a note from the author
Dear Readers and Fellow Booklovers,
I was asked the other day why I wrote this book. It’s not an easy question for a writer to answer.
When my father died, I decided to write a memoir about his tender relationship with my son who is on the spectrum. I needed to record what the two of them were like together. That was the beginning of THE GIRL WITH MORE THAN ONE HEART, although at that point, there was no girl. And the only heart in the story was my own, which was grieving for my dad.
My wonderful editor, Tamar Brazis, read the book, and it made her cry. She encouraged me to turn it into a novel. I hadn’t a clue where to start. My previous novel had been a fantasy. I didn’t know how to write a story with characters so close to home.
On the anniversary of my dad’s death, I couldn’t sleep. I sat at my desk and wrote: “The day my father’s heart stopped, I discovered an extra heart deep in my belly, below my right rib. It talked to me. I wasn’t crazy. Before that day, I had just one heart that never said a word.”
Suddenly, there was Briana, the heroine of my story. She was thirteen years old, a budding writer who needed to channel her talents and imagination to get through a crisis—the death of her favorite parent. She had a little brother on the spectrum, prone to tantrums And yes—she had a Grandpa Ben who resembled my dad.
Thank you for reading my book. At times, we all feel we need the amplified courage of more than one heart to get through. We all need help making sense of what our hearts say to us. I hope this book helps children and teens who feel different and alone and lost after a crisis of loss discover their true friends, their voices, and the power to tell their own stories.
—Laura Geringer Bass