Author: Sheree R. Richnow
Title: The Dear John Letters
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Light Rom-Com
Comps: Delicious, by Ruth Reichl; True to Me, by Kay Bratt; Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown; When we believed in Mermaids, by Barbara O’Neal
Writing the perfect Dear John Letters for other people is an easy task for a middle-aged established author — that is, until it comes to ending her own destructive relationship.
Out of a personal need to call it quits with her boyfriend; and worsened by the floundering sales of her recently released book, novelist, Zara Haze needs a new distraction. Recognizing her own avoidance issues, she realizes the most important Dear John Letter that needs to be written is also the most illusive. The emotional turmoil Zara experiences from John Maxwell’s mixed-messages is getting in the way of her hopes for happiness. And, as much as Zara hates to admit it, John is a flake. Ultimately, she knows she must write the most challenging Dear John Letter of all.
What starts out as a lark becomes a viral success. Zara offers to write customized ‘Dear John Letters’ for others who struggle to find the right words. Zara is flooded with requests, which drives her business to unexpected heights. When a popular celebrity show host wants a television interview, and a news reporter writes a glowing article for Denver Millennials Magazine, Zara’s life changes in an instant.
Now that she has John’s attention, will Zara write the letter that will set her free to make way for a new love? Or, will she hopelessly cling to the past?
What Zara thought was a budding romance with John quickly turned in to an on-going ping pong game that with every passing weekend left her second-guessing herself. For obvious reasons, she had chosen to believe John’s words, his sweet gestures, the exciting invitations to travel, and of course, the great sex. By outward appearances, everything was leading up to something greater, and more promising. When they were together, it was great, and when they were apart – John completely disappeared. His actions were bereft of all reason.
Zara was a mature woman in her mid-fifties with enough experience to know better. She was shocked at how she’d managed to get sucked into John’s life, forsaking herself, and allowing him to dictate the relationship solely on his terms. That was perhaps her first and biggest mistake. His words and loving gestures had come so easily that Zara couldn’t help but believe him. When their heated beginnings turned cold and confusing — the signs pointed to one of two things – the possibility John was either lying about still being married, or he was just shopping.
Texting played a big part in Zara ’s relationship with John. It started out that way from the very beginning, and never really changed. Cryptic messages, abbreviated words, smiley faced emojis, and abrupt endings to conversations became the norm. Scant texts often left Zara wondering where the hell he’d gone. As a writer, she didn’t understand why anyone would want to communicate anything relevant or meaningful in a text message. Still, it was John’s preferred mode of quickly communicating to her that she was on his mind. Every time that familiar ‘bling’ sound emanated from her cell phone, she’d react like Pavlov’s Dog. John had successfully trained Zara to come to attention whenever he wanted to ‘touch’ her without actually being present. She felt like a puppet – and John was pulling all the strings.
The crazy thing was, Zara was seldom annoyed by the familiar sound of his incoming texts. In a sick sort of way, she looked forward to them. Her natural response was always welcoming. No matter how long it had been since they’d talked on the phone, or been together, she was always happy to hear from him. Her intense desire to couple with him had overshadowed any and all sense of reality.
Primarily, through journaling, Sheree Richnow pursued her passion for writing at an early age. Before turning 20, she had self-published a book of poetry. Her next endeavor was a self-published organizational tool for seamstresses. In 2018 she self-published another book, It's JUSTUFF, the art of letting go, which was based on the business she founded over 16 years ago. She also enjoys writing newspaper articles and short stories and was a regular contributor to a newspaper in the Philadelphia area. With two new novels in the works, one being historical fiction, and the other women's fiction, Sheree doesn't hesitate to forge new territory. Over a decade of her professional career was spent as founder and operator of a full-service advertising, marketing and promotions agency. For most of that period of her life she wrote and produced hundreds of television, radio, and print ads. All together, she invested a total of thirty years in the business. Sheree's goal is to spend the rest of her life putting her thoughts and ideas to paper; to write really good books, and to parlay her interests in to broader reaching areas such as film and television.
Most recently, Sheree attended the Algonkian Writers Conference where she received praise and encouragement to compete her next book, The Dear John Letters. Sheree plans to attend the NY Pitch Conference when next available.