The first four individual serialized books of my coming-of-age novel Meeting Dennis Wilson each contain bonus stories that aren’t included in the omnibus edition (I had to make the seven smaller books special SOMEHOW…). This story, “Shift,” is the “bonus story” from Book Three. It was originally part of the novel that became my Goddard College creative writing MFA thesis: a sprawling epistolary mess called I Am A Note and I Am In Your Locker. Lots of great vignettes but no real plot… which is nice, because it’s easy to pull excerpts, and “Shift” is one of those vignettes: 16-year-old Margo writing to her best friend Brian about a drive with Brian’s girlfriend Christy in Christy’s VW bug.
Note that in this story and other early works featuring these characters, the setting is Gettysburg, which is why the reference to Kulp’s Hill, where Brian and Christy (apparently) snuck off before school and parked and made out in the car. I hadn’t “invented” Quaker Valley (the setting of the published novels) yet.
Want to read more? You’re in luck! There are two novels. The first one is
You Don’t Think She Is…
“Intensely imagined and beautifully written, You Don’t Think She Is follows Brian and the two loves of his young life, Margo and Christy from childhood into puberty. Brian is a decent kid; inhibited, horny, confused – and in love. His best friend Margo may be the coolest girl ever; uninhibited, athletic, mature beyond her years. Margo’s good friend Christy likes Brian, Brian likes Christy, Margo tries to bring them together, but…The result is a wonderfully convoluted, just-go-ahead-and-kiss-her coming-of-age story.” (Greg Comer, Amazon reader review)
Available in print and Kindle editions. Click here to order.
…and the second one is Meeting Dennis Wilson.
“Today marks the day that I officially add Meeting Dennis Wilson to my ‘Favorite Coming of Age Books’ list. I adore John Green and his work [and] I fell in love with this book just as easily as I fell in love with Paper Towns or An Abundance of Katherines. Meeting Dennis Wilson can easily be compared to a teenager who’s just coming of age: awkward, quirky, hilarious, and loads of fun to be around.Meeting Dennis Wilson is incredibly comical, sweet, and ultimately feel-good.” (The Literary Connoisseur)
Meeting Dennis Wilson is available in both softcover print and Kindle editions, in either seven serialized installments or as an omnibus edition gathering all seven books.
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