Editor’s note: Colleen Hoover is a prolific author who delivers every emotion on the spectrum in one beautiful package. Her latest novel, All Your Perfects, is a heartaching and heartbreaking look at a marriage put to the test. This novel is a masterpiece of love that weaves in the pain of life with its beauty. The intense, emotional and beautifully poignant story is everything you never knew you needed from a romance. We asked Colleen to provide us with her insights on her writing. Read more about it below.
All Your Perfects is my thirteenth full-length romance novel, but this is the first time I’ve written about an actual married couple. I tend to gravitate toward new romances, first loves, and the exploration of characters in their formative years. I assumed I would always stick to that, but when I got the idea for All Your Perfects I knew I’d be making a departure from my previous work.
The idea initially came to me because of something my sister and brother-in-law did at their wedding. They each wrote a love letter to the other and then placed the unread love letters in a box. They locked the box during their wedding and vowed only to open it and read the letters on their tenth anniversary. I forgot about the box and the letters until they reached their tenth anniversary a couple of years ago. My sister said they celebrated by reading each other’s love letters they had locked in the box ten years before.
I thought the idea of the love letters was such a great idea and wanted to incorporate it into a novel somehow. In order to do that, though, I’d have to write about a married couple, which is what sets this book apart from a lot of my others.
The relationship between Quinn and Graham in All Your Perfects was developed through my exploration of how a box of love letters could impact a troubled marriage. While outlining, I wondered what would happen to the letters if the couple ever decided to separate. Would they still read them? Could a reminder of how you felt on your wedding day be enough to save your marriage after it has fallen apart?
I’ve always explored the beginning of relationships because those early days are full of excitement and promise, which makes it fun to write about, and in turn, read about. To me, writing about a married couple didn’t seem like it could evoke as much feeling, or even enough material from which to form a novel. I started dating my husband at sixteen. We married when I was twenty and just celebrated our eighteenth wedding anniversary. While I love that our marriage is predictable and stable, our day-to-day marriage wouldn’t make for a good book because we don’t have drama and no one wants to read about us working and doing laundry day in and day out. But we’re also lucky in that we’ve never had to deal with extreme circumstances or external factors that could disrupt the flow of our marriage. I kept this in mind when creating Quinn and Graham’s relationship. How would my husband and I have dealt with the issues Quinn and Graham faced in their marriage? Would our marriage have survived? Would we have needed a reminder during our worst moments (in the form of a love letter we wrote when we were experiencing our best moments)?
In the novel, Quinn and Graham face many hurdles – none that question their love for one another, but rather, their ability to hold on to that love through the storm. Even though the love they have for each other isn’t questioned—their marriage is. Because of this, they are forced to open the box they closed together on their wedding night and rediscover what made them fall in love in the first place.
Come meet Colleen Hoover at your Flagship HPB in Dallas on Sunday, July 29 at 6 p.m. Proof of purchase of All Your Perfects from Half Price Books required to enter the signing line. Get your free event pass here.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels and five novellas. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.