In The Deathday Letter, I know everything. I know what I meant. I know why Ollie acted the way he did. I know where the letters come from. I know everything.
And I'm not going to tell you.
There's this story called The Replacements by Lisa Tuttle that I studied in college. Basically it's about a man who sees these creatures all over the place. They're attached to women by a golden chain, and the animals drink their blood. The women choose the creatures over the men. You should really read it if you get the chance. My professor taught this story as a look at how a man feels during a pregnancy. Like he's being pushed out of the relationship by the unborn child. When I read it, I saw it as a discussion on abortion. I created the argument based on the text and presented it to my professor. It was an interpretation of the reading he'd never seen before. He didn't necessarily agree with me.
And there was no way to prove either interpretation. Because they're that. Interpretations. They're not right, they're not wrong. They're yours.
When I let go of Deathday, I knew that people were going to read things into Deathday that I never intended. The possibility existed that people wouldn't "get" Ollie the way I did. And I made my peace with that. In fact, I've seen some outstanding takes on Deathday...ideas that I didn't intend. Interpretations I didn't expect. And that's pretty cool.
Because people are pretty cool.
And smart. Deathday isn't mine anymore. It's yours. All the books are yours. All the books belong to you.