Dear Teen Me,

Looking back, here’s some advice for you.

Lois at 17!

Here Lois is at 17 with her first computer terminal. She was a fulltime programmer at the National Institute of Health while paying her way through night college

Be comfortable as yourself. Keep true to your ideals, morals, ethics, and overall spirit. Don’t ever make the mistake of deviating from the core of what makes you a unique person. When you reach the age that I am now, you’ll realize that being yourself is essential to your happiness.

Lois at 18.

Here is Lois at 18, during rough times.

Key advice: don’t fall for that first guy. He’ll break your heart, wreck your life, and leave you miserable for a long time. Wait for somebody much better because trust me, he’s out there.

But things got better!

But things got better!

On the other hand, all the suffering and struggle over the years turned you into someone deeper and empathetic toward others, which isn’t a bad thing. It also served as a strong foundation for writing all the dark stories that mean so much to you. Had you not wandered down the long, rough road that began at sixteen, you wouldn’t be who you are today, and who’s to say you (and I) would be better off being someone entirely different?

Lois with Rena. They are still best friends.

Here is Lois in her early twenties with her wonderful daughter, Rena. She’s still Lois’ best friend.

A glimpse into your future:

Grown-up Lois!

Grown-up Lois!

You’re always going to love the beach and swimming. You’re always going to love dark, weird fiction. For a very long time, you’ll design and create huge computer systems and programs, something you can’t imagine doing as a teenager. I know, you think you’re going to become a geneticist or biochemist. This won’t happen due to the “Key advice: don’t fall for that first guy” warning. But your computer work will be strong, bring you intellectual satisfaction, and support your children. You’ll always love science and keep up with it, and oddly, you’ll even write a lot of pop science books! You’ll find love eventually, so don’t despair. It’ll just take awhile.

I have more advice (of course), but that’s enough for now. Stick to your guns and don’t stray.

Take care,


St. Martin's Griffin July 2013.

St. Martin’s Griffin, June 2013.

LOIS H. GRESH is the New York Times Best-Selling Author (6 times), Publishers Weekly Best-Selling Paperback Author, Publishers Weekly Best-Selling Paperback Children’s Author, and USA Today Best-Selling Author of 27 books and 55 short stories. Her books have been published in 22 languages. Current books are dark story collection ELDRITCH EVOLUTIONS, horror anthology DARK FUSIONS (Oct 2013), THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS COMPANION (June, 2013), and 18+ paranormal romance NIGHTFALL. Look for upcoming stories in MARK OF THE BEAST, ELDRITCH CHROME, MOUNTAIN WALKED, BLACK WINGS III, MADNESS OF CTHULHU, SEARCHERS AFTER HORRORTHAT IS NOT DEAD, EXPIRATION DATE, DARK FANTASTIQUE, etc. Lois has received Bram Stoker Award, Nebula Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, and International Horror Guild Award nominations for her work.

Twitter: @lois_gresh

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