"I was raised on a steady diet of romantic comedies and Bruce Springsteen songs. It’s a surefire way to make a person grow up into a romantic idealist. My days were spent taking notes on how to be the best at being in love. Give me an airport to run through and a wedding to stop. I was born for that moment.
But that moment wasn’t coming.
When Allie jumped into Noah’s arms and kissed him in the rain, I felt the rain. When Wesley told Buttercup, “as you wish,” I felt those words in my bones. When Annie’s eyes locked with Sam’s on the rooftop of the Empire State Building, I felt the wind in my hair and the butterflies in my stomach.
I ached for my shot at those moments. I wanted more than anything to get a taste of this wonderful, magical event. I wanted, just like Bruce Springsteen, to know if this love thing was wild and if it was real. I wanted to be Ryan Gosling in those moments. I wanted to hang from a Ferris wheel and build a house and write letters hoping they’d end up in the right hands.
Anxiety has been a part of my life for as long I can remember. The reason I latched onto these specific moments is because the main characters are acting in complete confidence. They’re all sure of themselves and their feelings, and they’ll move heaven and earth because they totally and utterly believe. More than anything, I wanted to have that relentless confidence and assuredness.
There’s a lot to be said about romantic comedies and how they’ve affected the real-life relationships of the people who watch them. You’re probably going to file a restraining order if someone climbs a Ferris wheel to force you into accepting a date, but when Ryan Gosling does it, you’re swooning. For better or worse, romantic comedies become the blueprint for the relationships we have in real life.
There’s something reassuring about watching these movies. It’s like a warm blanket on a rainy day. You know exactly what you’re getting when you watch a romantic comedy, and that’s why we love them. When life gets too tough and our hearts get broken, we want to be reminded that there are good and magical things in the world.
Growing up LGBT, I longed to see myself in these movies I cherished. I wanted to see myself have a happy ending. Where was my lesbian Romeo and Juliet? Sleepless in Seattle? The Notebook? I wanted so badly to have that saccharine movie that I could watch on my bad days. A movie where two women lock eyes, the music swells, and you know that no matter what gets thrown at them, they’ll make it.
I wanted this so badly that I wrote it.
The Carly Allen Trilogy spans a woman’s life from high school to college to the strange limbo of being a post-grad. Carly doesn’t have a tragic coming out story, but her life is confusing and weird and filled with people she loves. One person in particular that she loves is Mollie Fae. It should not be a surprise that someone who spent her formative years obsessively memorizing big, romantic speeches would write a trilogy about a love spanning many years and thousands of miles.
I think everyone deserves to see themselves as desired. As the romantic lead of a movie where they get the love they deserve. For too long, the image of romance we’ve seen has been the same thing over and over again. It’s about time people got their due.
When I was growing up, I thought the pinnacle of romance was Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me.” I’ve since seen the error of my ways, and I now realize that love is a little more nuanced than that. “Kiss Me” has been used as the background music for happily ever after scenes in so many movies. I wanted that in my life. I wanted that scene to happen for real. Writing these novels is my way of giving someone like me the happily ever after we all deserve." - Tina Kakadelis.
The Carly Allen Trilogy is available for purchase on Tina’s website: TinaKakadelis.com/Books.