The Phoenix Fire

Brigid Kemmerer, author, visits Kennedy

Ria Pande, Feature Reporter

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On September 27th, 2018, author Brigid Kemmerer came to Kennedy Junior High to talk about the books she’s written, along with the ups and downs of being an author.

Kemmerer has 3 sons and lives in Maryland. She specializes in writing young adult novels, especially paranormal and romantic ones.  Some of her popular books include Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell. Kemmerer is also actively working on new books including A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and Call it What You Want.

Letters to the Lost is about a girl named Juliet who enjoys writing letters to her mother, a world famous photojournalist.  After Juliet’s mother passes away, she continues to write letters to her in order to cope with that loss. Shockingly, her letters are read by a darned hooligan, but after getting to know the hooligan, Declan, they bond and form an unlikely friendship.

“It’s really intriguing and I’m hooked within the first chapter. The feelings of grief that Juliet has and the bond between her and her mother despite the physical distance between them is somehow relatable,” said student Claire Yung, who is currently reading the novel. “Declan is an interesting character that makes you just want to learn more and more about. Overall both characters make the story intriguing and relatable making me want to just keep reading.”

Kemmerer continues the universe of Letters to the Lost in it’s companion, More Than We Can Tell. Declan’s friend, Rev has managed to keep his dark past with his abusive father behind him, but when he receives a letter from his dad, everything changes.  Eventually, Rev befriends Emma, who is dealing with issues of her own. Together, Rev and Emma find out that they don’t have to face the truth alone.

Kemmerer was found by the Kennedy librarians when a teacher at the school enjoyed her book, Letters to the Lost. The librarians read the book and were hooked. They continued and were even more pleased by More Than We Can Tell. They said an author visit was a must, so a date was scheduled for Kemmerer to talk about her books and experiences to the school. “Finding a time wasn’t hard. We just sent a couple emails and she gave us some dates,” said one of the Kennedy librarians

Throughout the presentation, Brigid Kemmerer captured the attention of the 8th graders by recounting her past experiences.

She started writing around 7th grade because she couldn’t find books she wanted to read, so decided to write her own. Often times, she’d even get in trouble with her teachers because of her love of writing. Though her strong subjects were math and science, Kemmerer always knew she wanted to be a writer.

Kemmerer’s first story she wrote in high school didn’t even get published, but she kept trying. Due to unfortunate timing, her next two books were overshadowed by Twilight and the Percy Jackson series, and weren’t published.

She persisted until she came out with the Elemental series, which became a huge success. Kemmerer felt that it was a huge challenge to publish a book at first, but after finding success, publication has been a lot easier.

Brimming with ideas, it’s safe to say that Brigid Kemmerer doesn’t have any plans to stop writing anytime.

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Brigid Kemmerer, author, visits Kennedy