Maxine Van beek
Maxine Van beek asked Ava Dellaira:

Hi Ava! I read your book and wrote an online review of Love Letters to the dead for a project I started with my friend called the smaxx project. I loved it, especially the little 'sisterhood' insights. My question is about the 'recipients' of the letters. Why and how did you choose the ones you did? Did you choose them because they fitted the story line or based the story line around them?

Ava Dellaira Hi Maxine!
I looked at your site and love the idea of the Smaxx project. Thanks for including Love Letters! I've already talked a little bit about how I chose the people that Laurel writes to in another response here, but to answer your specific question about whether I choose them because they fit the story line or based the story line around them: it was a little bit of both. Primarily, I chose people who fit the narrative, who Laurel would look to with particular struggles and questions. But, the recipients of the letters also influenced the story. For example, when Laurel started writing to Judy Garland, I "saw" her memories of watching those movies with her mom and sister. It was kind of an organic process that took place over the course of several drafts, and many of the letter recipients inspired moments in the story.
Ava Dellaira

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