Dear Teen Me,
There are so many things I wish I could tell you, and while my first instinct is to give you advice on what not to do, I know you do better with positive reinforcement, so first let me tell you what you’re doing right.
You’re not a bad eighteen year old, even though you’ve done some very stupid things. You will grow up and get through the constant rush of emotions and hormones. You will realize your worth. And heck, you’ll actually make a pretty decent adult.
But for now, you’re making some bad choices. You drink too much for a teenager (or really, for an adult), and you too easily think this boyfriend (or maybe that one) might be your happily ever after—no teenage boy is ready for the romance in your heart, girly-o. You let theatre and speech club go by the wayside, and you have no idea what to do with yourself or your future. You won’t view any of the things you enjoy—like writing—as viable career options. That’s okay. You don’t have the experience or the discipline to write for publication yet.
You’re about to meet a guy who will change your life. Not for the better.
At some point, you’ll realize that you should have listened to your mom more. You have the best damn mom in the world and you should remember that every single day. And you’ll understand that your cousins were always trying to protect you—mostly from yourself. Finally, you’ll realize that your father does influence your life and your choices, and to remove that influence as much as you can, you’ll have to face that.
But over the next five years you’ll grow as a person. You’ll learn to stand up for yourself. And you’ll learn that living in fear is no way to live.
You will be the first person in your family to get a bachelor’s degree. You’ll follow that to a master’s and a CPA. Then, after all that hard work, you’ll figure out your real passion: writing. Part of you will regret the work, but the rest of you will realize that the work ethic you refined while working corporate jobs and getting your education will serve you well in everything you do. Besides, we both know how much you love school, so class time is never wasted.
And you’ll finally meet your hero.
He’s quite a guy. Funny, smart, reliable. And he really cares about you. Plus, he’s pretty damn adorable. And even though he swears he doesn’t like cats, he’ll spend years after he meets you covered with them.
Not only do you find your own hero, but eventually you’ll find an outlet for all that romance in your heart. The naïve way you look at every situation hoping for a happily ever after will pay off. You’ll start to write crazy books. Books about mystery and suspense, but mostly about love.
And, well, vampires and other supernatural creatures, too. Because let’s face it, you’ve never gotten over Interview with a Vampire. Or vampires and other supernatural creatures in general. Not since you started reading L.J. Smith in middle school, and then later snuck into that theater after buying a Stargate ticket because you were too young to go to a rated R movie alone.
So keep on trucking, teen Tiffany. You’ll get your happily ever after—you just have to make it through some adventures, first.
CPA-turned-romance-author Tiffany Allee used to battle spreadsheets in Corporate America, and now concentrates on her characters’ battles to find love. Raised in small-town Colorado, Tiffany currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, by way of Chicago and Denver. She is happily married to a secret romantic who tolerates her crazy mutterings.
She writes about ass-kicking heroines and the strong heroes who love them. Her work includes the suspense-driven From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series which revolves around a group of paranormal cops solving crimes and finding love, and Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid, a lighthearted paranormal romance (Entangled Publishing, 2013).
Tiffany’s site: http://tiffanyallee.com/
Tiffany’s books: http://tiffanyallee.com/books/