Bidding You Adieu
STARS SHINING BRIGHT ABOVE is out today. It’s my thirty-fourth book. It’s also my last book.
“What the heck are you saying, Kate?!” you shriek, reeling in shock.
Just what I said: I’m no longer writing books as Kate Perry.
Truthfully, I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. Every time I worked up the guts to change paths, people in my life would convince me not to do it. Why would I throw all my success away? Why would I decide to do something that appears to have no business sense?
For the longest time, I listened. After all, they were logical questions—logical questions that fed on my fears of losing what I had.
But then I realized these people had their best interests at heart—not mine. As if to drive it home, the past year happened, making me re-evaluate everything. I’ve been really looking at what I want in life and in myself.
Truth of the matter is, I’m not throwing anything away, and it does have business sense. You guys love me and my writing because of my heart, and if my heart’s not in it, there’s no success. I loved writing romantic comedies—I still believe that LOVE is the answer to every question. But I’m making room for other things too, things I’ve wanted to explore.
It’s a difficult decision, because there are a lot of unknowns. Some of you understand. You’re secure in your work—it makes good money and you have great benefits—but there’s another path your heart wants to take. It’s a path less explored, that looks daunting and lonely.
Like I’ve said, it’s time to grab my balls and jump, so I’m taking that path, but I’ve decided it won’t be daunting or lonely because I have so much support.
Am I scared? Hell yeah. I’m afraid of so many things, including losing you guys. I love you, you know. I’m afraid of not being liked for all of me, and I’m afraid of being forgotten. Mostly I’m afraid that you’ll no longer send me pictures of tutus.
Note: I will ALWAYS love tutus. That’s not changing.
Another thing that’s not changing: I’m still going to write. I’m going to write different things than what you’re used to from Kate but they’ll be great nonetheless. Who knows—maybe you’ll see my work on the big screen soon.
I’ll also still paint, and dance, and sing. And you’ll still be able to laugh with me. I’m just going to do it as myself instead of using a pen name.
Writers take pen names for lots of different reasons, and it’s not always their choice. Historically, women even had to take male names in order to get published.
I took a pen name because my first publisher told me no one could spell or pronounce my real name: Kathia Zolfaghari. So I became Kate. But I think you guys weren’t given enough credit, and perhaps I shouldn’t have let anyone tell me who I should be.
So STARS SHINING BRIGHT ABOVE is Kate’s goodbye to you. It’s also my thank you, because in the last ten years you’ve taught me so much—about life and love and myself. I tried to put all that in Luna’s story. The story is an homage to how much I love you.
I’m grateful beyond words for you.
It’s funny—today I thought I’d be writing Kate’s obituary, but I realize I’m actually writing my own birth announcement as Kathia Zolfaghari, the real me. That’s my given name, the name that encompasses all my history and the name that I plan on writing under from now on. Get used to seeing more from Kathia Z. Wink. She’s even more sparkly than Kate, if you can imagine that.
I hope you come and join me on more adventures.
Tutus and fairy dust forever!