The Story Behind The Story: Kelly Samuels’ Do You Remember Fred?

KELLY SAMUELS, author of “Do You Remember Fred?”

A few years back, I went to UCLA to investigate their Extension’s decorating program.  And now I’m a writer.  Somehow I ended up at the Writer’s Fair, sat in on a lecture and listened to an author talk about all the characters she has swimming around in her head.  I thought, Hallelujah, I don’t have a multiple personality disorder; I just have characters searching for a plot. (Some characters I’ve had with me since childhood!)

Fast forward to now: I’ve completed my Certificate in Fiction from UCLA Extension, average 3 + writers’ conferences or workshops a year, and participate in two writers’ groups—one is a master class taught by Stephanie Waxman, the other is a simple group of two amazing women who have taught me the reason why authors write dedication pages.

I have to admit. It was Twilight.  I rediscovered the YA genre after reading and re-reading the Twilight series.  Thank you Stephanie Meyers for igniting a fire under my butt.  However, you will find no vampires in my stories, not yet anyway.  I’m a “SUCKER” for love stories and family drama.  Mostly because I sorely lacked one of those growing up. Thanks Mom and Dad for being so normal (and boring!)  Still together those two. . . maybe I’ll tell their story one day of a teenage boy in the 1950’s who teasingly stole a girl’s loaf of bread and her heart!

As for love stories, I can’t read anything, I mean anything—think, National Geographic cover story—without looking for people who possibly could hook up. Makes reading non-fiction  very tricky.  So, I write the stories I want to read, about love and heartache and those magical firsts that serve to teach us we’re all part of the human race.

My story, “Do you remember Fred?” in its rough form was a homework assignment for a, drum roll please, SEX WRITING CLASS!!!  Yep, that’s why it’s juicy.  (And so you know, it was edited a bit for SUCKER!)  My inspiration for the story is a compilation of memories of cold winter nights after hockey games in the little town where I grew up in CT.  Many parties, many hook ups, many fogged windows in corn fields or empty parking lots. Do kids still spike hot chocolate with Rumplemintz?  So 80’s!

I am elated to be a part of SUCKER’s early beginnings.  It absolutely rocks!  I’ve re-read the first issue about five times.  I had a note to myself to submit something. . .  someday

. . . but when the email came in about an open submission period, well, I got the chills, and I knew I had to try.  I submitted “Fred” about ten minutes before the actual deadline, having spent the entire day polishing it. Okay, scrubbing, exfoliating, giving it a mud mask, and extra strength Vitamin C enriched moisturizer.  But it worked!  Thank you Hannah & SUCKER.  Can’t wait to see my story in print!

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