Eva Des Lauriers author photo

I always love a good YA friends to enemies to lovers romance, so when I met Eva Des Lauriers at a book event and heard about her debut, I WISH YOU WOULD, which came out last Tuesday, May 21, 2024, I couldn’t wait to feature it.


I Wish You Would coverIt’s Senior Sunrise, the epic overnight at the beach that kicks off senior year. But for Natalia and Ethan, it’s the first time seeing each other after what happened at junior prom―when they almost crossed the line from best friends to something more and ruined everything. After ghosting each other all summer, Natalia is desperate to pretend she doesn’t care and Ethan is desperate to fix his mistake.

When the senior class carries out their tradition of writing private letters to themselves―what they wish they would do this year if they were braver―Natalia pours her heart out. So does Ethan. So does everyone in their entire class. But in Natalia’s panicked attempt to retrieve her heartfelt confession, the wind scatters seven of the notes across the beach. Now, Ethan and Natalia are forced to work together to find the lost letters before any secrets are revealed―especially their own.


In addition to being a published author, you are also a clinical social worker. How did you know that you wanted to write novels, and in what way, if any, did your career path toward psychology play into your creativity?

I grew up a big reader and I always escaped to the pages of my notebook to process what I was going through and try to tell my own stories. The books I gravitate toward are character-driven love stories. I find people endlessly fascinating, which is what drew me to psychology and social work in the first place. After working in the field for several years, my love of reading and novels only increased, as did my desire to take the stories I was writing on my own seriously.

All my stories start with characters first. My experience and education in psychology and social work are pretty integral to the way I write characters. In social work, we use assessment tools to get a comprehensive picture of a person’s background and personal and mental health history, and I believe I intuitively utilize these kinds of elements in an effort to understand my characters deeply. Once I do, I can let them lead me as they drive the plot with their decisions, their beliefs and misbeliefs, their flaws, their wounds, their history and have it feel really true.


What a great process to dig deeper into characters! I love the idea (and the suspense!) of private lost letters! How did you know this needed to be integral to the plot of I WISH YOU WOULD?

Thank you! I really wanted this story to revolve around secrets. Not just the ones we keep from each other, but the ones we keep from ourselves. It is often much easier to be honest about what’s scaring us or most vulnerable in us when we write it down. This was true for me as a teen, and also very true for my teen clients. I also personally love epistolary elements in novels, so including the letters was my way of combining a few of my favorite things into a story. As I wrote, the story unfolded organically that these letters full of confessions and secrets would get out and wreak havoc among friends and enemies alike. Likely influenced by my love of teen drama from all the shows and movies I watched in the nineties and early aughts!


It’s always interesting to see what happens when secrets come out! You also co-host a writing and mental health podcast with fellow author Katryn Bury called Write Where It Hurts. What a great idea to combine the writer’s life with mental health! How did this podcast first come to be?

Mental Health advocacy is a real passion of mine, very much rooted in my work as a therapist. Katryn and I are critique partners and have been on this publishing journey together for years. The idea for the podcast was born out of the fact that both of us were really going through it at the time. Katryn had just debuted her Middle Grade Mystery Drew Leclair Gets A Clue, and I had just shelved a novel that had died on submission (after doing so with another novel the year prior). We both figured if we were having a hard time and battling both depression and anxiety pursuing and being in this industry, that others probably were as well. We wanted to at once process what it’s been like for us, and also offer space and support for other writers who are on this journey so that they know they’re not alone. We didn’t know what would come of it, but it has snowballed into a really passionate and creative community of listeners that have fueled us to keep it going. We just premiered our third season last month!


Excellent! What are some of your current projects?

I’m currently in the middle of writing my next YA romance, very much in the same vein as “I Wish You Would” as far as angst and longing and big feelings. It’s a second-chance romance about Clara and Reid, who reunite during Legacy Weekend, a traditional event that invites high school alumni back to their small mountain town. Feelings reignite but past hurts threaten to keep them apart. I can’t wait to share more about it in the future!



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