April 20, 2015

Jody Gehrman's Message in a Bottle

The Truth About Jack Jody Gehrman is the author of THE TRUTH ABOUT JACK as well as nine other novels and numerous award-winning plays.  She currently lives in Northern California and is a professor of English and Communication Studies.  Today she dropped by my blog to share her story of the strangest letter she's ever written.

Dakota McCloud, the heroine of THE TRUTH ABOUT JACK, finds love after writing a message in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean.


The strangest letter I’ve ever written also happens to be my favorite message in a bottle story. When I was in the third grade, my family moved from California to Vancouver Island, British Columbia for a year. I made a wonderful friend up there: Kristen Alexander. Kristen, if you’re out there, send me a message! Anyway, my best friend Kristen and I decided to write a letter and launch it in a bottle. I remember my dad helping us throw it really far, to be sure it would catch the currents. My dad was a fisherman, so he knew about these things. The sunset was all violet wisps and burning apricots. I remember watching the bottle get swallowed by the sea, feeling all hopeful and excited.

A few weeks later, we’d all but forgotten about it. We were eight, after all. Out of the blue we got a massive envelope. Inside were like thirty letters, all written from third graders. A teacher from one of the nearby islands had found it, and had her entire class write to us.

It was so magical. I think that’s when I decided to be a writer.

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