen at heart.
A contemporary powerhouse with seven novels published and more on the way, Colasanti finds her strength in teenagers. She remembers what it was like to be 16. She remembers having her favorite band speak to her in a way no one else could and to have that one book that meant everything. For Colasanti, that meant sleeping with The Outsiders under her pillow.
“I wished for some magical form of osmosis to transmit even a fraction of the brilliance that book contained to my brain so that one day I could write a book that would help others the way The Outsiders helped me. I was an outsider growing up. Kids bullied me all through junior high and high school. Ponyboy gave me hope. Hope that one day I would be on the other side of the tracks, watching the same sunset but finally in the place where I belonged.Books, shows, and movies saved me,” said Colasanti.
Like The Outsider gave hope to her, she hopes to give teenagers that same sense of belonging.
“One of my main goals in writing is to incorporate positive messages that will inspire teens. I want my readers to know that soul mates are real. True love really does exist. No one has to settle for less than their heart desires.”
Her newest novel Now and Forever follows Ethan, the sweet guitarist who becomes a rockstar, and Sterling, his girlfriend who gets dragged along for the ride. It’s a dream come true – though whether it’s Sterling’s dream, she’s not necessarily sure. And while Colasanti had plenty to say on true love and finding a soul mate, she also wants to inspire her readers to love themselves.
“You cannot find the kind of love you’re looking for if you do not first love yourself. You have to accept who you are, be comfortable with being on your own, and work on improving yourself every day to become an emotionally healthy person ready for a loving relationship.”
While young love is important in Now and Forever, Sterling develops a stronger relationship with herself throughout the book. She has her own talents as seen in prequel Waiting for You and realizes that her life doesn’t have to revolve around Ethan’s fame. Even though a number of teenagers have imagined themselves as rock stars, or dating rock stars, Colasanti paints the lifestyle as having its perks – but it’s not all glamorous.
That’s not to say readers won’t see some of the sweeter, better moments of what it means for Sterling to be dating Ethan. A song in the book called “Now and Forever” was written expressly for Sterling from Ethan. She gets to see him perform it for thousands of fans in Madison Square Gardens, something Sterling finds surreal.
Currently, Colasanti is writing the first novel in her upcoming series, City Love, which will be released summer 2015. Now and Forever will hit shelves on May 20th.